Late night alcohol licences ‘just not Harrogate’

Parliament Street at night. (1311126AM)
Parliament Street at night. (1311126AM)

Harrogate businesses forced to clear vomit and urine from their windows and front doors each week have voiced concern over the growing number of drinking spots with late-night alcohol licences operating in the town centre.

Parliament Street shop and business owners held talks with residents and representatives of town clubs to discuss the impact the alcohol laws- which allow some establishments to serve until 6am - are having on the area.

Led by Mike Procter of M Procter Opticians and backed by Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce, the meeting heard Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) is to carry out a winter consultation over a town centre development plan, which will take into account the concerns raised.

Mr Proctor said: “A number of businesses in and around Parliament Street experience a problem arising from night time economic activity.

“They have to clean vomit from windows and front doors.

“And there are also a lot of residents complaining about late night licencing costing them business.

“However, we understand the need for Harrogate to have a thriving visitor economy and late night licensing is a big part of that.”

A spokesperson for Elite Taxis, who operate in the area through the week, told a later meeting of Harrogate Chamber: “We are strongly against the late licensing of premises in Harrogate.

“It simply is a mess. Parents are worried about their children getting home.

“It is just not Harrogate.”

Mr Procter added: “We saw the need for a new focus which will pull all the strings together.

“At our meeting we had residents, businesses and clubs represented.

“They have united to help guide the way Parliament Street develops in the future.”

A chamber statement read: “Those at the meeting raised the impact a cluster of late night licences in a small area was not being adequately addressed by the council when it made decisions on new licence applications.”

HBC was represented, and will work with those present to develop its strategy, due to be unveiled in early 2014.

The meeting also discussed dropped pedestrianisation proposals put forward in 2010.

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