‘Family pub’ granted longer opening hours despite fears disorder could return

A Stockport pub has been granted later opening hours despite fears of old problems of noise pollution and public disorder could return to the venue.

The Shady Oak, in Bramhall, will now be able to open until 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, and half-past-midnight between Monday and Thursday, after council chiefs granted a change to the licence.

The pub, owned by Hawthorn Leisure, says this is purely to ‘bring it in line’ with similar venues in the area, while giving it extra ‘flexibility’ when it comes to hosting community events and fundraisers.

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The Redford Drive boozer has a checked history – from complaints of noise pollution and fights to customers vomiting in gardens – although it is accepted this took place under a previous landlord.

New tenants Gareth Womack and Sharon Hobson were installed in June and say they are striving to run a family-focused but, that ‘brings the community together’.

And Ewen MacGregor, speaking in support of the application, told a council sub-committee the pub was now being run in an ‘exemplary’ way.

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“They have done everything they can to promote the pub in the way you would expect – running quizzes, running music nights, karaoke and bands and other events for the local community,” he said.

“And they have also committed themselves wholeheartedly to raising funds for the local community and are in the process of fundraising for a defibrillator which will be positioned on the outside of the premises.”

Mr Womack also addressed the three-strong panel, telling them he and Ms Hobson wanted to run ‘the best community pub possible’.

“We have a lot of customers that come and say what a good thing we have done for the community,” he said.

“We are just bringing the community back together and we want to carry on doing that. We are very family-focused.

Councilor Lisa Walker.

“We did a children’s Christmas party, it went down excellently and we are going to continue with the fundraising even after the defib we will continue to look at things we can help out in the local community.”

However, objectors including Councilor Lisa Walker, remained concerned that later opening times could once again bring misery to residents.

Coun Walker accepted that trouble at the pub had happened under a previous landlord but questioned why later hours were now needed.

She said: “The Shady Oak pub is located in a very quiet residential area, it’s not in a village or town center location.

“It’s nice to have a local pub, however the extended hours are not needed and not welcomed by any of the residents I have spoken to.”

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The Bramhall North councilor suggested the pub should apply for temporary licenses if it is wished to open late on special occasions, rather than seeking a permanent change.

She added: “The pub does have a history with regards to its previous tenants and has been to court where residents were called upon as witnesses.

“The residents understand this happened under the previous owners, however, you must be able to understand their concerns that it could attract the kind of behavior that happened before.”

Conditions proposed by the applicant included that all pub windows and doors be shut while music was played, no entry or re-entry to the premises after midnight and extra CCTV to cover the outside of the premises.

But Coun Walker told the meeting: “We understand the pub wants to progress and be involved in the community and people will be grateful for that – but not at the expense of disruption to residents.”

However the sub-committee, chaired by Coun Chris Gordon, ultimately agreed to grant the licence, adding an extra condition that a noise limiter was operated in line with advice from the council’s environmental health office.

The other members of the licensing sub-committee were Coun Dickie Davies and Coun Adrian Nottingham.

Stockport council’s Licensing, Environment & Safety Sub-Committee met remotely on Wednesday night (February 3).

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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