Pub management told Watford 'is not Spain' after bid for later opening hours (From Watford Observer)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or upload here
Pub management told Watford 'is not Spain' after bid for later opening hours
A pub’s management were told Watford "is not Spain" after a bid to extend its hours provoked angry opposition from people living nearby.
More than 30 residents wrote letters of objection to Watford Borough Council after the Nascot Arms, in Stamford Road, applied to stay open later on weekdays and Sundays.
People in the area have complained the busy pub is already noisy and affects its neighbours’ sleep.
However the pub’s manager argued the application was a mark of its growing success and partly in response to punters who wanted to watch all of Match of the Day 2 on a Sunday.
The pub can currently serve drinks until 11.30pm Monday to Thrusday, midnight on Saturday and Sunday and to 10.30pm on Sunday. It wants to push back its Monday to Thursday and Sunday times to midnight.
During a meeting of the licensing sub committee yesterday (Thursday), Celia Rowbotham, member of Nascot Resident Association, said: "It’s this extension which is entirely inappropriate for this residential area.
"Almost all the houses are terraced and most are straight onto the street so there is very little insulation against the noise and I fear that the increase from the late hours will encourage the takeaway trade which I believe is quite substantial at the moment.
"I believe this will cause greater public nuisance as people will arrive to collect takeaway, the slamming of doors will cause noise."
Her concerns were seconded by Mark Watkin, a Liberal Democrat councillor for Nascot, who said the council has received more complaints about the pub as it had become more popular in recent years after it started to serve Thai food.
He said: "What is absolutely clear is that the management of the Nascot has got to engage with the local community to address their concerns.
"What extra business will follow from these longer hours and at what cost? This is not Spain. This is a quiet backstreet in Watford where all the neighbours ask is that they can enjoy undisturbed night’s sleep."
However Craig Fabian, the Nascot Arms manager, said the pub was responding to requests to customers for longer hours.
He said: "The main reason for extending the hours on Sunday is that I don’t have a lot of customers on a Sunday in the pub.
"Those who are in, they have been drinking in the pub for many, many years and they enjoy watching Match of the Day but they would miss the end of it.
"When they heard that I was coming to the Licensing Committee they asked if I would see if they could stay until the programme finished."
Mr Fabian also said the pub had become a respectable venues in recent year.
He added: "When I came to Watford, it was a shambles.There was a drug problem in the pub, especially on a Sunday afternoon when the football was on.
"I’m very proud of the fact, that in the ten years I have been here, the police have not had to called to people fighting in the pub. I want to keep that record. I want to encourage more families here.
"We have had some fantastic reviews on Trip Advisor."
The application to extend the opening hours on Monday to Thursday was granted, but the committee restricted the pub to an additional 30 minutes drinking time on a Sunday.