Parish Council report claims pubs and clubs operating outside of licenced opening hours

By

A report commissioned by the City of Durham Parish Council released findings that showcase a “lack of control” within the permitted licensing laws of pubs and clubs within Durham. 

As a result of this report, during a recent meeting of the Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee there was an outcry from numerous Councillors who called for better regulation of the night time establishment licences. 

This has been because of the highlighted discrepancies in the last year amongst 230 licensed premises in Durham city centre, with the main issues being between the disregarding of authorised operating hours in planning permissions, along with permitted opening hours in licensing permissions, opening hours advertised on establishment’s websites and lastly their opening hours in practice. 

Out of the licenced premises, 26 were described by the report as having “discrepancies between the hours some premises were able to operate based on their planning permissions versus the hours permitted by licensing”. In addition, the report showed that a further 144 premises within Durham city centre were uncovered to not have any type of restrictions in terms of their operating hours at all.

“The fact that we now have over 230 licensed premises and more on the way, presents a huge safety and policing challenge”

Councillor susan walker

The Council described Durham city centre as being “saturated with licensed premises”, with 232 establishments holding “active” licences in the City. Councillor Susan Walker, Chair of the Council’s Licensing Committee, gave her comment on the findings of the report, saying “the fact that the City is so heavily saturated with licensed premises in the first place is seriously concerning to us.” 

“Whilst a safe and thriving night-time economy is what we all want to see in Durham, the fact that we now have over 230 licensed premises and more on the way, presents a huge safety and policing challenge, not to mention the impact this has on daytime footfall.”

 She continued by stating that even “more damning still is the fact that this report lays bare the inadequate regulation we have in place in the City at present. The County Council adopted a licensing policy with framework hours for premises to stick to but are now ignoring this at Committee. 

“This report clearly shows that planning and licensing are failing to communicate with one another. The fact that premises seem to be able to operate when and how they like is edging into the ‘Wild West’ territory quite frankly.”

The Parish Council has claimed that this will inevitably lead to misunderstanding and manipulation within the system. Durham County Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy is being set to be re-evaluated at the start of 2025.

Image:

One thought on “Parish Council report claims pubs and clubs operating outside of licenced opening hours

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.