Extra drink time at Connah's Quay 'trouble hotspot'


Owen Evans

A COMPROMISE has been reached over a controversial bid to extend a hotel’s licensing hours.

A committee decided the Albion Hotel in Connah’s Quay, which was branded a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, could serve alcohol until midnight on Monday until Saturday, and 11pm on Sundays.

That is up from the current licence which allowed drink to be served until 11pm on Monday to Saturday and 10.30pm on Sundays.

The applicant, Lee Owen, wanted to extend the hours to allow booze to flow until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays –  but Flintshire Council’s licensing committee rejected that.

The hotel has been closed for a number of months but is now expected to reopen under new management.

Speaking after the meeting, resident Peter O’Donnell said: “I’m pleased they’re not going to be open until 2am.

“It’s a victory but it’s a bit of a shallow victory because the place will still be reopened and that is not what we wanted.”

The committee also decided that events, including boxing, wrestling, entertainment, live music and dancing could be provided at the venue between the hours of 10am and 11.30pm on Monday to Saturday and until 10.30pm on Sunday.

When live boxing or wrestling events take place, the applicant must provide 14 days notice to North Wales Police.

The licence changes will also be subject to a six-month review.

Before the meeting, a 180-name petition against the extension was submitted, as well as eight letters of objection.

Several third parties also spoke  against the plans.

Cllr Jill Faulkner, speaking on behalf of the Pen y Llan Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said: “There has been a history of people coming out at midnight with them urinating against walls, vomitting on the streets and even leaving blood on the floor.

“It was heartbreaking listening to what the residents have been through.

“It doesn’t matter how well-meaning the licencee’s intentions are, once customers are off the premises they’re no longer the licencee’s responsibility.”

Connah’s Quay councillor Bernie Attridge said he was “dumbfounded” that North Wales Police had recommended the aplpication to serve until 2am on Friday and Saturday be approved.

He said: “I’m lost for words that North Wales Police can recommend this.

“Officer after officer for years has complained about the Albion.
“Residents have put up for years and years with problems at the Albion.

“There is not a single other premises in Connah’s Quay with a 2am licence.”

Applicant Lee Owen, who was speaking on behalf of Saxon Leisure which runs a number of pubs, said in the past there had been problems with underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.

But he assured the committee it would not be a problem under their company.

He said: “It was only recently revealed to us about the history of the premesis. We were told every available police unit was on the car park for fighting on a Friday night.

I can say straight away that is the opposite of what we want.”

He added the pub would be aimed at over 25s.

See full story in the Leader

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