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Pontcanna guest house gets alcohol licence despite protests

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A GUEST house and cafe in Pontcanna has been granted an alcohol licence despite objections from residents and politicians.

Today at Cardiff City Hall the licensing sub-committee granted a premises licence to CF Eleven at 151 Cathedral Road.

Several residents and politicians opposed the application, citing the existing number of licensed premises, the character of the area and anti-social behaviour as potential problems.

Most licensed premises on Cathedral Road are further south than CF Eleven.

Councillor Iona Gordon, representing the residents, told the committee: “About halfway up Cathedral Road where CF Eleven is positioned, it’s mostly residential. The fear among residents is that if you grant a licence today to this business we will have something like the other end. It’s the noise and the altering of the character of the area the residents are concerned about.”

She added: “This is a hugely important historical area of Cardiff. It’s a conservation area. We would like to keep the character and the peace and not have the disturbance of people coming and going at night.”

However, the committee decided in favour of owner Jason Arthur Hamer, who will be able to sell alcohol on the premises from Monday to Sunday between 10am and 11pm.

Committee member Coun Jacqueline Parry said: “Although we sympathise with the concerns of the residents we have not heard evidence to suggest these premises will cause any problems in the area.”

Jon Wallsgrove, the solicitor representing Mr Hamer, said: “This is not a place where you would go and party. This is a place for people who are staying there.

“This is not about trying to make profit from the sale of alcohol. This is about offering that extra facility to guests.”

Mr Hamer has agreed to all the conditions set out by South Wales Police, including installing a CCTV system and removing an application to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.

“We shall be keeping a close eye to ensure this undertaking is upheld”

Coun Gordon said: “The residents will be disappointed at this decision of the licensing committee but without the police’s opposition it was inevitable that the licence would be granted.”

David Britton, who lives near CF Eleven said: “This beautiful tree-lined section of Cathedral Road has always been residential.

“Our concern is that this may be the thin end of the wedge. It was said at the hearing that the plan was specifically not to turn CF Eleven into a pub attracting passers-by, but mainly to enable resident guests to have a drink at the bar. We’ll be keeping a close eye to ensure that this undertaking is upheld.

“A fully operating pub would be completely unacceptable and unfair on other licensed premises in the neighbourhood, particularly at a time when pubs throughout Britain are reported to be closing at a rate of over 20 a week.

“For the future, I wouldn’t like to see the granting of this application as an indication of a change to the planning controls on this residential section of the street.”

Asked about the decision, Mr Hamer said: “I think there was no reason that they should not have granted it. It was the right decision.”

He is planning to open the bar some time in March.

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