Angry residents want to appeal refusal for new Derby café bar - but told they can't

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Some residents expressed noise fears to the council

Residents livid over a controversial decision to refuse plans to open a new café bar on a Derby street say they want to launch an appeal – but they have been told categorically that they can’t.

Earlier this month councillors on Derby City Council’s general sub-licensing committee refused an application to open a new venue on Arthur Street – potentially transforming a former corner shop that is currently standing empty.

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The application submitted by company Justmooching Limited – which previously ran nearby pub the New Zealand Arms – proved controversial due to the company’s desire to sell alcohol.

As a result, a number of residents expressed noise fears to the council, fearing rowdy drunks would ruin a “quiet” Derby street. They claimed the new venue would trigger anti-social behaviour problems and the café bar would be run like a “pub in disguise” – something which was strongly denied by the applicant.

The management team of Justmooching Limited told the hearing on August 31 that the opening of the venue would not lead to trouble. They said they wanted to “enhance the area, not destroy it”.

However, despite their case being heard, councillors Martin Rawson, John Wright and Alan Lindsay decided to refuse the application.

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Readers talking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service expressed upset that the plans were refused. Reaction to the “hugely disappointing” decision was echoed in a public question ahead of a full Derby City Council meeting on Wednesday (September 20) to a council cabinet member. The question and answer was published shortly before the start of the meeting.

Lucy Giuliano said: “My neighbours and I are hugely disappointed by the decision of the licensing committee to refuse the application for a premises licence for 40 Arthur Street on the grounds of alcohol sale despite close proximity to the Five Lamps Pub, and other similar successful and undisruptive venues such as The Creaky Floorboard and Little Chester Green Ale House.

“It would have boosted the local community and instead a boarded-up shop will remain in its place. As many of us were not aware of how to support the application, or that we could attend the hearing, may I please ask how we can appeal this decision?”

But Derby City Council has replied to Ms Giuliano’s question by stating residents are unable to appeal the refusal decision made by the committee. The only party that can appeal in this case, should it wish to do so, is the applicant and that must be within a time period of 21 days.

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The Labour cabinet response says: “Each application for a premises licence is dealt with on its own merits and other premises that operate within the surrounding area cannot be taken into consideration when making a decision about 40 Arthur Street. If anyone from the local community contacted the licensing team during the application process, advice would have been given about how to submit a representation in support of the application allowing them an opportunity to speak at the hearing.

“If no representation is received then members of the public can attend the hearing, but they do not have permission to speak. The only parties that can appeal to the magistrates’ court within 21 days of the decision are the applicants and those that made representations.”

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