Despite COVID-19 fears and Police objections, a ‘nuisance’ restaurant in Ryde has been given a half-hour extension to its licence.
The owner of Harbour House, a restaurant and cocktail bar on the Esplanade in Ryde, Leigh Hyatt, submitted an application asking for a new licence to sell alcohol and late-night refreshments, playing recorded music until 01:00 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
PC Jason Pierce asked the Isle of Wight Council’s licensing committee if it ‘really wanted to be supporting the extension of alcohol sales and music into the early hours during the second wave of the current pandemic’ as late-night drinking and COVID-19 ‘are never a match made in heaven’.
“With approving this application you get increased intoxication and everything that comes with it – later night drinking, violence, crime, disorder and the inevitability of the likelihood of virus spreading.
“The timing of this application is poor. At a time when everyone is trying to slow down the factors that accelerate the virus, Harbour House is seeking to expand its hours at the wrong end of the day.”
Strong representations from nearby residents and the Police meant Ms Hyatt’s team brought the time back to midnight with more conditions added, in an attempt to make it seem more agreeable.
Concerns raised include litter outside of the premises, loud music and the ‘drunken debauchery’ of patrons, including vandalism.
On behalf of a group of residents, one woman spoke of the ‘intolerable’ and ‘dreadful’ problems she has faced from the Harbour House. She told a meeting of the council’s licensing sub-committee:
“I couldn’t sit in my garden, I couldn’t open the windows during that hot spell we had. It was a thorough nuisance.
“What was worse than the music was the screaming, screeching and the shouting — the music can be reduced but its the crowd.
“There seems to be a lack of responsibility from the owners and a lack of trust going forward.”