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Extended opening hours for Greenhithe pub

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 November 2018

A pub in Greenhithe has been given permission to extend its weekend opening hours despite concerns relating to noise and anti-social behaviour. Picture: Local democracy service

A pub in Greenhithe has been given permission to extend its weekend opening hours despite concerns relating to noise and anti-social behaviour. Picture: Local democracy service

Archant

A pub in Greenhithe has been given permission to extend its weekend opening hours despite concerns relating to noise and anti-social behaviour.

The Pier Hotel in the High Street will now be able to serve alcohol for an extra hour on Friday and Saturday evenings – until 12.30am – with a drink-up period of 30 minutes.

Concerns were submitted to Dartford Borough Council by local residents, who complained of “noise” and “bad-languaged behaviour” from customers leaving at the end of the night.

Incidents included people sitting on window ledges, drunken arguments on the phone, and the slamming of taxi doors.

Carly Brook told councillors on Friday (November 9): “There is not a group of people who do not like the pub – the general consensus is the pub and the way it is run is a good thing.

“The reason for the objections is because of the anti-social behaviour that patrons from the pub – mostly those leaving – could be described as a public nuisance which really affects the quality of life.”

Neither Kent Police or the council’s environmental health team raised concerns, with the letter having never received any complaints from residents.

Ms Brook suggested this may be down to relationships formed with Phil Grigg, who has been landlord at The Pier for 12 years.

She added: “I’m quite different from other residents in that I’ve only been there four months. From what I hear, Phil is quite charasmatic and a nice guy.

“He has a friendship with a lot of these residents – particularly some of them are quite old – and they think if they report something it kind of goes against that. I’m here as a bit of a renegade.”

Bryan Parry, who has lived on the High Street for 40 years, also spoke against the application. He said the noise created by the pub is a problem in his home.

He added: “Being in a conservation area, buildings do not benefit from modern soundproofing – including double glazing – so our properties are noise sensitive.

“When there is regulated entertainment with loud music, we can hear it throughout the house and it can prevent us from enjoying our home and getting to sleep.”

In a bid to mitigate some of the complaints, the applicant removed the request to extend the playing of recorded music at the pub until 12.30am on Friday and Saturday nights.

But other suggested measures such as having door staff and noise limiters were deemed to be “excessive” by solicitor George Domleo, who represented the applicant.

He said The Pier has had 27 temporary event notices in recent years, allowing the pub to stay open until up to 2am, and there have never been any complaints.

Mr Domleo added: “We’re not changing the concept – it’s just the extra hour to allow customers to stay and enjoy what’s on offer at the Pier instead of going to other premises.

“Phil and his wife live on the site, so they are local residents. They don’t want customers congregating outside at the end of the night – that’s the last thing he wants for himself, his wife, and local residents.”

The extended hours were granted with some restrictions including no admission after midnight, and the banning of drinks being taken outside at the front of the pub.

Mr Grigg was told he must ensure customers do not smoke at the front door, although people who have left for the night still can. He was heard whispering: “I can’t enforce that – how can I enforce that?”

Licensing sub-committee chairman Arron Bardoe (Con) concluded: “I appreciate the residents’ concerns and they have formed a large part of what has changed between the original application and today.

“I’m very aware of the problems, and if there are further instances the committee has the option to call the application back in.”

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