Friday, August 22, 2014
An application by a Sudbury fast food outlet to extend its hours on certain days has been met with criticism from local councillors and police officers because of fears that it could increase anti-social behaviour in the town after dark.
Chicken George, in King Street, already stays open until 1am from Monday to Thursday. Now the owner has applied to Babergh’s licensing sub-committee for permission to stay open until 3.30am on Fridays and Saturdays and for an extra hour on certain days around public holidays.
Sudbury Town Council is currently trying to achieve ‘purple flag’ accreditation, which recognises good management of town and city centres at night and highlights them as suitable places to go to enjoy a safe night out.
Town councillor Adrian Osborne, who with his wife Jan has been supporting the push for Purple Flag accreditation, has expressed “real concerns” regarding Chicken George’s application for extended trading hours.
In a letter to the licensing committee, he said: “We represent residents who have made representation to us regarding the level of noise, litter and anti-social behaviour from people returning from the town late at night.
“Their quality of life is being badly affected more and more in this respect and extending hours will only make this a great deal worse.
“One of Babergh’s priorities is to improve peoples’ health and wellbeing, and allowing fast food shops to open well into the early hours of the morning is not helping to achieve this priority.”
Suffolk Constabulary has also objected to the application. In a submission to the council, Inspector Neil McKay said: “Within the last 12 months, there have been at least five reported crimes of disorder and violence after 11pm (in the town). The reason for the premises to significantly increase their hours is to mirror the hours of the local nightclub.
“If we allow patrons to stay in this small town past 4am, risk to the public significantly increases as police may not always be in the area to respond to crime and disorder quickly.”
Last night, no-one from Chicken George was available to comment.