COUNCILLORS have approved plans for a pop-up bar on the site of a demolished hotel, dismissing concerns it could lead to anti-social behaviour in the area.

Objections had been made to the application submitted by Juniper Tree Catering for the Salterns Harbourside Hotel proposals, warning it would be "ridiculous and irresponsible".

But a licensing sub-committee agreed to approve the licence when it met last Monday - a decision that has now been revealed by the publications of the minutes of its meeting.

Objectors living in the area around the now-demolished hotel had warned the pop-up bar and restaurant could lead to issues of anti-social behaviour in the area.

“If the venue continued the Covid habit of table service with food and licensing for afternoon and evenings, with a limit on numbers, this could be a very acceptable and enjoyable venue for us all,” David and Zin Matthews, whose home overlooks the site, said.

“If it descends into a crowd of noisy drunken customers causing misery to the many nearby residents and boat owners, revoking the license will be more difficult than getting it right now.

“We want to support the local hospitality industry and accept that the site has great potential as a venue but it will require responsible management to ensure nuisance is minimised.”

But speaking at the licensing hearing solicitor Philip Day, who represents Juniper Tree, said the facility was aimed at users of the marina and not to become a "destination bar".

"It's the reality of the situation that, other than the marina and obviously the local residents, there really isn't very much down there at the moment," he said. "It's not like going to the beach or something like that.

"It's slightly off the beaten track and frankly if you don't really stay there then you're not going to realise is there. There is also only seating for 25 people."

As a result of the objections, a decision on the application was made by councillors at the meeting earlier this month but this has only been made public with the publication of the minutes from the meeting.

The licensing sub-committee approved the licence saying it had been "reassured" about the scale of the bar and dismissed residents' worries.

"These concerns appeared to be based on a fear of what may happen in the future should the licence be granted and did not provide any substantial evidence of public nuisance that could be taken into account when determining the application," the minutes read.

"The sub-committee was reassured that the primary purpose of the application was to provide food and drink for owners of boats and yachts docked in Salterns Marina, and local residents living near the vicinity and not necessarily to attract patrons from outside this area.

"They noted the applicant is being funded by Salterns Marina Ltd, that it is very expensive to berth in this marina and those operating the premises would not want to jeopardise the loss of these customers, by allowing noise to emanate from this premises that would disturb those using the marina."

The minutes added that the provision of CCTV and the small scale of the outlet had allayed remaining concerns about the potential for anti-social behaviour.