A BRUNCH and cocktail restaurant in Christchurch will not be allowed to stay open late, following an intervention from police.

MAW, an independent business on the High Street, had an application to extend its opening hours refused.

At present, the restaurant shuts mid-afternoon, but its owner had applied to keep it open until 9.30pm on Sunday-Thursday, and 10pm on Friday and Saturday, with alcohol being served until closing.

Whilst the proposal received no objections from BCP Conservation and Heritage, Christchurch Town Council, BCP Waste and Recycling or the general public, it was still refused.

It is understood Dorset Police had issued advice for BCP Council to refuse the planning application.

According to a document on the BCP Council Planning Portal, Dorset Police had felt extending MAW’s opening hours would ‘upset the balance’ in the area.

The force said: “Dorset Police continue to have concerns that any extension to operating hours at this premises for the purpose of a premises offering alcohol provision or late-night refreshment is likely to cause anti-social behaviour and an increase in crime in the area.

“The premises is located close to a residential nursing home and whilst Christchurch generally enjoys relatively low levels of alcohol related crime and disorder, we feel that an extension to this premises would upset the balance that currently exists in this area.

“There is currently late night alcohol and late night refreshment provision in this vicinity which seems to meet the needs of the local community.”

Dorset Police also added that they had experiences “disorder at more than one of these premises in the past” but said crime levels remain low in this area.

It is not the first time a request for extended opening hours at the premises had been submitted.

Previous occupants had applied for later closing times in both 2020 and 2021, with both applications refused following a number of objections from neighbours.

The neighbours are said to be content with the opening hours in the latest application by MAW.

It is understood that MAW are seeking legal advice to appeal the decision.