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Neighbours bid to prevent Cowley Road club’s 3.30am closing plea
NEIGHBOURS are fighting plans by a Cowley Road music venue to extend its opening hours.
A petition has been ogranised to fight The Bullingdon Arms’s bid to open as late as 3.30am.
It has applied to Oxford City Council to vary its premises licence, and six formal objections have been made to the authority. Only recorded music will be played after midnight, when all live music in the venue ends.
Green Party St Mary’s councillor Craig Simmonds said 18 people had signed a petition against the plan.
He said: “There are lots of students who want to study at night and there are families with children – it could really cause a nuisance.”
He added that the application would have to be considered by a licensing sub-committee as part of Oxford City Council’s saturation policy.
This says variations should be refused in the city centre and East Oxford if people object.
Mr Simmonds said: “Everyone accepts a certain amount of noise but the saturation policy is also saying we’ve reached a maximum point where no more places in the area can open longer.”
Bullingdon Road resident Pamela Webber, 67, said: “I think it’s wrong to encourage people – especially young people – to stay out until two or three in the morning. Apart from the noise it’s irresponsible to have extended licences in a university city.”
St Clement’s ward councillor Graham Jones said residents were “already inconvenienced” by late night venues.
The pub wants to extend Monday closing from 11pm to 1am; Tuesday to Friday from 1am to 2.30am, Saturday from 2.30am to 3.30am and Sunday from 3am to 3.30am.
Venue manager Arron Whan said he was responding to customer demand.
He said: “There are still places for them to drink [after we close] but they say they would rather drink in here.
“We would not actually be increasing the number of people drinking in Cowley Road, but rather keeping customers contained.”
Rectory Road resident Matt Chapman, 25, said: “It wouldn’t change things much; there’s already noise from other venues.”
The issue goes to the council’s licensing sub-committee on Thursday, August 29 for a final decision.
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