Chorleywood pub will 'isolate itself from the community' if new licence approved (From Watford Observer)
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Chorleywood pub, The Old Shepherd, will 'isolate itself from the community' if new licence approved
A Chorleywood pub could "isolate" itself from the local community if a contentious application for a new premises licence is approved.
The Old Shepherd, in Chorleywood Common, is seeking a variation of its premises licence, which will allow the pub to increase its alcohol sale hours and play live and recorded music.
Apprehensive residents packed into Three Rivers House to attend the council’s Licensing Committee hearing on Tuesday.
The application has been made on behalf of the pub’s tenant, Billy Chuter, by GRS Pub Investments.
Speaking for the application, Mr Chuter, said: "We do know that we have been stigmatised with the last tenant’s poor judgement and that we’ve been blamed on a number of occasions that are nothing to do with us, but are in the local area, which is why I understand the local residents are cagey about the pub."
Mr Chuter said that, since his tenure at the pub, he has received no noise complaints.
He added that the new variation licence would allow him the flexibility to hold music or late-night events, which he currently has to seek at temporary events licence for.
Being able to hold such functions would bring The Old Shepherd "in line" with the hours which other pubs in Chorleywood operate.
However, George Owen, whose property backs onto the pub, said that, with regards to competing with other pubs in the area, "this should not be a like for like scenario".
Natalie Young, of Ellwood Terrace, said the proposed licensing changes do not reflect a local need, and Mr Chuter will not be able to control how loud his customers are.
Ms Young said: "As a solution to increase revenue for The Old Shepherd, this is not the answer and will only serve to isolate the pub from the local community further.
"If this licence is granted, it effectively means that when I and many other parents put their children to bed, living mere metres away from The Old Shepherd, our children are subjected to loud noise."
She added: "The decision to agree these changes would be at the detriment of local children and residents and completely ignores the community who have chosen Chorleywood for the peaceful, quiet village that it is."
One of the overriding concerns of residents speaking at the meeting was that the licence was tied to the premises, not the person.
Ms Young said she did not "want a return to the days when The Old Shepherd was instrumental in an abundance of anti social behaviour".
Yet Mr Chuter maintains that he has worked hard to "bring this pub back into this community".
Committee chairman, Pam Hames, said members would take five working days to make their decision.
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