Express & Star

Smethwick venue given late-night licence despite protests from neighbours

An entertainment venue has been handed a late-night licence despite protests from neighbours.


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The Windsor Complex in Bearwood High Street, home to an Indian grill, bowling alley and arcade, can now open until 3.30am every day after plans were given the seal of approval by Sandwell Council’s licensing committee.

Several neighbours raised objections ahead of Tuesday’s licensing hearing who said their lives were plagued by loud noise and drunk and rowdy behaviour coming from the Bearwood venue.

A number of residents in adjoining Dunsford Road said the problems they faced would only be made worse by the venue opening until the early hours.

Windsor Complex

The objectors to the plans have listed a catalogue of concerns ranging from 'anti-social behaviour' to 'fly-tipping, broken glass, urinating in streets and constant loud music'.

Approving the application on June 11, Sandwell Council’s licensing committee said that all under-18s using the venue would have to be accompanied by an adult and would also have to leave by 10pm. Alcohol could be served until 3am with the venue then closing half an hour later.

The venue must also employ bouncers from 9pm every day. The door staff would also be expected to stay for 20 minutes after the venue had closed to make sure patrons left quietly and did not disturb neighbours.

Sandwell Council was expecting some of the dozen objectors to attend Tuesday’s meeting at the authority’s headquarters in Oldbury but the hearing went ahead without objectors speaking.

The objections, which were published in redacted form by Sandwell Council ahead of the meeting, said the late-night hours were “unnecessary.”

“This venue is in a residential area, which houses families and could increase the amount of noise, rowdy and drunken behaviour in the area,” the objection said. “It is not necessary for this type of venue in the area. Its opening hours are suitable and appropriate as they are.”

Another objector said residents already faced hearing “arguments and aggressive behaviour” from smokers outside the venue – which often left elderly residents and children feeling unsafe.

The objection read: “The loud behaviour of Windsor customers, either sat drinking or smoking outside the venue or returning to their cars – which regularly includes loud conversations and laughter, aggressive interactions such as shouting arguments and aggressive interactions between customers – not only impacts upon the peace of the neighbourhood, but can occasionally create an environment that does not feel safe to residents such as myself; who also include young children and the elderly.”

The objector went on to say that parking – or the lack of – was already an issue and would become a huge problem with longer opening hours.

“Parking is also a major problem, particularly at the weekend or if there is an event on at the venue as it has no parking facilities of its own and customers primarily use Dunsford Road for parking when visiting the venue,” it said.

The application from the Windsor Complex said: “The variation application is to extend the licensable hours and increase the licensable area for the premises based on customer demand and to keep the business afloat.

“The premises has always had a positive impact on the community, which includes employees, suppliers, customers, the environment, and the people in the local area. It will always show due diligence to the licensing objectives and ensure it is run in an efficient and safe manner.”

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