Police concerned about proposed adventure bar mixing axes and alcohol

A successful axe throw at Boom: Battle Bar, opened in Norwich's Castle Quarter. Picture: DENISE BRAD

A successful axe throw at Boom: Battle Bar, opened in Norwich's Castle Quarter. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Plans to open an adventure bar in Ipswich's Buttermarket are being reviewed at a council meeting next week, after police and health authorities raised concerns on safety grounds. 

The owners of Boom: Battle Bar have applied for a premises licence at the former Coast 2 Coast restaurant outlet. 

They seek a license to sell alcohol and play music seven days a week, while also offering customers "competitive socialising" where they can play crazier golf, shuffleboard, AR darts, axe throwing, pool and table tennis. 

But although the company already operates two sites in the UK - in Norwich and Cardiff - two authorities have objected to the license, saying approval would "adversely comprise licensing objectives" including prevention of crime and disorder and protection of children from harm. 

In a document submitted to Ipswich Borough Council's licensing department, Sharon Betts-Palmer, licensing officer, wrote: "Suffolk Constabulary have concerns over the use of weapons, namely axes, metal golf clubs ... being used inside a premises where alcohol is being served and where children are present." 

Public Health Suffolk raised similar concerns, citing the rates of alcohol-related emergency department attendances and hospital admissions in the borough the bar is to be located in.

These are said to be much higher than the comparable averages in Ipswich as a whole, Suffolk and England, "meaning that the local population are already negatively affected by the harms of alcohol". 

But Allan Cook, the specified premises supervisor for Boom: Battle Bar, made clear in the application for the license that "none of the games on offer involve the consumption of alcohol as part of the activity, no alcohol is permitted inside the high-risk activities area and we do not allow guests to consume alcohol in our venue before these high-risk activities". 

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Boom Bar is planning to invest more than £1m into the Buttermarket site, with around 50 jobs created through the opening of the outlet. 

The licensing and regulatory sub-committee is to meet on Monday, November 8, to make a decision.

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