Planned wine bar rejected over excessive noise fears

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Councillors have rejected a Sudbury restaurant’s application to open a first-floor wine bar due to fears over noise and public safety.

Blaze Grill, in Station Road, was also seeking further changes to its licence, including longer opening hours, the removal of conditions that alcohol could only be served with food and the playing of recorded music.

Councillor Nicholas Ridley, chairman of Babergh District Council’s licensing committee, said that numerous objections from neighbouring properties were both “substantiated and substantial”.

“In order to protect everyone from public nuisance, we have to reject the application,” he said.

There were 27 letters of opposition to the plans from concerned residents and businesses, plus many letters that arrived after the consultancy period had finished.

Restaurant manager Stuart Squires said that many of the fears were based on the problems the area had faced with Easterns Station Lounge night club.

Speaking at Monday’s hearing, Mr Squires said he was looking to create a comfortable venue for over-30s to enjoy a glass of wine, not a bar for all-day drinking.

Paul Newland, from Bank Buildings, who spoke in opposition to the plans, said he had no problem with the restaurant, but had concerns over the impact the later opening hours would have on his three young children.

“I am concerned with the noise in the street,” he said. “I know what can happen late at night when people have been drinking – it can be disturbing.”

“At home is the place my children should feel safe.”

Addressing these concerns, Mr Squires told the committee that any associated issues would be dealt with.

Despite this, the committee believed the risk of public nuisance was too great and rejected the plans.