Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Cumbrian landlord will close pub if refused live music licence

A Maryport publican on the blues circuit will call time on his business if the council refuses to let him to play live music.

Maryport pub photo
The Middle Tap

Denis Lynch, landlord of the Middle Tap Bar on Senhouse Street, has applied for a variation in his premises licence which will go before Allerdale Council’s licensing panel on March 1.

The pub has been closed since October when Mr Lynch had a triple heart bypass operation but now he says he will close his pub permanently if his application is turned down.

Mr Lynch said: “A licence would help me compete on a level playing field with the other pubs.

“You can’t make a living without a music licence and I will leave it closed and only reopen for the Blues [Festival]. I might even board the windows up.”

Many publicans see music as the lifeblood of the town, particularly during July’s annual blues festival, traditionally their busiest time.

Because the main stage will no longer be part of this year’s festival, the competition for customers is likely to be particularly fierce.

Mr Lynch has been trying unsuccessfully to get a change in his licensing conditions for several years and even applied to turn the pub into a house.

He had been told that he was not allowed to play live music using amplified equipment until a scheme of sound control and insulation has been carried out by the council.

But his neighbours had refused to let the council into their homes to carry out tests, and a costly court injunction would have been needed to gain access.

Mr Lynch said: “The house [next door] is now empty so this is my ideal opportunity to go for a variation of the licence.

“I don’t want a late license. The music would start at 7.30pm or 8pm and finish at about 10pm.”

A variation in his premises licence which would allow Mr Lynch to play live music until 10.30pm at the latest on Friday and Saturday; and between 4pm and 8pm on Sundays.

Recorded music can only be provided through amplified equipment until 10.30pm at the latest and only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Outside of these time music could only be played on a jukebox.

The licensing panel can either grant the application;modify the conditions of the licence; approve different parts of the premises for different activities; or reject the whole – or part – of the application.


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