Several members of South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee said that they had to make “consistent” decisions, after being presented with two applications for new outlets in neighbouring properties on Liverpool Road.
Planning permission was ultimately granted for the proposed businesses – one of which will occupy one of the three newly-subdivided premises within the former Booths supermarket building, while the other will take over the Bread and Butter cafe which is moving a short distance away.
Council officers had recommended that the Booths’ building applicant be allowed to open until midnight seven days a week, while the operator of the cafe site would have been able to open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, with half an hour’s “drinking-up time” added on.
But the committee heard that both the Lime Bar and Tap and Vine further along Liverpool Road both have to shut at 11pm every day bar Saturday, when their doors can stay open until midnight.
Ward councillor David Howarth said that members would be making a “contradictory” decision if they allowed the new businesses longer hours – especially having refused a bid from the Lime Bar to close later.
Councillors voted to impose a condition on the two separate applications to bring their opening times in line with the existing drinking establishments.
Meanwhile, Anthony Anderson, the applicant for the cafe building, told the committee that a 6pm limit on the use of the outside seating area for his proposal was “a bit restrictive” and would be a disadvantage during the summer.
Members heard that it had been imposed on both of the applications because of the presence of roof terraces on apartment properties nearby – which could have been affected by noise from the new ventures. The committee approved a change to the recommendations for each of the sites allowing the outside seating areas to be used until 8pm.
Cllr Howarth also blasted what he claimed was the council’s repeated reliance on a 35-space public car park as evidence of sufficient parking when applications for new premises are decided.
“How many more businesses do you expect it to accommodate – or do we park cars on top of cars now?” he asked, christening the facility “the tardis”.
Before permission was granted, both applicants pledged to be good neighbours.
Anthony Anderson said: “We don’t want people to be against us or disagree with what we’re doing and we fully support the licensing conditions.”
The applicant for part of the former Booths building, Michelle McKiernan, said: “There are a lot of conditions and we’ve accepted all of them, including make sure that people who visit us respect the neighbours.”
The conditions include the prohibition of live or recorded music at both venues and a requirement for them to keep their doors and windows closed.