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Byline: Neil Elkes

PLANS to open a 4am student bar next to the teenage cancer ward at Birmingham Children's Hospital have been thrown out.

City licensing chiefs refused Nihal Enterprise Ltd, owner of Pushkas restaurant on Broad Street, permission to launch The Lecturer restaurant bar in the former Sound Bar building at the end of Corporation Street.

Despite assurances from owner Amarjit Singh Rai that it would be an 'all-day traditional British pub' the initial application for a licence until 4am with recorded music, live entertainment and no tables and chairs seemed more in keeping with a nightclub.

The hospital says it had 23 complaints about noise and nuisance from the previous Sound Bar from patients, parents, visitors and staff between September 2009 and February 2011 and fears a repeat.

Hospital chief operating officer David Eltringham said: "We have children from babies to teenagers who are being investigated for cancer, treated for cancer, undergoing minor and major surgery and chemotherapy in the nearest wards. "Rest is a key part of their rehabilitation."

Mr Singh Rai offered to cut the opening hours to 1am Sunday to Thursday and 2am Friday and Saturday nights, rule out live music, provided a seating plan and limit smokers outside to ten.

He also offered to install a noise limiter on the sound system in a bid to calm the objections.

His spokesman said: "It will be an all-day venue, a good old British pub serving fresh food and draught beer from breakfast through to dinner."

Despite being opposite a major student population at Aston University he said it would be aimed at the city centre worker.

Police and Children's Hospital representatives indicated they would be satisfied with a restaurant or pub-restaurant style venue, but were still concerned at what happened after food stopped being served at 11pm.

Licensing officer Abdul Rohoman said: "It should be open no later than 1pm seven days a week because of the proximity to the hospital."

He added that the design of the building with large single pane windows around the front does not allow much control over noise.

The committee agreed. Mr Singh Rai said that he would take legal advice before considering an appeal.


Controversial: The site of the proposed Lecturer and, on the right, the Children's Hospital.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 29, 2012
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