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Bar diners face attack and pollution, say opponents

A plan for a bar, restaurant and live music venue has prompted a flood of objections over potential crime and health risks.

Medway Council’s licensing hearing panel will meet on Tuesday to discuss the application for a new premises licence for live music and alcohol sales at 17 New Road, Chatham – a former furniture shop which is now closed and boarded up.

The panel will also hear a raft of concerns from objectors.

Owners have plans to open a restaurant bar at 17 New Road, Chatham - which was formerly a furniture shop
Owners have plans to open a restaurant bar at 17 New Road, Chatham - which was formerly a furniture shop

Among those who have written to the council is Bryan Fowler, who said the plan to have an outdoor forecourt area for drinkers and diners did not seem wise in the light of previous incidents on the street. These included an attack on squatters by a gang of men in January 2015 and another violent attack very close to the premises in July 2016.

“If restaurant users were present on the forecourt at these premises, there has to be a fear that they could be susceptible to being attacked,” he said.

The fact that the site was next to the busy A2 and in an air quality management area would expose drinkers to poor air quality and was contrary to public safety licensing objectives, suggested Mr Fowler. He added that children living in a terrace of houses opposite would be exposed to public alcohol consumption.

Other objectors included Linda Bowles, who said a previous nightclub in New Road, had resulted in residents’ lives being “disrupted in the most harrowing way from the drunk and disorderly behaviour” and that nearby properties had been “subject to breakages and used as urinals”. She also said the entertainment licence would “inevitably increase noise levels and anti social behaviour will, once again, become prevalent” .

Hayley Hillary wrote on similar themes, adding: “As a mother of two young children it is my utmost priority to keep them safe and happy in their own home.

“I do not want them awoken of an evening by drunken shouting, fighting and all the rest that comes with the influence of alcohol.”

Applicant Harun Miah has stated in his application form that there will be continuous staffing at all times and all areas, inside and outside, will be monitored by CCTV.

He states that disruptive customers will be asked to leave the premises and licence times will be strictly adhered to.

The application hearing will take place at the council’s headquarters in Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, at 9.30am.

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