A beachside restaurant and bar has been granted a new licence which will allow it to extend its opening hours to 12.30am. Surfside in Polzeath had applied to Cornwall Council for a new licence to change the hours it can serve alcohol, have music playing and stay open.
Cornwall Council’s licensing act sub-committee agreed to grant the new licence with conditions which had been agreed by the applicants with the police and with councillors during a meeting last week.
The application had attracted a number of objections from local residents who claimed that the changes could result in disturbance, anti-social behaviour and impact public safety. There were also concerns that it would mean that Surfside would be able to open later than other venues in the area which could attract more people to the venue late at night.
However, the applicants said that, in relation to the last point, residents had been mistaken as nearby venues The Oystercatcher and Waterfront were both able to currently open late. The Oystercatcher has a licence which allows it to remain open until 1am and the Waterfront has a licence until 12.30am.
The applicants said that after objections had been received to the application they had sent letters to homes nearby and invited people to a public meeting to hear their concerns and to provide reassurance about what the venue wants to do.
They also stated that Surfside had raised money for charitable causes and that staff had undertaken litter picks on the beach to help keep the area clean and safe. The committee also heard that the venue has a zero tolerance approach to underage drinking and that a number of fake IDs had been confiscated from under 18s trying to get served at the venue.
Beach ranger Andy Stewart told councillors that whilst there had been problems with beach parties and anti-social behaviour in Polzeath this was not linked to or caused by the licensed venues in the area. He praised the venues for taking a proactive approach to prevent underage drinking.
He said: “The problem with parties on the beach has existed for a long time and, in my experience in my current role and last role, public houses don’t really contribute to the parties on the beach. The range of people partying on the beach is 12 up to 18. The measures that the public houses have in place to prevent under 18s entering the premises have prevented that.
“There is no denying that drink and alcohol and coastal paths and seawater don’t mix well but I can only speak from my experience and the parties on the beach we have lots of measures in place and it is music to my ears that Surfside are going to help with security after hours, that is really positive.”
The applicants said that they had held four events using temporary event notices last year under the timings and arrangements which they had applied for with the new licence. They said that there had not been any complaints recorded after those events.
One objector, who said that their property in Polzeath was a second home that they also use as a holiday let, said that a noise report which had been submitted by the applicants did not “represent the lived experience” of what it was like when the venue hosted events.
He claimed that he was able to hear every line of songs being played at the venue and added: “I can’t tell you how tedious it is to hear the whole crowd joining in with Come on Eileen as it reaches a crescendo.”
The applicants proposed an additional condition to the licence which would state that live music would be allowed in any outside areas after 10pm and that all recorded music would end at 11pm in external areas. Surfside also agreed to provide a telephone number for local residents in the area should they experience any disturbance from events held at the venue.
The committee agreed to grant the licence with all the conditions which had been agreed with the police and proposed by the applicants along with an additional condition that a noise limiter should be placed in the venue with records kept if agreed noise levels had been breached.