Smokers’ area would increase noise levels

The Avenue Pub, Norley Hall Avenue

The Avenue Pub, Norley Hall Avenue

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NEIGHBOURS want to stub out a smoking shelter scheme at a Wigan pub.

They fear an unacceptable amount of disturbance from the raised voices of regulars at The Avenue in Norley Hall Avenue who choose to use the facility.

The proposed structure - which was due to be decided upon by planning committee councillors today - is just 19m from the nearest home in Severn Drive.

And a dozen residents have written to planners urging they reject pub owner Weston Castle’s scheme, including ward Labour councillors Jeanette Prescott and chairman of planning, her husband Paul. In a joint statement they said that the shelter would be directly opposite homes and smokers would therefore have a clear sight into them.

They say that because to comply with the legislation it is open on three sides, the shelter could become used for criminal activities and anti-social behaviour.

They are also strong of the opinion that the shelter would end up being used for illegal outdoor drinking.

Director of planning Steve Normington is also recommending the shelter be refused.

He said: “It is accepted that customers have to smoke outside the premises.

“However, the shelter provides a focal points for smoking and associated outdoor drinking that would attract a greater number of customers into a confined area.

“It is considered that the noise emanating from the shelter caused by customers will impact upon the amenity of the properties adjoining the pub, particularly in the summer months when people will be out in their gardens and the windows of the properties will be open and later in the evening when background noise levels are low.

“The long licensing hours and the impracticalities of restricting use to within set hours means that it is considered that the introduction of a smoking shelter will have an adverse impact upon the residential amenity that neighbouring residents can reasonably expect to enjoy.”

l PEMBERTON ward election candidates: Jonathan Cartwright (Conservative); Mike Leyland (Community Action Party); Jeanette Prescott.