Efforts to extend drinking hours until 4am at a Stockton bar have been delayed amid police objections over fears of violence.

The owner of The Clock Tower, on the High Street, wants to push back the serving hours of the bar from 2am to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights with closing time at 4.30am.

But Cleveland Police has shared its worries given the number of calls it responds to at the bar.

Councillors were due to make a decision on whether to grant the licence changes at a licensing committee meeting on Tuesday morning (October 9).

The Clock Tower, Stockton, Stockton High Street
The Clock Tower, Stockton, Stockton High Street (Image: Google Street View)

However, the meeting was adjourned until a later date after all parties agreed.

In a letter to Stockton Council, licensing officer Andrew Thorpe said the longer hours would “undermine” efforts to stop crime and disorder in the town.

PC Thorpe’s letter added: “The Clock Tower has, unfortunately, been the location of a number of incidents of violence and disorder over the past 12 months, some of which have resulted in serious injury.

“Many of these incidents have been captured on council CCTV and can be provided as evidence during a hearing.”

Police also feared the problems would be “exacerbated” by later drinking hours and “wholly supported” licences not being granted for late night refreshment beyond 3am.

The letter added: “While Stockton Town Centre is less busy than it used to be during the night time economy, it is still terminal hours between 2am and 4.30am where we find the more serious incidents occurring.”

Owner Andrew McAllister submitted the pub’s application back in August to offer alcohol on and off the premises at a later hour.

His bid also contains a plan to put tables and chairs outside the pub until 9pm.

But the documents stressed this would be “managed”.

At least two door-staff would be on the door after 10am under the plans – with a minimum of three bouncers during the week.

The door staff team would also be fitted with body cameras and remain on the doors until 20 minutes after closing time.

Police was not the only public body to object to the licensing bid.

The council’s environmental health unit told licensing colleagues the steps offered would be “inadequate” to prevent noise nuisance.

Meanwhile, the public health team objected over fears it would lead to “excessive alcohol consumption” and “increased crime and disorder”.

And the planning department added its concern – objecting to the outdoor chairs and tables “forcing pedestrians into the taxi rank area” while they were waiting for a cab.

A 55-year-old man was left in a critical condition following an alleged assault near to the bar on Saturday, October 6.

A 24-year-old man was arrested and released under investigation.

© 2018 Tees Info

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