A pub that has regularly broken its licensing conditions and been accused of “not caring less” has had its late licence removed.
The White Hart Hotel, based in Ampthill town centre, will now be forced to stop selling alcohol and playing music at 11.30pm, and to close at midnight. It was previously allowed to stay open until 2.30am on Fridays, 1.30pm on Saturdays and midnight on Sundays.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the licensing sub-committee of Central Beds Council on Tuesday where a review of the licence was discussed.
Members also took the decision to remove the designated premises supervisor (DPS) Salik Miah from post as licensee. The pub is run by company Punch Taverns Ltd.
Technical officer in the public protection department at Central Beds Council Alan Stone called for the review following numerous complaints from residents over the last few years, and the meeting was packed out with frustrated neighbours.
One resident Alexander Pelling told the committee: “There is a great deal of evidence of serious breaches of conditions by the licensee. You have the report that states not just this, but one particular incident that despite repeated complaints, he simply did nothing.
“He could not care less about the council’s own public protection officer, so it is very hard to imagine he care about local people.
“It is my experience that locally people are mindful of this kind of thing, but this is an example of a landlord that could not care less.”
His wife Jenny added that she had suffered from sleep deprivation due to the loud music coming from the venue over numerous weekends. The couple live just four buildings away, and they told the committee they could here the music in their own house.
Other residents reported having to repeatedly wipe blood and vomit off their cars and driveways and seeing and hearing fights between “drunken” customers leaving the premises.
The meeting was also attended by partnership development manager Edwin Mater at Punch Taverns Ltd, who admitted the pub was guilty of the accusations from the members of the public.
But pleaded for the committee and residents to give them one more chance to prove the venue could be run properly.
They added that there were not problems every weekend and there had been long periods where there had been no complaints at all.
After the meeting a spokesman for Punch Taverns Lts said: ““It is always our priority that our pubs provide a safe and welcoming environments for responsible adults to enjoy good drink, food and entertainment.
“We are co-operating fully as part of the review process and continue to work very closely with the local authorities to address any issues.”