RESIDENTS in a tranquil hamlet are protesting at the prospect of longer hours at a local pub.
They describe noise from events at The Calveley Arms, Whitchurch Road, Handley as “horrendous”.
The application in the quiet rural village, put forward by Kathryn Jayne Miller, is due to be decided by councillors at a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, July 29).
At present the pub’s hours are 10am to 11.20pm Monday to Saturday and noon to 10.50pm on Sunday.
Mrs Miller says she is seeking approval for the use of a beer garden at the pub for drinks sales and entertainment and to extend the licensing hours.
She is proposing to close at a quarter past midnight on Fridays and Saturdays with an extra hour around Bank Holidays.
Weekday evenings would see 11.30pm closing.
Amongst other activities which require approval, live music is proposed indoors and outdoors until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday again with an extra hour at bank holidays.
Entertainment could include the re-enactment of the St George’s Day pledge, murder mystery evenings, race nights, a brass band carol concert, special themed evenings, weddings, dance troupes, fashion shows and charity events but councillors will hear that following discussions, these would be restricted to just four a year with no more than one in any month.
No outside drinking would be allowed after 11pm other than on the four function days when 11.30pm would apply.
There would be no amplified music outdoors at any time except on the function days.
Licensing officers have had more than a dozen objections although some have been wholly or partly withdrawn following the agreement to limit the number of functions.
Whitchurch Road resident E O’Connor, the pub’s nearest neighbour, says noise can be “horrendous” and suggests 13 children live within 50 yards.
Car parking is said to be limited and residents are disturbed when people leave the pub.
Mr Derek Cross, who lives directly opposite, argues that marquees give no protection against noise while the Joy nson family have implored councillors to preserve Handley as a quiet, rural village.
Mrs T Bewley keeps horses and claims they have been upset and distressed by loud music from the beer garden.
Resident L Cairns, who has lived in the hamlet since 1983, suggests occupiers are expected to tolerate “outrageous noise pollution” from the beer garden while Handley and District Parish Council points out the pub is in the centre of the village.
Chairman Cllr Ron Stockton argues the pub is too small for functions and asks for the application to be rejected.
Mrs R Studley says the premises have previously been run successfully as a country pub without the need for a disco while K Almond describes the noise as “deafening”.
Tattenhall City Cllr Mike Jones (Con) suggests, on behalf of occupiers, that the beer garden should only be used to enable people to enjoy a quiet drink in the early evening.
The Bolesworth Estate, which leases the beer garden to Enterprise Inns, believes the licensee has “overstepped the mark” although it is keen to support local businesses.
Although the lease prohibits anything which would be a nuisance to neighbours, councillors will hear this is not a licensing matter.
Mrs Miller says any events would be overseen by the owners.
The family led business is food driven and doors and windows would be kept locked and closed when noise levels are high in the pub.
Neighbours would be notified and regular checks would be made on boundary noise.
Chester’s licensing act sub committee will meet on Tuesday July 29 at 10.30am at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to hear the application.