Row over Sheffield bar’s late licence application

The Bowery, Devonshire Street, Sheffield.
The Bowery, Devonshire Street, Sheffield.
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PLANS to extend opening hours at a Sheffield nightspot would ‘greatly damage’ the quality of life of nearby residents – but bosses say they are essential to keep businesses afloat.

Residents of Sheffield city centre have threatened to appeal against council tax levels if the planning committee agrees to allow The Bowery to remain open until 3am seven-days-a-week.

Campaigners say if the application is successful it will, which they say will set a dangerous precedent for other pubs and clubs.

The bar, which opened in 2008 and is backed by Arctic Monkey Matt Helders, is just outside a designated residential area restricting night time use to 12.30am and opens until 1.30am at weekends.

Excessive noise levels, anti-social behaviour and litter have all been cited as reasons for the objections but owners plan to invest in soundproofing if new opening times are given the green light.

Peter Sephton, chairman of Sheffield City Centre Residents’ Action Group, said: “This must be resisted. Consideration is being given for an appeal against council tax levels in areas where this kind of application has been granted on the grounds residents’ living conditions are being steadily eroded by council action to permit longer pub opening hours.

“There has to be a balance between the night-time economy and city centre living. Agreeing to this would greatly damage that balance for residents.”

Central Ward Coun Jillian Creasy said: “To remove the condition restricting opening hours would have a truly detrimental effect on residents opposite. ”

Bowery boss James O’Hara, who is also behind Sheffield’s Tramlines music festival, said: “We would not do this without investing in soundproofing. I am a city centre resident myself so I am well aware of their concerns.

“The pub industry has changed – booze is so cheap from supermarkets that people are coming out later and we are trying to respond to that and keep jobs.

“This would bring us in line with other bars in the area. It’s not out of the ordinary and we’re not doing anything radical.”

Sheffield Council has not yet set a date to hear the application.