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License granted for new ‘community’ micropub in Bebington

ByReport2

Nov 9, 2023

A SMALL new micro pub with a “nice, warm, homely” atmosphere hopes to open up in Wirral just after Christmas.

The new pub which will be called The Optimist aims to open at 9 Broadway in Bebington and would be similar to other businesses like the Bow Legged Beagle. It had hoped to open before Christmas but now expected it to be early January.

Steve Banton, who wants to set the new pub up, has been granted a licence approved to sell alcohol at a Wirral Council licensing meeting on November 8 but whether it opens still depends on a planning application getting the green light.

Mr Banton said: “We are trying to create a community feel and bring people together to enjoy drinks, board games, and a book share club. We are not trying to draw in huge numbers of people.”

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The new pub will seat about 38 people and Mr Banton said it would be “a nice warm homely place for people to enjoy a drink and have a conversation with friends.”

At the meeting, he said: “We want to create a great place for local residents and come and have a craft ale or a glass of wine. We’re going to invite in dog walkers and generally create a nice place for people to come and have a drink.”

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The micropub will be allowed to sell alcohol between 5pm and 8.30pm on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 4pm to 10.30pm on Wednesdays, and from 2pm to 10.30pm from Thursday to Sunday. It will stay open until 11pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Alcohol will only be drunk inside the pub and Mr Banton said he was willing to take steps to reduce any noise levels both for people living above the pub and businesses next door. However concerns were raised by three local residents who were concerned about public nuisance and one tutoring business next door worried about the impact of noise.

Helen Goodbody who runs Kumon Maths and English Tutoring, said most of her concerns had been addressed after finding out it was a community pub Mr Banton was proposing and there would be no chairs and tables outside. She was worried this must put off parents bringing their children, potentially as young as three, for tutoring.

However, she still had concerns about noise, adding: “Noise does travel through this building. They are old buildings, they’re not the sturdiest so noise does travel.”

Councillors also considered an application for a premises licence for a new convenience store called Keerthi Superstore on 56 King Street in Wallasey. It is hoping to open by the end of November.

Three people had raised concerns about potential crime and disorder, antisocial behaviour, and underage drinking in the area. A drug and rehabilitation centre operating nearby was also highlighted as a concern with the number of licensed premises in the area.

Neighbour, Simon Kelly, said there had been problems previously when an off licence had been opened in the same spot, adding: “I do not seem convinced there will be enough responsible people with enough experience to manage the premises for 18 hours a day.”

Police did not raise any objection to the application and neither did any other organisation consulted. However council officers did raise concerns about who would be running the premises, where they lived and how long it would be leased for. Officers also asked whether any workers would be living above the shop but were told this space would only be used for storage.

Ian Rushton, who represented the applicant Pamini Mathiyaparanam, asked councillors to give the shop an opportunity, adding: “As you know, the weight of evidence is key today and we would say that the evidence submitted doesn’t give enough weight.”

Councillors decided to grant the new alcohol licence from 7am to midnight saying any decision must be evidence based and no evidence was provided by the police to suggest that granting the licence would lead to a rise of anti-social behaviour in the area.

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