COUNCILLORS will decide next week whether to grant a licence for a new bar in the centre of Christchurch.

Members of a BCP Council licensing sub-committee will consider Tom’s Bars’ request to take over the Roberta building in Church Street on Wednesday (June 12).

The company has provided mobile hospitality services across Dorset and Hampshire since 2014 but is now hoping to branch out with a permanent bar.

A planning application to change the use of the clothing store building was approved by Christchurch council in March, despite attracting dozens of letters of objection.

Speaking at the beginning of the year, Tom’s Bars founder Tom Owen said it was his dream to open a  bar in the town.

Concerns were raised about the number of similar businesses in the area and the loss of another shop in the town centre.

However, Christchurch council agreed to grant planning permission for the change of use of the building from retail to a bar.

A premises licence allowing alcohol to be sold from the site will now need to be approved.

In his application to BCP Council, Mr Owen said he wanted to provide a high-end “speakeasy wine and cocktail bar” which he said would complement other businesses in the town.

“The intention is to provide a first-class establishment maintaining the integrity and character of the listed building while providing a welcoming, sophisticated, café and relaxing space for those wishing to enjoy socialising and easy conversation,” he said.

The application says the bar would sell coffee and pastries from 9am with wine and cocktails provided in a “convivial” environment in the evening.

If approved, it will allow alcohol to be sold until 11pm Sunday-Wednesday, 12pm on Thursdays and 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.

However, it has been opposed by Christchurch resident Peter Fenning who said there were likely to be noise issues from people smoking outside and that “further nuisance” will be caused to people using the pavement outside the bar.

Despite this, Dorset Police has not opposed the licence application although it has requested that a series of conditions, including installing CCTV and training staff, be imposed should it be granted.

Members of a BCP Council licensing sub-committee will consider the proposal, following a site visit, at the Civic Offices in Christchurch on Wednesday, June 12.