Sunderland seafront cafe wins take-out alcohol licence – in face of objections from residents

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A SEAFRONT café in Sunderland has been given the go-ahead to serve alcohol inside and outside – despite objections from residents.

The Beach House at Roker, which opened its doors last month, can now sell alcohol and play recorded music between 9am and 11pm daily.

A licensing sub-committee at Sunderland City council also agreed that bosses could sell booze to be consumed outside the café, in Marine Walk, if it is decanted into plastic bottles or glasses first.

People living nearby had sent written objections to the plans into the council as the Beach House is in an alcohol exclusion zone, which states that ‘consumption of alcohol on the beach or in any public place is prohibited’.

The hearing at Sunderland’s civic centre heard owners 1879 management, part of Sunderland AFC, have also submitted an application to install tables and chairs opposite the Beach House building.

The seats are intended to be the place that customers will use when they buy the alcohol, although that application is set to be heard by a different committee.

A total of 21 written representations, signed by 30 people, were received in relation to the restaurant’s application.

North Haven resident and former firefighter Fred Palmer, who attended the hearing, argued against the granting of the licence for off-site alcohol sales, and said there were concerns over noise, litter and increased traffic.

Mr Palmer and other residents said they have no problem with alcohol being served inside the 62-person capacity venue.

He added: “The new place is great and I would go there myself.

“Good on you for trying it, but I think it has to be under some control.”

David Moses, of 1879 Events, told councillors: “What is important to remember here is that there will be a presence during the opening hours.

“There will be staff there. It’s not in our interest to allow 10 yobs drinking bags of cans of alcohol.”

Mr Moses and colleague Peter Weymes also said that public-facing CCTV has been installed at the Beach House to increase security and that qualified Security Industry Authority staff will be on the door of the venue at all times when functions take place.

Following discussions, the committee, which consisted of city councillors Doris MacKnight, Christine Marshall and John Wiper, granted the application.