CONTROVERSIAL plans which could have seen an American-style diner in the centre of Worcester stay open until 12.30am seven days a week have been thrown out.
Detroit’s in Castle Street recently applied to Worcester City Council to be allowed to sell alcohol until midnight and to stay open for an extra half-an-hour, prompting concerns from people living in nearby Severn Terrace and Easy Row.
The restaurant is owned by city businessman Steve Castledine, who also applied to vary its licence conditions so customers are allowed to stay outside until 11pm, provided alcohol is only served to those seated at tables, and children aged 14 and older are allowed in without an adult.
Detroit’s, which opened in the former car dealership in 2011 and hosts music and live comedy nights, currently closes at 9.30pm but is licensed to stay open until 11.30pm.
More than 20 residents attended a meeting of the city council’s licensing sub-committee yesterday, where members were told there had been significant opposition to the plans on grounds including the impact on crime and disorder, increased noise and the effect on the environment.
James Jenner, who lives with his wife and two young daughters, aged six and three, next door to Detroit’s, said he was seriously concerned about the impact of noise from the venue on his children’s sleeping patterns.
“As it stands it’s ok but at 11pm it’s going to be absolutely unbearable,” he said.
“I don’t want my children kept awake – it’s not fair on them.”
But solicitor Amanda Pillinger, representing Mr Castledine who was unable to attend as one of his daughters was unwell, denied accusations the restaurant was attempting to rebrand itself as a late-night bar.
“If Mr Castledine wanted it to be a nightclub the application would be to stay open until 2am, not midnight,” she said.
“The additional time for the sale of alcohol will have a positive impact because it will allow people to wind down after the live music has stopped.”
She added the venue currently had to apply for a temporary event licence every time it wanted to host live music or comedy and the new conditions would mean it no longer needed to do that.
Although the application also included provision to open until 5am on New Year’s Eve, Mrs Pillinger agreed to amend this to 2am.
Council member for Cathedral ward Cllr Lynn Denham said she and people living in the area were concerned the new conditions would be a “slippery slope” to a nightclub-style venue.
The committee voted to refuse the application.