Shrewsbury shop's outdoor bar could become permanent fixture

An outdoor bar and dining area which opened temporarily on one of Shrewsbury's main shopping streets last summer could become a permanent fixture.

Belinda Griffiths of Wyle Blue World wants to open her garden bar a permanent fixture
Belinda Griffiths of Wyle Blue World wants to open her garden bar a permanent fixture

The venture, at Wyle Blue World in Wyle Cop, met with significant success and won owner Belinda Griffiths a national Good Retail Award in February – and now she has applied for an alcohol licence to allow it to continue.

A licensing hearing will be held next week to determine the application for the ‘Blue Bar’, as a result of objections received from two neighbours citing concerns over noise and cooking odours.

Meanwhile a planning application for change of use of the garden has also been lodged with Shropshire Council.

In her licence application, Ms Griffiths describes the Blue Bar as an “alfresco Moroccan-themed terraced garden bar”, which was previously operating under temporary events notices.

Belinda Griffiths, in the garden area. Photo: Birgitta Zoutman Photography

The two seating areas within the garden – a walled courtyard and upper terrace – would be table service only and all tables would be pre-booked, Ms Griffiths says.

Wyle Blue World is next door to Cafe on the Cop and is three doors up from the Nag's Head pub, which has a large beer garden.

The shop itself would not be covered by the licence, with food and drink served from a garden bar and outdoor grills.

Ms Griffiths says that due to the success of the Blue Bar last year she now wants to open the Blue Bar on more dates between April and September this year, operating between 10am and 11pm, with alcohol served between noon and 10pm. Serving and closing times will be an hour earlier on Sundays.

A report to the council’s licensing sub-committee by public protection officer Ross O’Neil says environmental health chiefs had initially objected to the proposed hours on the top terrace and “requested conditions further conditions to protect the nearby residential properties from noise and odour and an amendment to operating hours”.

This has now been withdrawn and Mr O’Neil says there were no objections from other ‘responsible authorities’, including the police, fire service, trading standards and public health.

There were however two public objections.

One said the potentially “significant” noise would cause “continuous disturbance for adjacent residents into the late evening”, impacting their mental health.

It raised further concerns over smoke, cooking smells, security, and fire exits, concluding: “Under no circumstances should an open kitchen, dangerously positioned, in daily operation over sustained hours, creating smoke and releasing carcinogens and particulate matter that rise into adjacent residential areas, be permitted to operate, not only for the case involved here, but because of the damaging precedent which would be established for other restaurants in town.”

To grant a premises licence, the hearing panel must be satisfied the applicant will meet the four licensing objectives of protecting children from harm, prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and prevention of public nuisance.

Following the hearing on Wednesday, the licensing sub-committee will issue its decision within five days.

The planning application for change of use of the garden from residential to outside bar/restaurant will be determined separately by the council’s planning department.

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