A MOLD pub has had its licensed hours cut and live music licence revoked due to anti-social behaviour and noise nuisance amongst other complaints.

The Ruthin Castle pub on New Street had its premises licence reviewed by Flintshire Council’s sub-licensing committee after the authority, the police, town council and residents flagged up numerous complaints about the venue.

Licensing failures related to prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, and prevention of noise nuisance which sometimes occurred into the early hours of the morning.

The most recent tenants closed and vacated the pub on September 1 and it has yet to reopen.

Gemma Potter, the council’s licensing team leader said she first became aware of problems in April when anti-social behaviour, noise, and litter were reported and this continued up to August.

Live and recorded music and karaoke was also a problem, an action plan was put in place to get to grips with the problems but did not succeed.

Ms Potter said: “The contents of the complaints worsened and residents expressed an inability to fully enjoy being in their homes, particularly on weekends and evenings into the early hours of morning.

“Every effort was made to engage with the premises management and pub company.

“In order to avoid following certain aspects of the plan put in place they (the tenants) had fashioned a fence panel to the rear of the premises into a gate through which access was being allowed after the agreed times with no regard to the safety of those entering and exiting.

“CCTV didn’t cover that area of the premises nor the alleyway customers were being permitted to enter and exit from.

“Customers also exited in this manner to fight with one or another away from the visibility from those managing the premises or acting in a security role.

“Those employed in a security role at the premises were assisting in admitting customers through the fence panel.”

Officers were not given access to CCTV. And it was felt the licensing requirements had been undermined.

The Ruthin Castle Pub is one of thousands of tenanted pubs owned by EI which was purchased by Stonegate. The tenant runs the pub in lieu of rent but Stonegate EI is responsible for the pub running lawfully and in accordance with licensing.

The Leader: Ruthin Castle pub, Mold.Ruthin Castle pub, Mold. (Image: Google)

Stonegate representatives apologised and put forward alternative opening hours and conditions at the meeting in a bid to be able to reopen the pub in the future. They sought to retain the ability to play recorded music and pledged to leave the premises closed until a new operator is identified.

Richard Taylor, solicitor for Stonegate, said: “We appear here today embarrassed and with an apology to all of those affected by the failure to deal with the issues highlighted.

“We accept we left Gemma (Potter) with no place to go, the only option was to launch review proceedings. We don’t take issue with anything said in the review papers.

“What is clear here is these aren’t problem premises. Residents have been very clear the issue started in April. What we’ve got is a good pub that operated without difficulty but things went drastically wrong.”

He added: “There was a failure of communication for things to go up the chain here.

“When Mr Wright (Paul Wright the licensing director) became involved he ordered the tenancy to be forfeited and the pub closed.

“We want everyone to be confident that the people we are seeking to operate the premises as new tenants are going to operate it in a manner that is acceptable.”

Paul Wright, Stonegate pub company licensing director, apologised on behalf of Stonegate EI and “wholeheartedly” apologised to residents.

Saltney Ferry Cllr Richard Lloyd said it was “admirable” the company had held its hands up but questioned why it had not stepped in earlier.

Mr Wright said poor recruitment and the area manager not following processes led to the failings but “that matter has been dealt with”.

Cllr Lloyd said he was all for pubs remaining open and that it would be a shame to lose one.

“It’s a pub and not a nightclub, and to me it turned into a nightclub, let’s have it remain as a pub”, he added.

Representing residents, Phillip Jones who has lived next door for 20 years said the last thing locals wanted to see was an empty pub but they wanted to “see it go back to how it used to be, run as a family pub”.

He said: “It was the anti-social behaviour still going on until 3am, people still coming out of the pub intoxicated. It was like being in Ibiza on holiday, a Club 18-30 type of thing.

“There was also the fighting, the arguing. People couldn’t go home quietly.

Charlotte Carr representing North Wales Police’s licensing officer said all of the reported incidents they were called to, including a bottling incident, happened in the early hours of the morning.

After deliberations, the committee decided on new licensing conditions for the premises going forward, read out by chair, Greenfield Cllr Rosetta Dolphin.

The conditions are;

  • Permitted hours for all licensed activities; Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 11pm, closing at 11.30pm, Friday to Saturday, 10am to midnight, with closing at 12.30am, New Year’s Eve 10am-1am, closing at 1.30am, Bank Holiday’s and Christmas Eve, 10am to 1am, closing at 1.30am.
  • Live music not permitted at any time.
  • Customers not permitted to remove glassware or glass bottles from inside the premises.
  • The premises licence holder to draw up and implement a taxi and private hire vehicle policy to ensure vehicles collecting and dropping off customers do not create a nuisance for residents.
  • Customers cannot enter the premises less than 30 minutes before the serving of alcohol stops.