Fury over Hadleigh pub’s plans to extend drinking hours

Fierce objections have been lodged against a Hadleigh pub’s bid to extend its drinking hours to midnight every day of the week.

The Eight Bells in Angel Street has applied to Babergh District Council for permission to serve alcohol for an extra hour.

But a number of people living in close proximity to the business have voiced misgivings about the move, with fears the extension will increase rowdy behaviour and disturb residents.

Police have also claimed longer drinking hours at the pub, which was taken over by Tom Benn in May, would make existing problems worse.

“Suffolk Police have received complaints from members of the public relating to noise from customers leaving the premises and noise generated from customers in the beer garden,” said Pc Matt Paisley, from Hadleigh Police.

“We have also received unconfirmed complaints of patrons drinking outside the front of the pub and of drug use within the premises.

“The staff appear very supportive of police and are trying everything they can, but at present it appears they are unable to control some of their customers.”

Brian Riley, district councillor for the town, said since the pub had changed management it had begun to attract a more “youthful clientele”.

“Consequently, there are reports of late-night music, underage drinking and noisy behaviour which cannot be excused as high spirits,” he said.

In a report to Babergh’s licensing committee – which will meet to discuss the application on June 21 – residents complained about being unable to sleep due to the noise coming from the pub. Other complaints centred on shouting, swearing and urinating in the street.

“This is a densely-packed residential area, which has been transformed from a peaceful place with a country pub into a noisy environment,” said Darrelle Bowman.

Carol Williams, from Angel Street, said her quality of life at weekends had been “ruined”.

“I have spoken to several neighbours who are also very upset and are dreading the thought that the licence could be extended even later,” she said. “I don’t want my grandchildren to hear appalling language being shouted.”

Babergh environmental officer James Buckingham said he was worried the extension would result in greater “public nuisance”.

Mr Benn declined to comment.