Town centre publican keen to improve business

General Havelock
General Havelock

A TOWN centre publican keen to extend his opening hours and offer live music to improve business, faces opposition from some quarters.

Jamie Butler, the licensee of the General Havelock, in Havelock Road, has applied to extend the Friday and Saturday opening hours until 2.30am, and until midnight the rest of the week.

He has also requested a licence for live and recorded music, dancing, film showings, and plays.

Mr Butler wrote in a statement submitted to Hastings Borough Council in support of the application: “The pub has now been open for approximately two months and the initial feedback is encouraging however the constraints of the current licence arrangements make it difficult to function in a competitive environment.

“I fully understand your concerns of this public house in a central saturation zone and all of the difficulties that it presents.

“In conclusion I would rather be judged by my successes rather than the failures of the previous licensee and feel sure that I can establish a calm, safe and mature adult environment for the over 21s who wish to use the town centre during the weekends.”

David Bell, principal environmental health officer, expressed his concern regarding the potential noise generated by later opening hours and music, stating in a letter to licensing manager Bob Brown: “I have long had concerns about the general noise climate in the town centre area during unsocial hours especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

“I am concerned that these proposals will add to the noise.”

He recommended that the application be refused.

Sussex Police also submitted a representation against the varying of licence conditions at the General Havelock.

Chief inspector Heather Keating stated: “The grant of a variation for the premises licence for these premises...will give rise to potential negative cumulative impact via an increase in public nuisance and crime and disorder.”

The application, made on June 13, will be discussed by the council’s Licensing Sub-Committee on Tuesday (August 14).