Leicester Mercury

Police put paid to bar’s bid for a new licence

COUNCILLOR­S TOLD OF FIVE

- By DAN MARTIN daniel.martin@reachplc.com @danjamesma­rtin

FIGHTS OUTSIDE THE AFRICAN VILLAGE PUB

A LEICESTER bar has been refused a new licence after police raised concerns about the way it was being run.

The African Village Pub was looking to reopen after lockdown but Leicesters­hire Police opposed the move.

The force said it was worried allowing another bar in the busy Churchgate area could lead to more crime and disorder.

Officers also said they were concerned Gebrekrsto­s Eyasu, who applied for a licence from Leicester City Council, was not experience­d enough to properly run the venue.

At a meeting earlier this month, councillor­s were told of five fights outside the bar, some involving up to 20 people, dating back to 2019.

Leicesters­hire Police’s licensing officer, Pc Jeff Pritchard, also told the city council licensing committee his colleagues had visited the pub when it reopened last summer and found poor compliance with Covid-19 regulation­s.

The council’s own licensing and noise pollution officers objected to the licence being granted to African Village Pub, formerly Rosie O’Brien’s and Vertigo.

The Churchgate area is what is known as a cumulative impact zone (CIZ) – an acceptance by the police and the council that there is already an oversatura­tion of pubs and bars which causes challenges to policing.

There is an assumption that new licence applicatio­ns will be refused unless a special case can be made.

Mr Eyasu told the council he would ensure the premises were well run and safe but councillor­s still decided not to grant a licence.

In a statement, the council said: “Members accepted the evidence presented by Leicesters­hire Police, the noise and pollution control team at Leicester City Council and the licensing enforcemen­t team.

“We decided that granting the licence would add to the existing problems of cumulative impact in the area.

“Members had no confidence that the applicant had the experience required to manage the premises in a manner that will promote or uphold the licensing objectives or in compliance with the requiremen­ts of the Licensing Act 2003.

“They were also concerned that the applicant did not fully appreciate the fact the premises was located in a Cumulative Impact Zone and had not addressed this within his applicatio­n or the operating schedule. “Members did not believe that any conditions which could be added to the licence that were justifiabl­e and appropriat­e would alleviate all the concerns they had.”

Mr Eyasu has the right to appeal against the refusal and ask magistrate­s to overturn the council’s decision.

We decided granting the licence would add to the problems of cumulative impact in the area

City council

 ??  ?? ‘CUMULATIVE IMPACT ZONE’: The African Village Pub, Churchgate, was looking to reopen after lockdown
‘CUMULATIVE IMPACT ZONE’: The African Village Pub, Churchgate, was looking to reopen after lockdown

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