Second Brighton pub told its garden is not ‘covid secure’

Posted On 12 Apr 2021 at 3:08 pm

The Dover Castle’s pub garden

A second Brighton pub has been told its garden is not ‘covid secure’ by the council.

The Dover Castle on Southover Street was planning on reopening today at 4pm, and had spruced up its courtyard garden to welcome customers.

But with just a couple of hours to go, the pub posted on Facebook that the advice from Brighton and Hove City Council meant it could not reopen.

The Caxton Arms in North Gardens had previously been told by the council its basement garden was not covid secure, but this decision was reversed at lunchtime.

However, the council insisted that although its been visiting pubs to give advice, it had not told any with outdoor seating areas they could not reopen.

The Dover Castle’s Facebook page said: “It is with a heavy heart, we have to tell all in the community that we’ve been instructed by the council our outdoor area is not covid secure, and therefore we cannot open until May 17.

“We are so upset and disappointed, the whole team have been busy making the pub sparkle for you in this long awaited return.

“We will share more news on the next reopening nearer the time.”

The pub’s small courtyard garden has a longstanding roofed shelter covering about a third of the garden, and a large umbrella can also be put up if required.

Bartender Anna said: “The explicit point from the council was that we cannot use the covered part of our garden, nor the rest of the tables outside when we have the large umbrella cover over the whole garden, so therefore it is not worth it for us.

“It is frustrating and we are currently trying to work with them to see if there’s any amendments we can do to make this work for all parties but we are just disappointed right now.”

She pointed out that many Brighton pubs have similar courtyard gardens surrounded by high walls.

A council spokesperson said: “We’re very keen for our hospitality businesses to be able to open up safely. We sent them guidance a few weeks ago about what is permitted under the latest national legislation, and we sent it again last week.

“The guidance includes various pictures and diagrams. We believe it is easy to understand.

“Our staff are in the process of visiting every pub that is reopening.

“Our role is to make sure venues comply with national legislation. We don’t have any local discretion.

“The rules for venues have changed since the previous opening late last year.

“In the case of the Dover Castle, their outdoor structure was ok for last year’s opening when indoor hospitality was available.

“However, they will have to adapt the structure in order for it to comply with the latest national guidance.

“We are now working with the pub to find a solution, and we very much hope they will be able to reopen as soon as possible.”

  1. Greens Out Reply

    so it’s pretty much the same set up/layout as The Sidewinder whih IS allowed to open?

    This council and its officials make no sense whatsoever.

    • ChrisC Reply

      The council are implementing the rules set by the government just as every other council is.

      And ‘pretty much the same’ isn’t the same as identical.

      Each venue is assessed against its compliance with the rules.

      In this case the open part complies (as long as the umbrella isn’t used) but the part under the fixed roof doesn’t.

      The landlord then chose not to open the pub. That’s not the same as being told they couldn’t open at all.

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