THE owner of a Sheffield pub has accused the council of operating an unfair planning policy – after councillors refused to allow him to extend opening times to match those of his competitors.
Kane Yeardley, who reopened The York in Broomhill a year ago as a pub and restaurant, wants to stay open an hour later each night – until 12.30am in the week, and 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.
His staff have to call last orders before competitors The Broomhill Tavern round the corner, and The Fox and Duck on the same street.
Before Mr Yeardley’s company Forum Cafe Bars Ltd bought The York, the pub served until the same time as the other pubs in Broomhill.
But when he originally applied to revamp the pub, officers took the opportunity to rein in opening hours.
Now a meeting of the city centre, south and east planning board has refused his application to extend the hours.
Mr Yeardley told The Star: “We would like to compete on a fair, open field and it seems unfair that we have to close earlier than our competitors, when we have really invested in refurbishing the pub.
“We have never had any disturbance, and a lot of our customers don’t understand why we can’t open until the same time as The Broomhill Tavern and The Fox and Duck.”
Planning officer Chris Heeley told councillors the other pubs in Broomhill are still operating under rules put in place before planning laws were written and only the terms of their licence dictate when they close.
He said: “The inconsistency arises when there are no planning controls.”
Mr Heeley said the issue was muddied by an ongoing effort to get takeaways in Broomhill to stick to their opening hours after complaints of young people congregating late at night.
He said: “We are fighting quite a difficult battle trying to bring takeaways into line. It does cause difficulty with trying to disperse customers late at night.
“We feel the more premises that are open later, the worse the problem will be.”
More than 50 nearby neighbours submitted objections to the later opening hours.
Broomhill Action and Neighbourhood Group member John Birtwhistle said: “We are very pleased this has become a very well-managed community pub. That is why we are disappointed it is trying to go after a different, nocturnal, clientele.”