THE NEW Stade Hall is set to be given the go-ahead to sell alcohol, despite residents’ fears of increased crime and anti-social behaviour.
Hastings Borough Council (HBC) has applied for a premises licence for the new development in the Old Town which will be discussed at a licensing sub-committee meeting on Thursday (October 13).
If it gets approved, the Stade Hall will be able to sell alcohol from 9am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday.
The council submitted the application back in July.
Old Town residents led by Dick Edwards, chairman of the Hastings Old Town Residents Association (HOTRA), are up in arms.
Mr Edwards has penned his objections in a letter to Bob Brown, the council’s licensing manager.
He said: “Alcohol will be sold for a total of 104 hours a week and HOTRA believes this is excessive.
“The emerging pattern of use of the Stade Hall, which opened in March, is predominantly for public exhibitions. We want the sale of alcohol to be limited to 10 hours per week.”
The Old Town has one of the highest concentrations of cafes, bars and pubs in East Sussex.
Sussex Police has voiced no objections to the council’s bid.
But the council says it is safeguarding the interests of the charitable trust set to run the Stade Hall, by giving it maximum flexibility to set its own agenda over alcohol.
Kevin Boorman, the council’s head of marketing and communication, said: “The council is working with the trustee designates to ensure that the building gets the best possible support for the community. We are not intending to turn it into a 100 hour a week drinking bar. We want to give the trustees as much discretion as possible in their letting policy.”
The hall is to be handed over to a group of eight trustee designates, comprising local community figures.