Pub fails in bid to extend opening hours

General Havelock
General Havelock

A TOWN centre publican has been refused permission to extend his weekend opening hours and play live music.

Jamie Butler is the landlord of the General Havelock, in Havelock Road, and also runs The North Star in Clarence Road.

He applied to extend the Friday and Saturday opening hours of the General Havelock until 2.30am, and until midnight the rest of the week, and also requested a licence for live and recorded music.

However objections were lodged by Environmental Health and Sussex Police on noise and public disorder grounds.

At a meeting of Hastings Borough Council’s licensing committee, Terry 0’Toole, a colleague speaking on behalf of Mr Butler, said: “Our vision is to take what is a town centre historic pub, that has had a bad reputation, and to turn it around.

“The bottom line is, we have to run a business.”

Currently the General Havelock only has a license to open until midnight Monday to Saturday, and 11.30pm on Sunday.

Following a question from Councillor Dawn Poole, it was established that despite the pub having a chequered history, since Mr Butler had taken on the licence earlier this year, the police had not been called out to the premises.

Greg Casey, from Environmental Health, said: “In short, our concerns relate to the lack of detail in the operating schedule, particularly relating to the use of amplified music and noise.”

Mr O’Toole added: “This is a complete learning curve for all of us. We all have to take a leap of faith sometimes.

“We are currently subsidising the General Havelock for £1,000 a week. We are in a critical situation.”

However, the committee concluded that Mr Butler had not proven that varying of the licensing conditions would not undermine the licensing objectives, and refused the application.

Mr Butler plans to appeal the decision.