Separate bids to extend hours at Hastings takeaway and bar in late December opposed by police

Sussex Police have put forward further objections to bids to extend the opening hours of licenced premises in Hastings.

Friday, 17th December 2021, 4:54 pm
Top: Dragon Bar, below: Flames Grill

Next week, licensing panels from Hastings Borough Council are set to consider two applications to temporarily extend the opening hours of businesses in Hastings.

Both applications have seen objections raised by Sussex Police due to concerns over violent crime linked to the night time economy in Hastings.  

The first comes from Flames Grill, a takeaway restaurant in Havelock Road, which has put in Temporary Event Notice (TEN) in hopes of extending its opening hours from 3am to 5am on Christmas Day. The hearing is due to be held on Wednesday, December 22.

The second, also using a TEN, comes from Dragon Bar in George Street, which hopes to extend its public operating hours from 11pm to 2am on New Year’s Eve. The bar also plans to hold a staff and family party until 4am the same night.  The hearing is due to be heard on Thursday, December 23.

Both premises fall within areas covered by the Hastings Cumulative Impact Policy, where licensing applications are not considered individually but as part of a wider picture.

This is a key part of the police objection, as the force is concerned about a rise in violent crime linked to the night time economy since the lifting of lockdown. 

As a result, police object to both applications, saying they would undermine the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder, public nuisance and maintaining public safety.   

In recent weeks, Sussex Police has put forward similar objections to three TENs applications submitted by French’s, a late night bar in Robertson Street.

During hearings on those TENs, police representatives said the force was not basing its objections on the individual premises, but has adopted a policy of blanket objections while crime rates remain high.

Notably, however, the police objection to the Flames Grill TEN says Castle ward now has the fourth highest rate of public violence in Sussex, not the first as previously reported.

The applications are set to be considered at public hearings where both police and the applicants can put forward their views. 

After considering evidence from both sides, councillors will decide whether the events can go ahead.

The applicants will have the right to appeal in court, but given the tight timescales it is unlikely that such a right could be exercised.