A BAR and restaurant being launched in Westbourne has been blocked from staying open later.

Owners of Camden Bar and Kitchen, which already has an offering at Poole’s Ashley Cross, had originally wanted to keep their new premises on Seamoor Road, which will replace French restaurant Eau de Vie, open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

After discussions with police it was agreed to reduce this proposal to 1.30am, but at a licensing committee meeting councillors rejected the plan.

The bar will be allowed to stay open and serve alcohol until 1am, but committee chairman Cllr Andrew Morgan, said the business needed to “prove itself” before being permitted to remain open later.

“It is the kind of offering, mainly food led, that we want to see,” he added.

“It was a very well put together application and I would encourage them to apply again in the future.”

Among those questioning the proposal was Westbourne and Westcliff ward councillor Barry Goldbart, who said the decision to allow the bar to stay open and serve alcohol until 1am was a “reasonable compromise”.

He added: “The police had suggested later opening hours, but we, as ward councillors, are very protective of Westbourne.

“It is so important to us to maintain its unique atmosphere.

“There are plenty of places if you want to go out drinking late and it is important to us to protect Westbourne’s image “We need to see how it is run first, but even if they run it very well, if you have started giving later drinking hours, it is difficult to stop the floodgates from opening and other businesses requesting the same.”

Council leader, Cllr John Beesley, also objected, claiming the character of Westbourne would be “severely compromised” by later opening hours.

Applicant Lauren Curley, who prior to the licensing meeting told the Echo Camden was intended to be a “chilled out and pleasant drinking environment”, refused to comment following the decision.