Southsea residents voice fears over plans for increased hours for new restaurant

The former Laura Ashley store in Palmerston Road, Southsea
The former Laura Ashley store in Palmerston Road, Southsea
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SOUTHSEA residents have voiced fears that increasing opening hours for a planned restaurant will lead to anti-social behaviour.

Loungers Limited are seeking to extend opening hours for their eating place on Palmerston Road from 8am-10pm to 9am-11.30pm every day.

Planning application for the establishment, which will occupy the old Laura Ashley site, was granted in March with the shorter hours agreed.

But developers are now hoping to amend the licence with a view to stop serving food and drink at 11pm and use the extra half-hour to ‘disperse customers.’

In the plannning statement Loungers Limited said: ‘These opening hours would be shorter than their other restaurants which are located in similar mixed use areas. The company have never been refused a premises licence which demonstrates the high quality nature of their establishments and management.

‘They take their community responsibilities extremely seriously.’

However, some nearby residents have objected to the change. Victor Haynes, of  Villiers Road, said: ‘I object most strongly to any increase in opening hours for. It is bad enough that the council has allowed alcohol to be served in this part of Palmerston Road which was meant to be a purely retail area.

‘I believe that the southern end of Palmerston Road has enough bars and anti-social behaviour without it spreading to the shopping precinct. There is already unprecedented levels of anti-social behaviour due to alcohol and drugs in Commercial Road area which is having to be policed by a special task force, do we have to wait for the same thing to happen in Southsea before you see the error in permitting more bars.

‘The decision for allowing Loungers to open until 10pm has only recently been approved so why are they allowed to ask again to open until 11.30pm?’

Meg Jackson, of Maple Road, added: ‘I once again strongly object to this application to extend licensing hours to 11.30pm. Those of us living in the area of Palmerston Road already have to put up with a great deal of anti-social, drunken and drug-fuelled behaviour. It is extremely intimidating to walk in the area in the evening and, indeed, sometimes during the daytime.’

A decision date for the application has yet to be set.