WIMBORNE’S Rising Sun pub has been granted an extension to the area of its grounds it can use for drink sales.

Like other pubs the business has added outdoor areas for customers during the pandemic months  – although not all of its space was covered by the existing licence.

A Dorset Council licensing panel has now rectified that, agreeing to extend the area – a move which may not be popular with all its neighbours.

Some had objected to the proposed variation of the original licence – although the premises has not asked for any extended hours and been voluntarily closing earlier than its permitted hours.

Neighbour Julia Herbert told a licensing committee meeting in County Hall, Dorchester that the effect of the covid restrictions meant more people were now outside than previously, causing additional disturbance to residents in Millstream Close.

She objected on behalf of neighbours to increasing the pub’s licensed area to include the garden and car park.

The pub has already arranged additional seating in its outside space and constructed a “Sunset Room” which is just outside the previous licensed area and has given over much of the car park to seating.

Ms Herbert told the heard that she appreciated what landlord Steve Matthews had been trying to do to improve the pub since taking over two years ago but said that, as diligent as he might be, it was impossible to control the noise and behaviour of customers over such a large area.

Hall & Woodhouse solicitor Philip Day admitted that at times in the past the Rising Sun had “something of a reputation” but since Mr Matthews had become the landlord discos and late night music had stopped. He said that although licensed to midnight from Sunday to Thursday and to 1am Friday and Saturday Mr Matthews had chosen to keep to conventional pub hours and encouraged customers indoors later in the evening.

He said the closure of the pub car park for parking, using it for customers instead, had been a benefit to residents with car doors no longer being slammed late into the evening.

Mr Day said the application for the additional area had been made solely to regularise the on-sales business to include the Sunset Room and surrounding areas within the licence.

The landlord told the hearing that he lived above the pub, and like the residents, did not want late night noise and disturbance. He pledged that as long as he was there would be no return to late-night disco music. He offered his personal mobile phone number to Mrs Herbert and other residents promising to deal with any problems.

“It’s our intention to have a good food menu and appeal to a wider population. It’s encouraging that some of the residents have started using the premises,” he said.