Chorley pub loses licence due to violence and coronavirus breaches
A pub in Chorley has lost its licence due to concerns about violent behaviour and breaches of coronavirus regulations.
Chorley Council said it has revoked the premises licence of the Bretherton Arms in Eaves Lane following a hearing of its licensing committee on May 13.
The meeting was held following an application from Lancashire Police who had raised concerns about the pub's "association with serious crime".
It follows an incident on April 17 when a customer suffered life-threatening head injuries in an attack in the rear yard of the pub.
The Council’s licencing sub-committee also determined there had been serious breaches of Coronavirus regulations at the pub, which is owned and operated Star Pubs and Bars Ltd.
A previous Summary Review in October 2020, prompted by another violent assault in which a customer suffered a ruptured eyeball and needed surgery to save his vision.
Licensing officers had found serious failings associated with the management of the premises and had imposed reduced hours on when alcohol could be served, as well as strict conditions relating to door staff.
But the failure to comply with these conditions and with the regulations aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 has now forced the Council to revoke the premises licence.
You can read more about the incidents which prompted Lancashire Police to seek a review of the pub's licence here.
Councillor Matthew Lynch, chair of the licensing sub-committee, said: "Members were left with no choice but to take firm action.
"CCTV footage from April 17 demonstrated that patrons were out of control and that there was no supervision by staff or management.
"There was no adherence to COVID-19 guidelines or social distancing, and it is the opinion of police that poor management contributed to a serious offence of violence.
“This is the second serious incident leading to a Summary Review of the premises licence in the space of 12 months. This is quite remarkable, as such applications by the police are not frequent.
“At the earlier review, the Sub-Committee was given assurances that there would be greater oversight of the premises along with the appointment of a new Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) who was experienced in complying with licensing rules and regulations.
“Nevertheless, it is clear there has been no significant improvement to the management of the premises despite this appointment.
“This most recent incident occurred on the very first Saturday on which pubs could reopen for outside consumption. On that day, the Council’s Licensing Team Leader visited 13 different premises in a joint operation with police to assess adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.
“Various infractions of the guidelines were highlighted to the new DPS of the Bretherton Arms – including standing customers, mixing groups and a lack of track and trace enforcement - and it was clear that the premises was under-prepared for reopening.
“The DPS also failed to remove one patron who was highlighted as being too intoxicated to remain on the premises. Had the appropriate action been taken, it is believed it would have prevented an escalation of misbehaviour by other patrons.
“It was clear to the Sub-Committee that there are chronic issues at the premises, with a common thread being a lack of effective control. Members no longer had confidence that other measures short of revocation were appropriate to promote the licensing objectives.
“While the Council is absolutely dedicated to supporting our local hospitality venues as they attempt to get back on their feet, residents can be assured that, where necessary, we will take decisive action in the interests of the prevention of crime and disorder, and public safety.”
The revocation of the licence is due to take effect at the end of a 21-day appeal period. Until that time, the premises licence will continue to be suspended and the pub will remain closed.
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