A landlord has been billed more than £8,000 in court costs after he withdrew an appeal against the council’s refusal to grant him a late licence.
Kyle Michael, who runs Mango in Silver Street, Aylesbury, wanted to extend the hours of trading until 7am at weekends and 5am during the week.
Aylesbury Vale District Council rejected the case earlier this year with the licensing sub-committee deciding that the application did not warrant a departure from the council’s town centre saturation policy, which is based on crime and disorder and anti-social behaviour arising from late night drinking.
The police submitted a detailed representation strongly objecting to the application. They argued that the introduction of late licences had not reduced crime and disorder and, in fact, may have made the problem worse.
Mr Michael appealed the decision, arguing that the council’s saturation policy was unlawful and in any event did not apply to his premises.
He said there was no evidence of crime or disturbance in relation to his bar.
After the first day, however, Mr Michael withdrew his appeal and agreed to pay the council’s legal bill of £8,479.
Councillor Judy Brandis, chairman of AVDC’s licensing committee, said: “This appeal and its final outcome is an important one for Aylesbury town centre.
“The council’s licensing policy has been carefully drafted and represents a considered and balanced approach to the issue of late night crime and disturbance arising from alcohol consumption in the town centre.
“The policy not only supports the needs of local residents and the police, it is also sufficiently flexible to meet all reasonable applications from the trade.”
But Mr Michael said he withdrew his appeal after the magistrates told him it should be heard in the High Court rather than by them.
He said: “The councils assertion this is a good result for their policy is untrue as it was never tested due to this ruling.
“With regards to police representations even their own evidence showed massive decreases in crime and disorder.
“Given that the basis of the appeal could not be determined without a lengthy high court process and given the local economy collapsing fast with more shops closing everywhere and pubs changing hands and closing down, I took the pragmatic view to withdraw at this stage.
“There was no win and no loss for either party involved and this should not be seen by the council as a win.
“Its policy remains unchallenged in a court and has not been held to scrutiny, but the effects are plain to see in the town centre.
“Now is the time for all parties in business and the local authorities to be working together to boost trade and employment for local people.