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Congregation set to battle pub's open-air ambitions; Dining plans 'will wreck our worship'.

Byline: KEVIN CORE

A PUB'S plans to serve food and drink outdoors have met with fierce opposition from a group of Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Ravenscroft, in The Mount, Heswall, wants to extend its licence to include the outside area, lifting a condition which bans the sale of alcohol.

The area behind the premises directly joins onto a property owned by Heswall Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses - which says the application will create nuisance for people wishing to worship in peace.

The pounds 800,000 Ravenscroft is part of the Barracuda chain and opened its doors in 2007.

It took its title from the real surname of Wirral-born DJ John Peel.

In June, Wirral Council granted it permission to create an outside seating area on the basis it would not cause a significant nuisance.

The licensing committee retained the condition that "there shall be no drinking outside the curtilage of the building at any time".

Now, just months later, the Ravenscroft's owner wants to overturn that so it can include the new outside area within its licence.

A letter sent to Wirral's licensing committee from the Heswall Congregation set out its times of worship which would coincide with drinkers using the proposed area.

It adds since the premises opened, the availability of spaces in the neighbouring public car park has been limited.

The letter reads: "We are of the opinion the proposed use would adversely affect the quiet enjoyment by the Heswall Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses of the Kingdom Hall building immediately to the rear of the proposed licensed area.

"We consider the use of the area on the other side of a fence to our property would be an un-neighbourly development, should there be a granting of its use for alcohol and food consumption and allowing customers to smoke in this area."

The objectors also point out a number of limitations were put on the pub by the council in October, 2006 . It continues: "In summary, we object to the proposed application because it is expected to generate noise and smells, which would lead to the further loss of our quiet enjoyment of or immediately adjoining land and building for the purpose of our worship."

The managers of the Ravenscroft were unavailable for comment last night.

CAPTION(S):

The Ravenscroft, a flagship of the Barracuda chain, could fall foul of claims that they are being unneighbourly
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 17, 2009
Words:395
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