A Hove pub can stay open after midnight after councillors agreed to vary an existing planning permission at a virtual meeting this afternoon (Wednesday 7 April).
The Sussex Cricketer – which has been demolished and is being rebuilt by the County Ground in Eaton Road – will be able to stay open until 12.30am.
When the £20 million new building – which includes 37 flats – was granted planning permission last year, one of the conditions required the pub to close at 11.30pm.
But Sussex Cricket Estate – a subsidiary of the cricket club – applied to Brighton and Hove City Council to vary the planning condition which it said was “unacceptable”.
It said that a review of nearby pubs and bars found that four – the Blind Busker, the Palmeira, the Station and the Exchange – all under a mile away all closed at 12.30am.
And the Sussex Cricketer had a 12.30pm closing time before work started on the current scheme.
Council planning manager Nicola Hurley said that the applicant had agreed to better sound insulation than required between the commercial premises and the flats in the nine-storey block.
The cricket club had also agreed other noise management measures, such as closing the outside terrace and shutting doors and windows by 10.30pm and putting up signs asking customers to be quiet when leaving.
The club said that “it is important for the long-term viability of the pub” that it was not restricted in a way that hampered “its ability to trade effectively and meet the reasonable needs of its customer base in a competitive local trading environment”.
It said: “Varying the existing restriction on opening hours will allow the pub to compete fairly with other later-night venues within the city.”
Conservative councillor Carol Theobald was concerned about people causing late-night noise and disturbance as they left the pub.
Independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh was also concerned about noise outside and said that late at night the noise would travel.
Their comments echoed objections from about 20 neighbours – but the Planning Committee was told that the outside terrace used to stay open later than 10.30pm before the pub closed for demolition.
Labour councillor Chris Henry, a customer of the old pub, said that people who lived in the area had already been used to the previous opening hours.
And, he said, those moving into the new flats would do so knowing what the pub’s hours were going to be.
Green councillor Leo Littman, who chairs the council’s Planning Committee, said that he started his stag night at the pub some years ago.
More pertinently, he added that “superior” soundproofing was already included in the planning conditions.
The Planning Committee voted unanimously for the later hours.
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