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Boathouse may appeal "temporary" nature of new alcohol licence
OWNERS of a popular Christchurch restaurant could appeal a one-year temporary consent over changes to their eatery’s operation.
Despite the planning committee at Christchurch council approving an amendment to the planning use at The Boathouse restaurant, the owners of the quayside business are unhappy with the “temporary” aspect of the permission.
The change in use means the eatery can sell alcohol to customers without them having to eat during their visit.
But residents expressed concerns the change would result in a pub with food rather than a restaurant with drinks, with other worries about increased noise in the residential area also raised.
These concerns were supported by Christchurch Conservation Trust, with Christchurch Citizens Association suggesting screens should be installed to reduce the spread of noise from Quay Road.
Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Peter Hall said he wanted to see a temporary one-year consent despite the environmental health officer and Dorset Police advising the premises had resulted in very few incidents.
“It would just give some satisfaction to the residents”, he said.
“It does provide a good place for tourism but this would just safeguard it and we could monitor it.”
Going against the advice of the officers, councillors voted 4-2 to grant the one-year consent.
Following the meeting, Jeremy Carpenter, one of the directors of the Boathouse said that at a time when Christchurch council was promoting their new corporate plan it was difficult to see how it was applied here.
“The plan’s stated aims including responding to challenging economic times by creating conditions for businesses to thrive, especially in the tourism sector,” he said.
“A temporary consent did not give the assurance needed to further commit to more investment in the business.
“It may well be that we will be forced to appeal this decision, which seems to have no sound evidentiary basis.”
He urged residents to contact the Boathouse directly should they have any concerns.
Sandra Graham, a solicitor from Horsey Lightly Fynn, representing the Boathouse, said changes to their licence were long overdue and it had suffered in recent years from historic restrictions meaning they couldn’t operate on an equal footing with competing operators.