Pub talk pays dividends

Kane Yeardley right with Alex Liddle left and Lee Kenny, Secretary of Broomhill Action and Neighboiurhood the York Hotel,Broomhill
Kane Yeardley right with Alex Liddle left and Lee Kenny, Secretary of Broomhill Action and Neighboiurhood the York Hotel,Broomhill

OWNERS of a Sheffield pub have held talks with a community group with a view to securing support for longer opening hours after being knocked back last year.

In what is being described as a breakthrough approach, representatives of Broomhill Action and Neighbourhood Group have been briefed on the ambitions of The York in Fulwood Road.

It has resulted in a compromise from the pub’s point of view, with an additional 30 minutes now due to be requested.

The last time an application was made, for an extra hour, it prompted opposition from the group on the basis of the extra disturbance that was predicted for a suburb that they said was already blighted by late-night noise and other nuisance. Councillors rejected the request.

Kane Yeardley, owner and managing director of Forum Cafe Bars, which owns The York, accepted that the previous application had come “out of the blue”.

This time he has explained the issues to the community organisation, and attempted to address their concerns, before making a revised approach to the council.

He is now preparing to apply for a closing time of 11.30pm during the week and 12.30am at weekends.

“We had the opportunity to go to an appeal but decided to meet BANG and ask what the issues were and what their feelings were about the operation we run,” he said. “They felt what we were doing was good but in principle they wanted to stop the later opening.

“We just want that bit extra time and asked would they be happy with an extra half-hour. They were impressed that this time we had come to them to ask them their feelings.”

Mr Yeardley said much of the noise and other disturbance in and around Broomhill was being caused by young people using hot food takeaways in the early hours.

The York was reopened in September 2010 as a community venue selling quality food, real ales and wines – and with no TVs. “Nearly 300 people emailed to say could they have a pub in Broomhill without TVs. That was a revelation.”

BANG says it will contact its members to explain what is being done to minimise noise so that they can make up their own minds. It has also secured a promise that an application for an extra 30 minutes will not be the first of a series.

“Having a discussion with traders about opening hours is a very welcome development and a first in our experience,” said Lee Kenny, secretary of the community group. “It’s something that we would like other traders to adopt.

“Once we are in the formal process of a planning or licensing application it is difficult to begin a dialogue.”

Dr Kenny said night-time noise was a “massive issue” for residents, many of whom are doctors, nurses and teachers who have to be up early. “Disturbed sleep is one of the main reasons people give us for moving away from Broomhill. It is having a huge impact on the sustainability of our neighbourhood.

“We think that The York is a great asset to our district centre, but there are downsides for residents too, which need to be recognised and managed.”

Dr Kenny added: “We don’t want the West Street situation in Broomhill.”

Forum Cafe Bars owns The Forum, Old House and The Common Room in Devonshire Street and has recently taken over the Broadfield pub in Abbeydale Road.