New Hastings late-night bar granted premises licence

A new late night bar in Hastings has been granted a licence, although with shorter hours than requested by applicants.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 12:39 pm
20 Robertson Street, Hastings
20 Robertson Street, Hastings

Last week, a Hastings Borough Council licensing panel met to consider an application for a new “music, comedy and arts venue” at 20 Robertson Street, to be known as South Star. 

The applicants had been seeking permission to trade until 3am, which they argued would allow the business to hold late night live music, open mic and stand up comedy events.

However, the proposals had seen objections from Sussex Police due to its position within the town centre – a Cumulative Impact Area, where there are stronger restrictions on licensing.

As a result, police had called for an earlier 2am closing time and strict conditions on how many SIA-registered door staff the bar would need to have on site.

While the business had argued for more flexibility, councillors agreed with the police position.  

In a decision notice published this week, a council spokesman said: “The sub-committee noted its policy and the guidance it provided to applicants in the matrix, in respect of operating times for this type of premises in a Cumulative Impact Area.

“On hearing from the parties, the sub-committee believe the applicant has not demonstrated justification to depart from their policy. 

“The sub-committee believe the SIA condition is necessary to promote the licensing objectives given the police crime statistics for the area where the premises is located and for the safety of staff and public.”

Police had also requested a number of other conditions, which had been accepted by the applicants ahead of the meeting. These included CCTV and staff training. 

While the business accepted most of these conditions, it argued for more flexibility around how many door staff it would be required to have when holding “jam nights” on Thursday evenings.

The applicants also argued the 3am opening hours would be necessary for their business plan.

As part of these plans, the venue’s ground floor would be used in the daytime as a coffee and craft ale house, while a basement, which is sound proofed, would be used in the evenings for live music, open mics and stand up comedy.

To offset this, the applicant offered to limit last entry to 1am and to have an over 25s age restriction for entry. Neither of these conditions were added to the licence granted by councillors, however. 

The decision from the committee is still subject to appeal at the magistrates court.