Concerns raised in ‘nice and peaceful’ area as bar hopes to stay open till midnight

A row has broken out in “a nice and peaceful” area as a new bar hopes to stay open till midnight.

The Cow Shed on Broadway in Bebington opened last year, replacing an old dry cleaners on the small high street.

Opposition and concerns were raised at a Wirral Council licensing meeting regarding the bar being allowed to serve alcohol until 10.30pm with added conditions such as regular meetings with neighbours.

Now the bar and grill wants to extend its opening hours serving alcohol until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. On a Friday or Saturday, it is also asking to be allowed to stay open until 1am. Sam Jones who runs it said they just wanted the extra hour for birthdays and events.

However, the plans have been opposed by Bebington councillor Jason Walsh who said it would “create an unreasonable noise disruption to local residents” as well as 15 representations claiming antisocial behaviour and public nuisance is coming from customers.

Merseyside Police and all other responsible authorities have made no representations.

Among them was Gerry Ffrench, who didn’t oppose the Cow Shed moving in but said problems around public nuisance including parking had become worse since it opened with little engagement with neighbours.

Broadway currently has a steakhouse and a new microbrewery but she said “we never had any trouble” until the Cowshed opened.

She said customers from out of town were coming and “they park all along the road, they park on your driveway,” adding, “Sometimes you can’t get through the cars. It tends to be people who drive Mercedes, BMWs, and four-wheel drives.” While she didn’t oppose the bar being there, she said the late hours “will change the atmosphere of the area which is nice and peaceful.”

Mr Jones who runs the bar which employs 22 people said, “We have not had one complaint in six months. We haven’t had the police, fire brigade, the council, nothing. It’s if we get a crowd of people in enjoying the football. We are not asking for 4am in the morning, just an extra hour really,” adding, “All of a sudden we have had complaints left right and centre, it doesn’t wash with us.”

Responding to complaints about parking, he said, “It is what it is. We are going to argue our side. What you need to look at is there are 18 other shops there and two of them are bars,” adding, “We have got no control. People are allowed to park where they can park legally. It’s out of our hands. We are not the only shop on Broadway so don’t point the finger at me.”

He said the bar pointed customers to the car park behind the shop which they also publicised on their social media.

Neighbours had also complained the bar had two windows smashed in shortly after opening but Mr Jones said another shop had had the same three months before with the incidents taking place on Mischief Night on 30 October when reports of vandalism tend to increase.

He said, “Vandalism goes on everywhere. You can’t just point at me just because I had the windows smashed. It had nothing to do with my place. There’s vandalism all over the place.”

The licence changes are up for consideration at a Wirral Council licensing meeting on 15 April.

Councillors will also decide whether to grant a premises licence to Abbasin Shapoor for 214 Bebington Road to sell alcohol which is being opposed by five neighbours as well as Rock Ferry councillors Tony Murphy and Paula Basnett.

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