We just want level playing field, says pub landlord

APPEAL: Eight Bells landlord Thomas Benn.
APPEAL: Eight Bells landlord Thomas Benn.
Share this article

A landlord is hoping to extend opening hours at a Hadleigh pub – despite continued criticism from a section of nearby residents.

The Eight Bells currently has a licence to serve customers until 11pm, seven nights a week, but wants to be able to sell alcohol until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and until 11.30pm on Mondays and Thursdays.

Last June, the Angel Street business was denied permission to open for longer following concerns over sound-proofing, alcohol-fuelled crime and even police suggestions of drug use.

Speaking this week, landlord Thomas Benn said: “We have not had any more problems than any other pub.”

He added that he took the attitude that pub owners should be aware that drug taking did exist across all age groups.

He added: “Having an attitude that there is no drugs will not work.”

CCTV systems have been fitted throughout the premises, including a night vision camera for the garden, while windows have had secondary glazing fitted.

Objections to the latest application centre on noise coming from the pub’s beer garden and at closing time.

Mr Benn said: “We just want a level playing field.”

Central to his application is the fact that other pubs in the town have licences until 1am.

“We compare ourselves to The Cock Inn,” he said. “It is also between housing and yet can sell until 1am.

“People who want to carry on drinking here leave and go to other pubs.”

He added that later closing times would cause less disturbance as the number of people leaving the pub would become staggered.

Babergh District Council will rule on the application on Friday, April 4.