Hastings bar makes fresh bid for late night opening over Christmas period

A Hastings bar has put in fresh bids for late night opening, after a similar proposal was refused permission last month.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 10:34 am
French's in Robertson Street, Hastings (Photo by Google Maps Street View)

On Friday (December 10), a Hastings Borough Council licensing panel is set to consider a bid to temporarily extend the opening hours of French’s, a late night bar in Robertson Street.

Using Temporary Event Notices (TENs), the bar is hoping to extend its opening hours from 3am to 5am on three nights this month — Saturday December 18, Sunday December 19 and Christmas Day. 

While French’s pointed to its good track record of managing similar events safely, a licensing panel issued a counter notice (preventing the night from going ahead) following an objection from Sussex Police.

As with the previous TEN, Sussex Police have objected to the December events taking place, arguing that the late hours would be “likely to undermine the licensing objectives of the prevention of crime and disorder, public nuisance and public safety.”

Police said this was because it had concerns around a rise in violent crime linked to the night-time economy in Hastings.

In a letter of objection, Inspector Kara Tombling of Sussex Police Licensing said: “Our records show that Robertson Street has the highest crime rate compared to any other location within the Cumulative Impact Zone. Robertson Street is part of Castle Ward which has the highest public place violence rate in Sussex.

“Crime is at its highest during the night time economy during weekdays as well as weekends. Overall we have seen an increase of approximately 49 per cent of public place violent crimes in the Castle Ward. 

“Allowing premises to increase the hours of alcohol consumption whilst crime rates are so high, would not only add to the increase in crime and disorder but also add pressure to the emergency services.”

The previous TEN was refused at a hearing on Monday, November 22. These latest TENs were submitted on November 29.

Huw Oxburgh , Local Democracy Reporting Service