City bar’s late opening bid sparks fury

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A BAR which has been the site of 15 per cent of late-night crimes on Sheffield’s busy West Street has applied to extend its opening hours permanently.

For the last year Players Sports Bar has had a temporary licence allowing it to open until 1.30am on Fridays and Saturday nights. The licence runs out tomorrow and bosses want to make the changes permanent.

Police have submitted figures to Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board, which show that, of the 410 crimes committed in pubs and clubs on West Street in the last 12 months, 60 crimes - 15 per cent - have occurred in Players.

Despite the numbers South Yorkshire Police have not objected to the application, praising the “well-run” and “co-operative” operation of the venue.

But objections have come from neighbours and ward councillor Jillian Creasy, who said managers “cannot control the behaviour of inebriated people queuing to get in”.

She added: “The police do not have the resources to control what they consider to be ‘normal’ anti-social behaviour.”

One neighbour, in a letter to councillors, said Players had been “a constant source of anti-social behaviour since its birth” and added: “I cannot tell you how much heartache this bar has caused.”

Council planning officers have recommended the application be approved when councillors discuss it at the Town Hall tomorrow.