Friday, 4 December 2009


A Margate bar has lost its licence on the grounds of public safety, in a case brought by Thanet District Council’s planning team.

Planning requested a review of the premises licence of Bar 26 and the case was heard at a meeting of the Licensing Sub-Committee on Tuesday (1 December).

A premises licence was originally issued for Bar 26 in August 2005, with an application made in July 2007 to extend the licensing hours. The police asked for a review of the licence in October 2006 and, although the Licensing Sub-Committee decided not to take any action, they did express concern about the number of complaints about the bar.

The police asked for another review in August 2009, on the grounds of prevention of crime and disorder, when it was decided that conditions should be added to the licence. This is subject to an appeal, which will be heard at the Magistrates’ Court in February 2010.

The latest review was brought by the council’s Planning team, who were concerned about safety at the venue. A closure notice was served on the licence holder and designated premises supervisor, Andrew Gerrard, on Friday 16 October. It followed a complaint by a member of the public about the state of Bar 26.

Representatives from the police and council visited the bar. They found fire extinguishers missing and one that was out of date. Current electrical and gas certificates could not be produced to prove that the bar was safe and complying with its licence conditions. The closure notice was then issued and it was explained that alcohol could not be served, as it would breach the notice and the licence conditions. Only once all the defects had been remedied and a cancellation notice issued, could alcohol be served again.

After the closure notice was issued, Bar 26 continued to trade and sell alcohol, which was confirmed by three separate visits to the premises over that weekend by police officers.
Licensing Manager Philip Bensted said: “It’s clear that Bar 26 have flouted the law in continuing to sell alcohol, after we issued our closure notice. We did that because we had serious concerns about the safety of the venue. The problems we found weren’t minor, they were major issues that could have endangered people’s lives. Continuing to trade, after these items have been highlighted, is completely irresponsible. It shows no regard for people’s safety and that’s why the council felt it had to act.”

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