New bar in Southampton refused as police warned of ‘harmful effects’ IG News

IG News report,

An application for a new four-storey bar in Southampton has been rejected after police objected to the plan, saying it could have a ‘harmful effect’ on an area that already had a ‘large scale’ But there is chaos.

The proposal was to turn a site on Oxford Street, which has been vacant for five years, into a large drinking and dancing establishment with thatched roof terrace overlooking the neighborhood.

However, at Southampton City Council’s plan and a Right of Way panel on Tuesday, the plans were met with criticism from councillors, residents, societies, environmental health and police.

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary wrote to the council and listed the current crime figures in the area.

The figures listed cover only what the police call NTE – Night Time Economy – crimes, meaning those that occur between 7 pm and 7 am, and meet two of the following criteria: , pubs and clubs are connected; are related to drugs or alcohol; are a ‘relevant offence’ or anti-social behaviour; are in a known night-time economy location.

Read more: A Look Behind the Bar at Classy Southampton Bar Whiskey Blue

There were 60 incidents in 2018, 82 in 2019, 30 in 2020 – a low number attributed to the COVID lockdown – and 78 in 2021, despite the bar facing restricted openings due to COVID . There have been 71 incidents till 7 July this year.

The spokesperson said: “These are not linked to any particular licensed premises.

“Interestingly, apparently this figure is on the rise and this is after the opening of several campuses like One Oxford, Tropic, Palm Palm Pizza, Mail Room, OX47, Rita etc. Increasing wet trade in the area is detrimental to the sector. Will have effect.

“We’ve seen massive disorganization in the street during the latter half of last summer that includes throwing away tables and chairs, hardly the behavior expected from European restaurant culture the street itself is trying to portray.”

Police were not alone in their concerns as councilor Sarah Bogle, who represents the Bargate ward, which includes the road, also objected to the proposal for the same reasons.

She said: “I welcome this long-vacated building to be back in use, but am concerned about the addition of another drinking-led establishment in Oxford Street that could put too much pressure on too few police resources. .

Clerk Sarah Bogle.

“I object to building a roof-top bar and extension because I’m concerned about the noise impact to nearby residents. If roof-top terrace bars are allowed, this should be done in terms of opening hours would need to be strictly limited.

“Oxford Street is a lovely street with a positive mix of uses – I would prefer it remained as a restaurant rather than a bar [just] Once because it’s a huge venue that could change the character of the local night time economy.”

Crime and noise were not the only concerns, however, as a spokesperson for the City of Southampton Society focused on the dangers of ‘people falling from rooftops’.

He said the society’s concern was: “the potential for harm to health and safety[and]people falling on the pavement below the goggles or roof bar.”

This ability was said to be ‘critical’.

James Ailes, the planning officer who spoke on behalf of the applicant, attempted to counter the negative response to the proposal by talking about the benefits the site would bring.

Mr Iles said: “The proposal provides significant economic benefits, including the creation of new jobs and assistance to other businesses in the supply chain.”

The application was denied, and one resident, Colin Beaton, said that ‘to think something like (this) has no effect on the local community is an illusion’.

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