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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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Rival bar tries to stop new Carlisle nightspot from opening

An eleventh nightspot is poised to open in Carlisle despite a bid by a rival bar to stop it.

Carlisle bank photo
The former Santander Bank premises

The former Santander Bank in Carlisle’s Devonshire Street is being transformed into a new £500,000 cafe/bar, creating up to 15 jobs.

Owner Ron Wood, who has several other bars in the city, says McQueens will offer a “modern, laid-back cafe culture atmosphere” and will breathe new life into a decaying building.

It will become the 11th nightspot within a few streets of each other – with four other bars on Devonshire Street alone.

The area also includes the Thin White Duke, Le Gall, Eaten By Monsters, Club Britannia, Concrete, Picasso, Hell Below, Circle Bar, Bocata and the Gilded Lily.

But the scheme faced fierce opposition from rival bar owner David Ward, whose portfolio includes the Gilded Lily and Eaten By Monsters, as well as residential properties nearby.

The buildings where the Gilded Lily and Eaten by Monsters are located are owned by David Ward but the businesses are run by John van Lierop.

At a meeting of Carlisle City Council’s licensing sub committee, he claimed late-night noise at the venue would disturb residents in new luxury apartments being built on the street.

Mr Ward also accused the committee of dishing out licenses for new bars and clubs too easily.

He said this was leading to a decline in the quality of what the city centre offers.

“If you give licences away until 2am or 2.30am you just create urban decay rather than creating an atmosphere people want to come to,” he added.

“Increasingly Carlisle is becoming more and more desolate.

“Castle Street is decimated, certain aspects of English Street are tired, and Devonshire Street is doing okay against a backdrop of urban decay.”

The bid for a premises licence was not opposed by anyone else, including police or the fire service.

Mr Wood said Mr Ward had never raised any concerns previously when licence applications had been lodged for other bars in the area.

He also accused Mr Ward of lodging the objections as he did not want any competition.

Mr Wood told the committee: “He [Mr Ward] has clearly decided himself as to when and where the public of Carlisle should socialise.”

The panel agreed to grant the licence for McQueens provided the bar closes at 2am rather than the original proposal to stay open until 3am.

Have your say

Sheila, if you like living in putney that is fine. I love having beautiful countryside on my doorstep and don't feel the need to go away for the weekend all the time. If I do want to go to places like Paris for the weekend I can (and have done). You might get paid more in London but the cost of living is also far greater. I know people who have moved to carlisle and Cumbria from London and like living here. A lot of people from London certainly come and visit the lake district. Each to their own.

Posted by jon on 22 April 2014 at 12:30

we need jobs in Carlisle the revamp of Carlisle airport would be better the councils are short sighted and don't look to the future

Posted by steven ballantyne on 9 April 2014 at 12:34

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