Norwich bar wins alcohol hours extension

A popular Norwich cafe/bar has been handed the chance to offer a slice of continental culture in the city after councillors went against advice from officers and gave a trial scheme the nod.

Until now, The Workshop in Earlham Road was not allowed to serve food or alcohol on its forecourt outside until 8pm at night.

Owner Warren Bryant had been hoping to extend that until 10.30pm, but the plans had sparked objections from neighbours who complained about issues such as noise, parking and smoking.

One letter to the city council warned the plans would create a 'permanent party', disrupting people living nearby.

However, the city council's licensing committee this week agreed the cafe/bar could increase the number of tables outside and could carry on serving alcohol there until 10.30pm.

But the cafe/bar's delight at that being granted would have been tempered had members of the city council's planning applications committee refused to vary the terms of planning consent, which ruled the forecourt could not be used as a restaurant after 8pm.

Council officers had acknowledged The Workshop did not attract the same clientele as many conventional pubs, but said the impact on neighbours would be 'unacceptable.'

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However, after Philip Mason, agent for The Workshop, suggested a trial period for the changes from the start of April to the end of September next year, councillors yesterday decided to grant temporary permission to test the water.

Graeme Gee, Green party councillor for Mancroft ward, said: 'While the impact on the amenity of people there is important there is also a great deal of support for this.'

There had been three letters of objection and 25 in support.