Councillor couple clash over stance on micropub's hours
Variation of a micropub's opening hours caused a family split as a husband and wife councillor duo argued for and against the plans.
Gaisford councillor Bryan Turner opposed the extra hours for the Brooksteed Alehouse, in South Farm Road, but his wife, Val, was fully in favour.
The couple’s disagreement was amicable, however, and they reconciled over a pint at the micropub after Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee approved the plans last Wednesday.
Mrs Turner told the committee: “We have been there and enjoyed a drink.
“It is very well run and everybody I have every spoken to have been quite happy with it.”
The micropub opened 19 months ago in a former hairdressing salon and has since been named as pub of the year by the Arun and Adur Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) branch.
Owner Nick Little’s application sought to plug a gap in the micropub’s current opening hours.
Currently, Brooksteed must close between 2pm and 5pm between Tuesday and Saturday.
The application would see it open from 11.30am to 9.30pm and 11.30am to 5.30pm on Sunday.
One letter of objection was received, alongside nine letters of support, with the objector arguing it would create ‘additional disturbance’.
Mr Turner, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It will inevitably have an impact on their right to enjoy their home in peace and comfort.
“Residents did not move to the area to live next door to a pub.”
Mr Little highlighted the fact that the proposed hours would not extend the micropub’s opening later into the evening.
He said there had been no complaints – backed up by the council’s environmental health officer’s report to the committee, which confirmed no complaints had been received.
Mr Little said: “In the 19 months we have been open I am not aware of being contact about any activities that have happened and police have never visited.”
“I think it is in exactly the right location in the heart of the community.”
After a short debate, the committee unanimously sided with Mrs Turner.
Councillor James Doyle said: “It has helped to regenerate the area and it is managed really well.
“It is a credit to the neighbourhood and we should celebrate that success.”
Councillor Nigel Morgan supported the plans but questioned whether they would allow customers to drink for longer and potentially create disturbance.
Mr Little said his clientele typically looked for quality, not quantity and suggested anyone who wished to do so could potentially manage it within the current hours.