Papa Johns pizza shop in Sunderland has extra hours bid refused

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A Sunderland pizza shop has failed in its bid to extend its opening hours past midnight.

Papa John’s Pizza, in Newcastle Road, had been seeking permission to serve as late as 2am at weekends.

Today (Friday, November 9) council bosses refused the application after hearing evidence from neighbours about the impact of traffic and late night noise from the business, which is currently allowed to open until 11pm.

But even if Sunderland City Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee had opted to grant the application, it wouldn’t have altered existing rules barring the takeaway opening any later.

Planning conditions attached to the site prevent it operating later than 11pm and would need a ruling by a different council department to overturn.

Council solicitor James Wotherspoon told the panel: “One of the key considerations is the fact that this premises is not allowed to open after 11pm in any event.

“That’s a planning restriction and the planning officer has advised that in his objection.”

Read more: Papa John’s pizza giant to open first shop in Sunderland

Bosses had sought to keep the store open until midnight Monday – Thursday and 2am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

A letter submitted to the committee ahead of the meeting from the council’s planning department said the site could only be used as a takeaway between 8am – 11pm, or risked ‘enforcement action’.

It also said earlier this year complaints had been made about this condition being broken.

This was later resolved, but there were still ‘significant concerns regarding extending the hours of operation’.

Objections were also submitted by the council’s public protection and regulatory service.

Lakhwinder Singh, one of the businessmen who brought the venture to Sunderland, said he had only become aware of the planning restrictions after making the licence application, but planned to try and alter the conditions.

He added the pizza shop had created thirteen jobs in the area and seen £170,000 invested in the premises.

Related content: Bid by Sunderland branch of Papa John’s Pizza to stay open later sparks complaints

Mr Singh did not stay to hear the committee announce its decision, following deliberations.

Coun James Blackburn, the panel’s chairman, said members had ‘decided to decline the application’ but did not provide any further details.

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service