A BASINGSTOKE bar will be able to open for longer but only after bosses made big changes to the original request for increased opening time.
Pure Lounge Bar, in Wote Street, will be able to stay open to 4am on Sunday, a half-hour extension on its current opening hours.
Bosses at the bar had applied to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council ’s licensing sub-committee to stay open for an extra hour to 4.30am on Sunday, and 4am on Saturday. But town police strongly objected to the proposal, amid fears it would prompt a surge in alcohol-related violence. The revised plan – which was drawn up on the day of the meeting between Pure Lounge Bar manager Ernie Phelps and police licensing officer Claire Wanless – was described as a “balanced compromise” that both sides agreed on.
At the meeting, Pure Lounge Bar scrapped its application to stay open later from Friday to Saturday, and agreed to open for an extra half hour into Sunday morning. The three-strong borough committee took half-an-hour approve the change.
Ollie Wellings, barrister for Pure Lounge Bar, said: “For the time being, it is felt that this is a reasonable compromise and its viability can be tested. I believe both parties see this as a sensible compromise at this time.”
And Malcolm Gibney, the barrister representing Hampshire Constabulary , said: “We accept that this is a reasonable compromise.”
The last-minute changes came amid concerns that the committee would turn down the proposals altogether after hearing objections from the police. In a report to the committee, the police stated that “in the last 12 months Pure has been linked with 20 incidents”, and 16 of them occurred after 1am. Of the 20 incidents, eight were assaults, six public order offences, five thefts, and one of damage.
The Pure Lounge Bar application had also sought permission to use glass cocktail glasses until 10.30pm, which the police objected to. The committee ruled that the bar must use plastic polycarbonate cocktail glasses at all times.