South Cave bar’s outdoor area application refused
Plans to make an East Riding bar and restaurant’s outdoor area permanent have been refused after councillors spoke of an “awful” choice between helping the business or neighbouring residents.
East Riding Council’s Western Planning Sub-Committee voted seven to three to refuse the application from Cave Bar and Kitchen, in Market Place, South Cave.
Speaking for the venue, Fay Armstrong said the business was sorry for lodging the application after the terrace had already been built.
Ms Armstrong added the confusion over coronavirus guidelines for hospitality firms came after an “extremely challenging” year for the venue, with 20 jobs on the line if forced to close.
But objector Helen Ward, who lives next door but one to the bar, told councillors noise and lighting from the venue was having a “detrimental” effect on residents.
She added the outdoor area which seats up to 60 and features a bar was between neighbours’ gardens and claimed it was a “nightclub without walls”.
The committee’s refusal comes after the council’s Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee voted against licensing the bar’s outdoor area and extending opening hours in September following neighbours’ complaints.
Council planning officers recommended the application be refused while public protection teams stated in their submissions noise and lighting levels were “excessive”.
The committee heard the bar had agreed to concessions including turning music down to background level, putting matting inside, reducing outside capacity to 50 and closing it by 8pm.
A total of 27 objections were lodged against the application on the council’s planning portal while 82 statements were submitted in support.
Cllr Victoria Aitken, East Riding’s Economic Development portfolio holder, called on councillors to grant the venue temporary approval so it could find a compromise with residents.
Ms Armstrong told councillors: “In the last 13 months we’ve only been able to open the bar for four months.
“We believed we were acting in line with Government guidance when we built the outdoor area, we submitted the application as soon as we were aware we needed to.
“We invited residents to see the outdoor area and it was well received by those who came.
“We believe changes to the area will adequately address concerns raised by other residents.
“We’re asking you to consider this and to monitor us for 18 months, if we’re not granted planning permission our business will fail and 20 jobs will be lost.”
Ms Ward told the committee: “The bar’s terrace turned a garden into the outdoor area it now is without planning approval.
“Music is played from eight speakers mounted on poles and customers’ voices are amplified by wooden amphitheatre style walls.
“In eight weeks time the bar will be able open indoors, removing the need for an external area, but this is built to be permanent.
“I’d ask members to consider the effect it might have on them if one of their neighbours hosted 60 people seven days a week, customers can leave and go home but we can’t.”
Committee member Cllr Richard Meredith, who represents Dale ward, said the current situation left councillors with an “awful” choice to make.
Cllr Meredith, who made a failed bid to defer the application before voting against it, said: “We’d be talking about changes to flooring, lighting, fencing and acoustics to make this acceptable.
“I appreciate the efforts from the applicant and officers but it would have to be a ground up redesign.
“Potentially outside activity would be permissible, but not as we see it before us.
“Deferrment would be the best way to stop either sinking a business or selling residents down the river.”
Committee chair Cllr Nigel Wilkinson said: “I’m surprised the applicant didn’t realise this would need planning permission, but we all make mistakes and they’ve apologised for it.
“It’s finely balanced, we want to help small businesses but we don’t want to make neighbours’ lives a misery.
“We all have great sympathy for struggling businesses but that doesn’t give them carte blanche to break planning rules.”