A new Wigan restaurant can serve food on its outside terrace late into the evening, despite concerns for potentially noisy diners “after a few bevvies”.
Manchester-based Elle R Leisure, the company behind the Albert’s chain, is scheduled to open at the former Beeches Hotel in Standish next year.
A condition attached to the original planning permission, granted by the town hall in June, restricted the use of outdoor dining space after 10pm.
But company bosses were this week granted permission to remove this condition, after councillors agreed noise and disturbance issues could be managed through the site’s premises licence.
Coun Janice Sharratt told fellow planning committee members she “can’t wait to try” the restaurant, but voiced concerns about the potential for noise disturbance for nearby residents.
The Labour member for Ince said: “Noise carries at night and I don’t agree with this assessment that road traffic would mitigate that noise, it would during the day, but it certainly wouldn’t at night.”
She later added: “When we talk about noise, we’re not just talking about music, but people talking at night are loud, especially when they’ve had a few bevvies.
“This is the kind of noise I’m speaking about; people are sat outside, they’re having drinks, a meal, they’re talking, they are noisy.
“That’s what I’m particularly bothered about, because this noise does carry.”
Environment officers reassured the committee that the premises licence on the School Lane business “imposes controls which will help to monitor and enforce against any noise issues” and includes “music and voices”.
Elle R Leisure had argued the planning condition would “impact on the attractiveness and viability of the business” as diners will not be able to be seated in the outdoor areas after 8pm, ‘“since they would require at least two hours to finish their meal”, a report tabled for the committee said.
The committee heard the kitchen would not take orders past 10pm, but removing the condition would allow diners to continue eating on the outside terrace after this time.
Stephen Hellier, Labour member for Tyldesley, said: “The last thing we want is to clip the wings of this business as I suspect it will be very successful and it will, of course, employ people.
“Secondly, it is our custom and practice not to use two roots of legislation to control the same thing.
“So, at the end of the day, if we are comfortable removing the condition) we can still control what hapens through environmental health, I have no problem with that.”
Ray Whittingham, who represents Standish for the Conservatives, said: “Albert’s is an upmarket style restaurant and generally, I would have thought, the clientele will not be the type to make excessive noise.”
The committee voted to remove the condition with a unanimous vote.