People still allowed to drink outside Norwich pub - but they have to sit down

People drinking outside a popular Norwich city centre pub will now have to sit down... but smokers can stand up, a hearing has ruled.

The Murderers in Timberhill has kept its tables and chairs licence, but the extra conditions added were described by the landlord as 'farcical'.

The pub faced a fresh battle to keep its outdoor tables and chairs – after an attempt to resolve a dispute with neighbouring business Moss and Leakey optician through 'restorative justice' failed and the optician again objected to the plans to the city council.

Now the pub has been successful in getting the licence renewed for another year, but landlord Phil Cutter said the new conditions could be the first step towards the licence eventually being refused.

He said: 'We are pleased we have got the licence but this is the fourth time the licence has come up for renewal in four years, and I expect Moss and Leakey to object again in a year's time.

'Eventually we could have so many conditions imposed on the licence that it could end up being unworkable.'

Mr Cutter said the optician was blaming the pub for a loss of trade, when all businesses across the country were losing out due to the recession.

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The conditions added to the pub's licence are that outside tables have to be spaced out a set amount and drinkers have to be seated, but smokers can stand.

Mr Cutter added: 'The conditions are farcical. How can we ensure the tables are placed at a certain distance other than taking a ruler out every day?'

David Foskett, managing partner at Moss and Leakey, did not wish to comment.

The Murderers has had permission for the tables and chairs since 1996.

As previously reported, Moss and Leakey believes the road and pavements are not wide enough to safely allow for chairs and tables and say smokers and drinkers outside the pub are rowdy and intimidate their customers who are made to feel unsafe.

Are you in dispute with a neighbour? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email