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Farringdon sports bar drops application after deluge of complaints

PUBLISHED: 06:53 20 August 2012

The sports bar has withdrawn its application for an extended licence

The sports bar has withdrawn its application for an extended licence

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Residents will sleep easier after scoring a victory against a sports bar’s outdoor drinking plans.

Sports Bar and Grill in Cowcross Street, Farringdon, was seeking permission to use outdoor space until 11pm, a two-hour extension on its licence.

Councillors were due to make a decision on Monday, but after dozens of residents complained, the bar withdrew the application ‘‘out of respect for its neighbours’’.

Nearby residents had complained that any increase in hours would be too much to take.

One wrote: “The noise is already unbearable, with shouting and breaking glass on an almost nightly basis.

“It’s obscene that an extended licence is being considered. Crime will increase and so will loutish behaviour. I already have to keep my children inside after 7pm and I urge you to reject this application.”

Another said: “The situation has become intolerable in terms of public health safety (urinating, vomiting and defecating), noise and drug taking. To extend the licensing hours will only make matters worse.”

Many complained that the bar doesn’t stick to it’s current 9pm cut-off. They also voiced fears that any extension would exacerbate crime and anti-social behaviour in Farringdon, which has the highest concentration of bars in Islington.

One referred to the tragic death of Nicholas Henry, 33, who was stabbed outside a nightclub in Charterhouse Street in June, saying: “The recent death of an innocent man can only raise safety concerns in the area.”

The council received 24 letters of opposition, some on behalf of many residents.

The manager of Zinc House in Cowcross Street, which has 14 flats, said: “The last thing residents need is additional noise and smoking outside the pub right outside their apartments. Do residents not have a right to any quiet enjoyment? Do the many children not have some rights to a decent night’s sleep?”

Islington Council has sought to curb drink-related problems in Farringdon by designating it as part of a “saturation zone”, which makes it much tougher for new bars to open up.

Sports Bar and Grill solicitor Thomas O’Maoileoin said allowing customers outside until 11pm was normal practice for 99 per cent of bars and it had therefore hoped the application wouldn’t be controversial.

“The problems are from other licensed premises in the immediate vicinity that are allowed to have customers outside until they close,’’ he said.

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