licence - Royal Oak in Worleston with new homes next door

A village pub which has been renovated added an outdoor dining area to cater for any customers’ concerns following the Covid pandemic, a licensing committee heard.

The Royal Oak at Worleston near Nantwich has recently reopened after undergoing a full refurbishment.

Now it has applied to vary its licence to include a 60-seat brick-built dining room and a further outdoor open walled shelter for outdoor dining.

But some neighbours have objected to the licence application.

Pub owner John Schofield told a meeting of Cheshire East’s Licensing Act sub-committee: “I always intended to keep it as a small place as it was.

“But because of Covid we needed more indoor space and we certainly needed more outdoor space, which I’ve gone on and developed over the last three years.”

He said the pub, which dated back to 1860 and employs 25 people, had once been run by his grandparents in the 1950s and 60s.

“It’s going to be a community pub, a pub for local people where they can dine, have a drink.

“We’ve pulled back on the licensing hours and everything I’ve done I’ve tried to do my very best to make it compliant with neighbouring properties,” said Mr Schofield.

“The problem is the properties [houses] were built too near to the pub.”

He said this had happened when the land had been sold by a previous owner.

The committee was told the fencing had been put up, extra insulation put in the dining room walls for soundproofing and extraction fans and carbon filters ‘beyond what is required’ had been installed to deal with cooking smells.

Committee chair David Edwardes told the meeting the licensing hours being applied for had been reduced.

Originally, the opening hours were 10am to midnight Monday to Thursday and 10am to 1am Friday to Sunday.

!And it’s now closing at 11pm midweek as it were, 12am Friday and Saturday and 10pm on Sunday. That is clear. The hours have been reduced,” said Cllr Edwardes.

Objector Charlotte Wilcock, who spoke on behalf of some neighbours, said: “Regardless of previous planning and the closeness of the properties to the pub site, that is irrelevant to today’s proceedings.”

She said noise and smells could impact on neighbours and that when people bought their houses – which were built about seven years ago – they were told the area the pub now planned to use, was to have been private.

“I can fully appreciate everyone’s gone through the Covid pandemic and appreciate some people aren’t comfortable sitting inside so want to sit outside,” said Mrs Wilcock.

“But equally the size of the area, the proximity to the properties and the concerns over noise and sound egress into the properties, and originally the opening hours were extended over what they are now being reduced to, so it meant no times, for those properties, when they were not going to be impacted by that.”

Mr Schofield agreed to a suggestion of closing the children’s play area at 9pm and that outside dining would end at dusk.

Cheshire East will publish its decision on the licence application by the end of next week.

(Image courtesy of Google maps)

9 Comments

  1. Mike Talbot says:

    You may live in an area and find life good around you, but don’t pull yourself into a false sense of security, as one day builders may build in the fields next door, neighbours may plan big extensions, and life suddenly changes not always for the better, but I would say to no voice concern into a venue that has agreed with the council to limit the effect on a community so late in the day is downright selfish. You had your chance like with other pubs to club together and finance it as a community asset, time was then and you are going to have to see how it affects you or move, don’t expect time to stand still, nothing is the same as it was before so get real

  2. Being a villager this is an asset to our community well run fantastic pub, we have waited a long time for the pub to reopen and become the heart off the village yet again

  3. Perhaps, Jill Turner, if you hadn’t just moved here you’d realise this used to be a quiet village pub but it’s been shut for many years. And if you’d actually read the article you’d see that during this time these houses were built next to the semi-derelict pub so this is hardly NIMBY’ism. Pub noise is hugely pervasive and the likes of the Schofields seem to think because they are “important” in the licensed trade locally they can do whatever they want without any account of surroundings.

  4. Gary Vernon says:

    Apparently, Nantwich Chronicle have published an article today suggesting that locals are appalled by the pub reopening. Can I point out that 99% of local residents are thrilled & it’s only a very small minority who are against it. I wish the press would do some research before publishing their articles.

  5. hi I’ve been in the pub and it’s a lovely place to go and have a lovely drinks n meals. a pub without music is a very very dull place to be in. why don’t they just embrace the pub inti the community and enjoy the social life that it will bring to your village.

  6. Well said, it’s not rocket science

  7. frances jones says:

    dont move to a house next ta pub

  8. Jill Turner says:

    Why buy a house next to a popular, well run pub then complain about the noise? 🙄. It sounds as though the landlord is complying with his licensing conditions and trying to provide a place to meet for the community. NIMBYism is everywhere. We have moved here from Twickenham where people bought houses close to the rugby ground and were surprised to find rugby fans descending on the town and making life a teensy bit noisy for them a few Saturdays a month in the autumn and winter. The best one was when people bought posh housesin a gated development slap bang next to LBRUT Civic Amenities Site (or the dump as most ordinary folks called it). They were annoyed when the Council refused to relocate the site. Oh dear!

  9. Perhaps if there was an assurance that music and people noise levels were kept were kept below an allowed standard or no music at all then that would keep neighbours more happy. Law and order is always assuring.

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