Late bar plan turned down

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PLANS to extend the opening hours of a Doncaster town centre bar have been turned down after police raised concerns about its impact.

The borough’s licensing committee rejected the bid by The Lounge Bar, at Lazarus Court, after police raised concerns about its plans to open until 3am. It currently shuts at 1.30am.

But they gave the go-ahead for another bar on the same street, The Social Bar, to extend into another unit, increasing its capacity from 170 to 225.

Committee’s vice chairman Coun Ken Keegan said the extension at The Lounge Bar was turned down because it was part of what police call the town centre cumulative impact zone.

He said: “We turned it down on a crime and disorder issue.

“We think it would impact on crime and disorder if you have too many venues turning out drinkers at the same time.

“We wanted to avoid that because it means you have everyone on the streets at the same time.

“Staggering it means there are fewer people on the streets at closing time.”

He added police had been satisfied with the application to extend capacity at The Social Bar.

Doncaster Council’s licensing department had asked for a report in relation to offending linked to Lazarus Court and how it featured against Silver Street and the rest of the town centre.

It stated between February 2010 and February 2011 the town centre recorded 781 crimes relating to the evening economy, of which 395 were recorded as violent offences. Lazarus Court, previously known as Bradford Row, was the sixth highest.

Police said in the report that the key time for policing on Silver Street was 10pm until 2am. At Lazarus Court it was 1am until 4am.

Officers said allowing it to open later would pose a major problem to the policing of that area and for the rest of the town centre as a whole.