A WINCHESTER pub has bucked the trend and will reopen after a long closure.

Its operator had its licence application approved by city councillors, despite objections from pub neighbours.

As previously reported, The Wellington Pub Company applied for a new premises licence to the city council to re-open The Rising Sun pub in Bridge Street.

The council’s licensing sub-committee permitted the plan on Tuesday, March 26.

In recent years many city pubs have shut never to reopen, including the Heart in Hand in Highcliffe, Prince of Wales in Hyde, New Queen's Head in Stanmore and Chimneys in Weeke.

The application sought permission to play live and recorded music and supply alcohol between 11am and midnight from Monday to Thursday, 11am to 1am on Friday and Saturday and 11am to 11.30pm on Sunday.

An additional condition was also added to the application, stating that no drinking vessels would be allowed to be taken outside the front door.

READ MORE: Eight objections to application to reopen Winchester pub The Rising Sun

Richard Taylor, speaking to the sub-committee on behalf of the Wellington Pub Company, said: “By rights, we should not even be having this hearing, my office forgot to renew the premises licence when the Rising Pub shut down – the fault lies with my office. If it had not lapsed then we would not be here at all.

Hampshire Chronicle: The applicants speaking to the sub-committeeThe applicants speaking to the sub-committee (Image: Chris Atkinson)

“The application is for the exact same hours on the previous licence for both selling drinks and activities. However, we have updated the licence conditions.”

Mr Taylor told the sub-committee that it would have to decide on the application based on the evidence provided, and pointed out that responsible authorities, including police and Environmental Health, had not submitted any objections, saying: “They would be here if they had.”

Colin Webster, of St Johns Street, objected to the application. He said: “My response to this application is, what are the applicants going to do about the noise when customers go outside for a cigarette or when they leave at closing hours? This can be dealt with if there were shortened opening hours.”

Also speaking in opposition, Jeremy Culverhouse, of St John’s Street, said: “I want to ask the Wellington Group how they will be choosing the tenant. It really is the quality of the management we should be asking about.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Jeremy Culverhouse speaking to the sub-committeeJeremy Culverhouse speaking to the sub-committee (Image: Chris Atkinson)

He went on to describe to the committee an incident where, under the pub’s previous landlord, a bouncer was knocked out and a 20-man brawl erupted in the street outside the pub. He continued: “The previous landlord and his wife were a nice couple. If they could not control the crowds, what hope is there?”

Greg Konneker, of St John’s Street, said: “My wife and I know there is nothing we can say or do to stop the pub coming in. But we would just like the new owners to run the pub in a way like the other pubs in the area, like the Willow Tree or the Bishop on the Bridge.

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“They all had responsible licences. By 11.30pm people are leaving. These pubs do not have in any way the same number of complaints that this one does.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Greg Konneker speaking to the sub-committeeGreg Konneker speaking to the sub-committee (Image: Chris Atkinson)

Mr Konneker went on to explain to the sub-committee that the residents often had to deal with pub customers parking in parking spaces belonging to the residents, as well as urine and vomit left in the street.

Mr Taylor told the sub-committee that a noise management strategy was in the process of being devised, and that other safety measures, including CCTV and body worn video cameras were being considered to keep residents and staff members safe.

The sub-committee considered its decision in private and then reconvened to say it had approved the application. There was no mention of a vote.