Hotel neighbours tell of drunk guests on their doorsteps

Artist Residence

A city centre hotel caught breaking the rules of its current licence is facing a clutch of objections to its bid to keep its bar open later.

Neighbours of Artists Residence in Regency Square, Brighton, say they already find drunk customers drinking on their doorsteps and leaning against their cars.

In March, Brighton and Hove City Council licensing officer Becky Pratley and Sussex Police licensing officer Hannah Staplehurst visited and found a number of breaches to its licence.

This included a pop-up bar operating out of the basement until midnight, outside the licensed area and hours, as well as broken CCTV cameras.

All conditions were complied with by April when the new application was submitted, but council licensing officers and neighbours are still concerned.

The hotel currently has two different ones for 33 and 34 Regency Square, the two houses which form the hotel, and so has applied to sell alcohol in both addresses from 10am to 11pm, Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Eleven neighbours have objected to the new licence. One, whose details were redacted from the council’s website said: “On two different evenings I’ve had to step over intoxicated Artist Residence customers who have sat smoking and drinking on the steps.

“They wouldn’t move to let me through on either occasion. I felt uncomfortable and in the morning there were cigarette butts, glass bottles and wine bottles left behind on our stairs.”

This neighbour also complained about people leaning against their car while drinking and tables and chairs placed out on the pavement.

Another neighbour wrote: “Noise pollution at both the front and back of my property from loud music being played inside is a constant nuisance, the volume levels are often way too high.

“Guests are told by the door staff to move along and spread out with the guests often residing on the steps outside my own front door where I frequently find empty drinking glasses from the hotel and cigarette butts.”

In its objection the licensing authority highlights the hotel is in Brighton and Hove’s cumulative impact area, where extra restrictions are in place for new licences.

Both the council and Sussex Police are concerned no restaurant conditions are included in the application, which would make it a pub.

Sussex Police licensing inspector Rob Lovell also raised concerns about off site sales.

He said: “The location of the premises is on Regency Square which suffers from a high about of anti-social behaviour, of which there have been a number of calls to police over the last month.

“This raises further concerns over the fact off sales have been added to this application, as alcohol could be purchased at the hotel and consumed on Regency Square causing a potential increase in public nuisance.”

A limit of four smokers on the doorstep outside from 11pm to 8am was put forward to prevent public nuisance, along with a phone number available to neighbours to make any complaints.

The licence covers the whole ground floor bar and restaurant as well as a basement meeting room and bar.

Artists Residence was approached for comment.

The application goes before a Licensing Panel of three city councillors at Hove Town Hall from 10am on Monday 24 June.

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