CITY centre residents are taking a stand against proposed licensed premises just yards from their doors.
People in Lumley Place, behind Chester Visitor Centre, are concerned about pub group Barracuda’s licensing application for a Cape wine bar within the former telephone exchange building next door.
The premises was due to be a restaurant in a boutique hotel but that plan fell by the wayside when Travelodge took over.
Now it is intended the bar, with an application to open until 2.30am Monday to Saturday, would have its door just feet from residents’ homes.
If approved, the wine bar would join a number of new licensed premises in the area including the 1,400 capacity Cruise nightclub and the Pitcher and Piano bar, both in nearby St John Street, which are due to open shortly.
Resident Marcelle Goldberg, whose home is just 16 feet away, is worried about noise and litter as well as crime and disorder.
Marcelle, who works for estate agents Minchin Fellows, said: “Lumley Place is part of Chester’s heritage, It is also a Grade 2 listed address which is photographed by the public on a daily basis. I’ve often heard people asking ‘I wonder what kind of person lives in a house like that?’.”
“If the plans were to go ahead, the question would warrant a one word answer...foolish.
“Lumley Place is a tiny community where all the residents take care of one another.”
Adam O’Reilly, whose partner Lynette is expecting their first baby, has also rung The Chronicle to express concern about the proposals.
One neighbour has just celebrated her 91st birthday. Another family has suggested their loved one may have to move into sheltered accommodation if the application goes ahead.
Among objectors are Rev Father David Chesters, of St John’s Church across the road, Frank Marnell, secretary of the Licensed Victuallers Association, who is concerned about crime and disorder and Cruise nightclub which believes the venue would be too near Lumley Place and fear revellers would spill out onto a narrow pavement next to the busy inner ring road.
Licensing officer Guy Morris said Inspector Mel Williams of Cheshire police had also raised road safety concerns and asked about the possibility of installing a barrier. However, Mr Morris said county highways would “not even consider it” due to the current philosophy of removing clutter.
Barracuda PR manager Sarah Calderbank said Cape was a “high quality brand” keen to operate an outlet in Chester. The idea was to have lunch-time dining through to a party atmosphere at night.
The licensing hearing will be held on April 22.