Concern over plans to sell alcohol at old library

PUBLISHED: 16:38 28 May 2019

Long Ashton Library shut down last year.

Long Ashton Library shut down last year.

Archant

The tranquillity of Long Ashton's former library will be a thing of the past if the new owners are allowed to serve alcohol.

That is the fear of two residents who live near the Lovelinch Gardens premises, which is set to open as a café next month after an 'overwhelming positive' response from the public.

The new operators of the Old Library are keen to emphasise it will not be a bar and have agreed a number of conditions with police and environmental health officers on how it will be run.

North Somerset Council was due to adjudicate on the alcohol licence today (Tuesday).

One neighbour called for the plan to be rejected.

He said: "The serving of alcohol, particularly bottles of beer, outside the premises at tables on the pavement on a busy road in a densely populated residential neighbourhood gives rise to the risk of disorderly behaviour and the potential for bottles to be used as weapons.

"Additionally, the noise from customers seated outside would cause a public nuisance, particularly to immediate neighbours."

North Somerset Council closed Long Ashton's library last year to save money.

The new operators want to run it as a café which would open daily from 7.30am-9.30pm and serve alcohol from 10am.

The man continued: "The serving of alcohol from 10am is also a risk to the prevention of crime and disorder as it will encourage drinking over a longer period of time.

"If the premises is a café and not a bar, there should be no need to serve alcohol from 10am."

He asked for conditions preventing alcohol being served outside, and not before noon. He also said bottle bins should not be emptied after 6pm.

Another villager said if alcohol is served until 9.30pm, the last customers could leave much later and keep residents awake by slamming doors or starting their engines. He said people dining or drinking outside would also cause a disturbance.

In response to the concerns, a representative for the new operators said: "There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to both the planning and licensing applications for our proposed redevelopment of the library in Long Ashton.

"A number of conditions have been agreed with the police and council environmental health office.

"The premises are due to open in early June and we await the outcome of the licence application."



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