A RESTAURANT at Poole Quay will now be able to serve alcohol on its outdoor terrace until 11.30pm three days a week, despite objections from residents.

Banana Wharf had applied to extend its licence on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays in order to “take advantage” of public events being held nearby.

The bid had been opposed by people living nearby to the Dolphin Quays-based restaurant who said that the longer hours were “not appropriate” in what is a largely residential area.

Until the decision at Wednesday’s meeting of Poole council’s licensing sub-committee, alcohol could only be served on the outdoor terrace until 10.30pm, a time its owners argued was too early and created additional disturbance.

Representing the restaurant’s owners, solicitor Jonathan Gray said that a later finishing time would lead to a “staggered” departure of customers rather than everyone leaving at 10.30pm.

“My client believes that by extending the licence you will be reducing disturbance to residents,” he said.

“Of course there is also a commercial element to this and this will allow my clients to take advantage of a number of public events taking place in the area.

“But it’s also a decision that has been taken conscientiously, with residents in mind.”

However, residents raised concerns that extending the licence could set a precedent in the area for later opening times adding to disruption.

Paul Smith said: “We have no objection to the current licence but extending it will open the floodgates for other places to follow suit.”

His fears were echoed by Cllr Mark Howell who objected to the original licence extension application.

“I object to the extension of hours of the outside area because it will inevitable cause nuisance to people occupying apartments in Dolphin Quays and will set a precedent for other licensed premises in the Old Town.”

Despite this, members of the committee agreed to approve the extended licence, citing the lack of objections from any public body or council department.

Its chairman, Louise Russell, said that the decision had been made following “careful consideration” of residents’ concerns as well as an environmental impact study carried out on behalf of the restaurant’s owners.

“The objections relate to the prevention of public nuisance,” she said. “Concerns have been expressed that this will worsen, causing disturbance to residents, however no objections have been received from any responsible authority.”

The agreed licence extension will also enable the restaurant to remain open until 11.30pm on the Sunday before bank holidays.