A SOUTH African restaurant has failed in a bid to extend its opening hours due to fears over noise caused by departing customers.

Jabula Restaurant and Coffee Shop in South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, wanted to increase its daily closing time by an hour-and-a-half to 2am, apart from Sunday, which would allow them to sell alcohol until 1.30am.

But the borough council’s environmental protection unit was opposed to owner Annemarie Groenewald’s application because residents in the nearby apartments would be disturbed by people leaving the premises.

However, following talks between the unit and Jabula, the two parties reached an agreement on the restaurant opening until 2am on bank holiday weekends and New Year’s Eve, and this change was given the go-ahead by licensing councillors on Thursday.

As part of the revised premises license, the restaurant will be able to provide live and recorded African music, dancing and workshops, and late-night refreshments.

The environment protection unit report said: “The location concerned takes on a quiet residential character at night and this unit is concerned that the noise from patrons leaving the premises will be intrusive to residents.

“There are no practical means of controlling this noise other than restricting hours of opening. Whilst this unit has no desire to curb the development of a night-time economy, it is felt that 2am every night of the week is excessive.

“The restaurant currently has permission to stay open until 12.30am which this unit considers more than adequate for a restaurant.

“However, given there is no history of complaints relating to this premises and that it is considered to be well managed, the unit has no objections to late closing on New Year’s Eve and selected other nights.”