Protest over bar’s bid for longer hours

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RESIDENTS near a bar in Sheffield city centre are opposing a request for its opening hours to be extended by an hour until 3am every day.

Some are worried that a precedent will be set if Walkabout, in a former Methodist chapel at the corner of Carver Street and West Street, is allowed to stay open longer.

There are already complaints from residents of apartments about late night noise and rowdy behaviour from customers of venues in the West Street area. One resident of Royal Plaza says it was necessary to spend £2,000 for secondary glazing to keep out the noise. An occupant of West Point, who has to get up early, points out the difficulty of doing a day’s work after four hours’ sleep.

Objecting to the Walkabout application, local councillor Jillian Creasy says the city centre is no longer a place where working and retired people can live comfortably.

Councillors will consider the application on Monday – with a recommendation from officers to reject it. The authority has been trying to strike a balance between promoting city centre living and a vibrant night time economy, working on the basis of a closing time for bars of half-past midnight during the week and 1.30am at weekends.

Walkabout is a large venue with a capacity of up to 730, say officers, and it is near housing. “If open until 3am, additional noise and disturbance is likely as customers leave the building, contributing further to a deterioration of the existing noise climate in the area.

“Residents are considered likely to suffer more disturbance later into the night as a result of the proposal. The large number of objections from residents is considered to support this interpretation.”

*The planning application is 10/03731/FUL

lCouncillors will be advised on Monday to make permanent a three-year trial for a closing time of 1.30am at weekends at the Alibi bar in the former Anglo Works at the corner of Trippet Lane and Holly Street, despite objections from nearby residents. There have also been emails of support, one saying Alibi is one of the top bars in the UK.

Councillors are being told there have been complaints from neighbours about noise from the building but better management procedures have been put in place.

If the application is approved, there will be a closing time of half-past midnight during the week.

*The application is 10/02357/FUL