A NEW bar has been given the go-ahead to open despite objections from a counselling service based in the same building.
Councillors agreed to give proposed bar Dixie’s a licence to open up in Cosham High Street at a meeting this morning.
I’m very happy with the decision today and we hope to have the bar open by the end of the weekBrian Dean, co-manager of Dixie’s
The decision came despite pleas from Relate Portsmouth, an independent charity that provides counselling and mediation for people, to block the licence, as Dixie’s will be based directly underneath its offices.
However, Portsmouth City Council’s licensing sub-committee approved the licence at the meeting in Portsmouth Guildhall stating it could see ‘no reason’ why the application be refused.
The applicant, Brian Dean, who co-managed The Swan in the High Street before it was sold for development in March, said: ‘I’m very happy with the decision today and we hope to have the bar open by the end of the week.
‘Although I am disappointed with the response Relate took to the licence, as I would have happily looked to have sorted this out with them before, rather than in the meeting.’
Jane Hodge, a lawyer, who is a trustee of Relate Portsmouth outlined the charity’s concerns, pinpointing the fact that its operations would be affected by the bar due to the close proximity, the effect of noise and how the bar would stop users congregating outside once they left the premises.
She said: ‘We understand the concept of the idea for the bar, but it is just not going to be compatible for us.
‘During our conversations with people, they are going to need to think and concentrate – how can they do that with a bar downstairs?
‘There’s also the problem that some of our users will be looking to battle alcohol issues and they might be anxious and tempted before a session so could easily have a few drinks before.
‘Our sessions carry on into the evening so this completely changes the dynamic of the conversation we’ll be having. It’s just not compatible to have them there.’
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of the council also objected to the licence being granted.
She said: ‘Children, young people and adults - some of which are vulnerable - use this public service throughout the day and night and it would be inappropriate for a licence to be granted in such close proximity.’
Mr Dean said that the bar would have a maximum of capacity of 60 people.