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Battle to stop longer opening

PUBLISHED: 14:00 24 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:54 03 March 2010

RESIDENTS and police are trying to stop a Felixstowe seafront wine bar extending its hours because they claim it will increase late-night problems in the area.

RESIDENTS and police are trying to stop a Felixstowe seafront wine bar extending its hours because they claim it will increase late-night problems in the area.

Peter and Sarah Whalley, licensees of Bonds in Undercliff Road West, want to run public entertainment to 1am on Friday and Saturday nights and 11.30pm on Sundays.

Currently, their premises – part of the old Grand Hotel complex which includes the Splitz bar, Bandbox nightclub and Cork pub – opens until 11.45pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and to 10.30pm on Sundays.

If Suffolk Coastal council's licensing sub committee approves the plan on Tuesday, they will apply to the licensing justices for a special hours certificate to sell alcohol at the events.

Councillors are not being recommended to reject or accept the application for extended hours, but are advised by officers that if they do allow it to go ahead, they should impose conditions and possibly allow it for a temporary period so it can be monitored.

Police have already objected to the application because they fear it will increase noise and public order problems and could put an extra strain on their resources.

Five residents living near Bonds have protested to the council and say there is already "unacceptable problems with noise and excessive drinking" in the Bent Hill and Spa Gardens area.

They have complained of riotous behaviour, bad language, and loud music, and fear the extension will only add to the problems.

One resident said in a letter: "The noise level increases as the evening wears on and we hear shouted obscenities, girls screaming and general hubbub.

"If the bar window above the front entrance door is left open, the loud music from inside can be heard a long way away.

"Men are found urinating in the driveway between Bonds and the flats and we have had people throwing up, our flowers and plants hacked away and bottles and glasses left."

Another resident claimed there was a "intimidating and sometimes frightening climate" in the area, fracas and punch-ups, and drug taking.

The licensees and the objectors have been invited to attend the hearing to speak before the panel and answer questions.

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