Landlords at Stewarts Wine Bar in Western Road have applied to Basildon Council to stay open until 2.30am on Friday, Saturdays & Sundays leading into bank holidays and serve alcohol until 2am.
The bar also wants to stay open until 1am the rest of the week and serve alcohol until 12.30am. However, the application, which will be considered by Basildon Council’s licensing committee later this summer, has been met with fears from local residents.
A total of 18 people voiced their concerns at a meeting of Billericay Town Council and the authority will now be forwarding their objections to Basildon Council.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Terry Gandy, Billericay town councillor"]The problem is that I know people living locally have, in the past, complained about the noise, so this application could cause an issue for nearby residents. Eighteen people have raised objections to the bar, so the town council is duty bound to take their concerns to Basildon Council.[/quote]
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Stephen Horgan, borough councillor for Billericay West"]We have in Billericay got to balance the need to have a decent evening economy with not affecting the quality of life of residents. There are people who live right on the High Street near this bar and they have the right to a decent night’s sleep.[/quote]
As part of the application the bar’s management said they will employ door staff from 9pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays leading into bank holidays and will install a CCTV system to deter any troublemakers. They have also outlined plans to serve booze in toughened glass to minimize possible injury.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Terry Comitti"]At the moment the bar is very run down and is an eyesore, and it’s been branded as not a very nice place to go. Since I took over, it’s been gradually improving. I’ve been strict on it being over-21s. Before, it had a few bad incidents with fights, and since I took over there’s been none of that. I’m just trying to make it more upmarket.[/quote]
Responding to residents’ fears about noise, Mr Comitti said he had allocated a sum of money for soundproofing the venue, and was working with police to provide extra door staff.
Other plans submitted in January 2011 to change frontage of Stewarts wine bar to include large glass windows and change the name to 'Vetro' were also declined due to Billericay High Street being in a conservation area.