Pub, The Queen’s Head, gets to open longer in Stowmarket with new alcohol licence after police changes

The Queen's Head has been successful in its bid to extend its alcohol licence

The Queen's Head has been successful in its bid to extend its alcohol licence - Credit: Archant

A pub, whose customers have a history of being involved in anti-social behaviour according to police, has had its alcohol licence extended.

The Queen’s Head in Stowmarket can now sell alcohol from 11am until 2.30am on Friday and Saturdays – the previous licence was until 1am.

Police from the town had initially objected but said in a hearing, which determined the licence application, that the amended proposals had satisfied them.

Pc Amanda Garnham said: “It was quite easy to mediate with Mr Prentice (the landlord), it was a pleasure to work with him; all that we have asked of him he has done. The only concern we had was the increase in hours.”

Following a police letter, the pub, which is owned by Punch Taverns, changed the original proposal. It had also wanted to extend the hours that music could be played, the times it could open and introduce the sale of late-night teas and coffees on Fridays and Saturdays. But these were constrained: music can be played and non-alcoholic beverages sold until 2.30am not 3.30am, which had been initially requested. The pub can only open until 3am, not 3.30am as it had initially asked for.

Piers Warne, from TLT Solicitors, for the pub said: “The reason for the application – I can break-down into two broad reasons.

“You may be aware that JD Wetherspoon opened in the town centre – they are fantastic as they are, but have had a knock-on effect. Their food is at a reasonable price and drink is at a very low price, it has led to four or so pubs closing directly in the area.”

The second reason was because of competition from the nightclub Carbon in the town. He said the longer opening hours would allow the pub to be a venue for customers on their way to the club.

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Mr Warne also commented on concerns over noise, he said the volume was “significantly low” that it “could not” be heard from outside.

In the police letter, which called for the changes to the licence, they said: “This premises has had several reports over the last 18 months of customers either being ejected because of being too intoxicated or exiting highly intoxicated.

“On most of these occasions, people have then become disorderly in a public place or assaulted other members of the public.”