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Norwich pub in dispute with neighbour over tables and chairs licence

Phil Cutter of the Murderers pub.

Phil Cutter of the Murderers pub.

One of Norwich’s most historic pubs is facing a fresh battle to keep its outdoor tables and chairs – after an attempt to resolve a dispute with a neighbouring business through “restorative justice” failed.

The Murderers in Timberhill has had permission for the tables and chairs since September 1996. But since May 2008 the pub’s licence for the outdoor area has come under fire, mainly from neighbouring optician Moss and Leakey complaining of rowdy drinkers.

Despite opposition, the pub’s licence was approved in February 2009, but it is up for renewal next week after the optician again objected to the plans to the city council. The two sides had previously met to iron out their differences to try to reach a compromise in the form of “restorative justice”, which aims to get both parties talking to each other. But neither the pub’s landlord Phil Cutter nor David Foskett, managing partner at Moss and Leakey, were able to agree on the way forward.

Mr Cutter said Norwich City Council had received four letters of support for the licence but just one letter of objection.

He said: “Come next week, this exact same licence will have been reviewed on four occasions over the past four years. It is regrettable that while it seems I have the support of many other traders along Timberhill, it is the biggest and loudest voice which seems to be heard.

“Last year there were only five crimes reported in the whole of Timberhill, and none was connected to our pub. Having tables and chairs is an important part of my business, but it’s not really the monetary value. It’s another thing for us to offer, especially during the summer.”

However, Moss and Leakey believes the road and pavements are not wide enough to safely allow for the chairs and tables and say smokers and drinkers outside the pub cause a nuisance. Mr Foskett said: “The outside area becomes populated with alcohol-fuelled customers and nuisance; rowdiness and the use of foul language are the inevitable consequences.

“Our clients, the general public, repeatedly and justifiably complain they are intimidated by the sheer volume of people standing in the public highway and feel unsafe as a result.

“We strongly request that the renewal application be rejected.” The application is scheduled to be considered by Norwich City Council’s regulatory committee on Tuesday at 2pm.

Are you in dispute with a neighbour? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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9 comments

  • I am inclined to agree with Moss and Leakey Timberhill is a smart shopping street and quite narrow. Tables and chairs outside pubs in the UK are not quite the cafe culture we had envisaged-not the coffee and a small glass of wine, but people with nothing better to do all afternoon than swill beer. One business should not be allowed to change the character of an area for the worse, especially in the centre of Norwich as this is.

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    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

  • I am surprised that a busy woman,like"Daisy Roots" has time to notice what others are doing. I am sure that between her busy "management schedule" and commuting to somewhere with above average house prices, which she considers "posh", her mind is far to occupied to worry about a shopping street - even if she has noticed it enough to call it "smart".

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    peter blyth

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

  • So what is the complaint that the opticians customers make exactly, "that they are intimidated by the sheer volume of people" and feel unsafe - so on that basis these same customers will be too scared to enter Chapelfield or a supermarket then? It's just an excuse to protect their business, and if I had to pick one, I 'd say The Murderers is of far greater benefit to Norwich than Moss & Leakey.

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    martin

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

  • Oh for God's sake!!! What a lot of fuss over nothing Moss& Leakey! Life is very short, you should relax and enjoy yourself a bit more. Go out and sit on the Terrace in the sunshine, have a drink! On mainland Europe it is so easy to do this; why do we have to be so eaten up in Norwich with "changing the character of an area for the worse"? Just relax and enjoy yourselves......life is shorter than you think...........

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    Sarah van der Steeg

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

  • I'm inclined to agree with the Murderers, government legislation has meant smokers have to go outside and it's a nice area where people can sit on a nice day which to me adds to the appeal of the street. On a personal note, I'd avoid Moss & Leakey now as a retailer, for moving next to a pub, knowing there would be outside smokers, and then seeking to restrict the pub's trade. Why move there initially if they felt their customers couldn't cope with having a pub as a neighbour?

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    jmwhite

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

  • As the licensee, I entirely disagree...peolples perception of pubs appears from your comments seem to rely purely upon your perception and not FACTS. People drink outside pubs across the length and breadth of the UK...the smoke free legislation has forced these same customers outside...we host a minimum of 150,000 people through our doors annually. You say that one buisiness should not be allowed to change the charachter of an area for the worse...well, my buisiness has stood there since at least 1841...Moss and Leakey have been there for 5...Maybe they didn't see us there!!

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    Philip

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

  • I pass this Pub on a regular basis and Im yet to witness any unruly behavior,from customers using the outside seating.This is a well run Public House clean and tidy both inside and out.I would suggest that if Moss and Leaky don't like it,well they move,as this Pub was there long before they opened their business.They would be better off making the case for smokers to be accomodated inside,this would cut out to a large extent having an "outside" area,though I feel this adds character to the street scene

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    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

  • 150,000 annually through youre door ???? As a licencee myself with 17 years standing I must say I find youre figures a tad optimistic, but having said that, and if each and every punter spends around £10 each, I wouldnt be too worried about a few tables if i was taking £1.5m over the bar.

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    NR_Proud

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

  • This reminds me of a news story a few years back where a family moved into a house just yards from a Norfolk church and then complained bitterly about the sound of the bells on a Sunday! Moss&Leakey have to be the most short-sighted opticians in the UK! The pub had al fresco tables and chairs well before they opened up shop in Timberhill. They should 'put up and shut up' or move on to somewhere quieter if they don't like it, and stop rocking the boat for established traders. It is a perfectly respectable pub and adds character to the area. They are only looking after there own interests, NOT the 'general public' as they claim. Norwich City Council had better show some commonsense here.

    Report this comment

    Pete Bogg

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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