Residents’ concerns after Sheffield city bars apply for later opening

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A group of city centre residents is calling on Sheffield Council not to approve plans to allow bars to open late at night near a block of apartments.

West One Plaza, just off West Street, has been subject to a one-year late night opening trial for its bars and restaurants.

But Peter Sephton, chairman of Sheffield City Centre Residents’ Action Group, says making the change permanent would have a detrimental effect on residents due to noise.

Mr Sephton said: “When it opened, the plaza was designated as being within a residential zone, where pubs and restaurants are required to close at 12.30am.

“Over the past ten years the plaza has changed from being mainly retail outlets to mainly pubs and restaurants and in October 2013 an application for later opening at weekends to 1.30am was approved for a twelve-month trial.

“SCCRAG has been monitoring the impact on residents living above and near the plaza and it is clear the change has caused enormous disruption to their lives.

“There will be a request to make the 1.30am closing time permanent.

“If the request is granted, the change will affect everyone who lives in the city centre by undermining the council’s own planning strategy.”

Chartered surveyors BNP Paribas has applied on behalf of Devonshire Green Holdings to allow opening until 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays and 1am on Thursdays.

It says the plaza risks losing business if the application is not granted.

Adding: “As a result of the increasing trend for customers of city centre bars to arrive at later hours than previously experienced, the bars at The Plaza are losing business as they are restricted from opening later. These bars and restaurants are unable to compete with other city centre operators, often in very close proximity, which is affecting viability of their continued operation.”

The application will be decided on March 24.