Pub closed after youth brawl to be restaurant; LICENCE FOR ALCOHOL WITH FULL MEALS ONLY.
A PUB closed down after drunk children were seriously injured in fights will reopen as a restaurant.
Elfyn Wyn Jones has been granted a licence to run the Saracen's Head Hotel on Corwen Road in Cerrigydrudion, despite concerns raised by North Wales Police at a meeting of Conwy council's licensing sub-committee.
The establishment was shut in January after staff sold alcohol to underage drinkers and failed to control them when things got out of hand.
Children suffered serious injuries during disorder at the pub in April and September last year, with police saying customers were also put "at serious risk" of falling or wandering into the A5.
During Thursday's meeting, members of the sub-committee granted the licence with strict rules over its terms of operation.
The original application contained plans for a pub which would have been open until 11pm on weekdays and Sundays and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
But the hearing was told those plans had since changed.
Ruthin councillor Stephen Beach, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said: "He wants it to be run as a restaurant.
"As you know, there was a serious incident 12 months ago and he knows that needs to be addressed.
"It is to be run as a family premises."
Cllr Beach said Mr Jones wanted the facility to be run as a bed and breakfast in the long term, and was willing to accept any conditions required of him.
But concerns were raised at the meeting by Aaron Haggas, central licensing manager for North Wales Police.
"The concern from me is that the applicant is very eager to satisfy North Wales Police," he said. "That is a concern because North Wales Police are not running this premises. We are not putting forward this application."
Mr Haggas said this issue was highlighted by the fact that the application had substantially changed just before the meeting.
He added that there was a sense of denial about the previous issues at the pub, at which Mr Jones previously helped out.
"The applicant said to me that it was local people at fault not the premises," said Mr Haggas.
"To shoulder the blame to local people was a concern to me."
Mr Haggas said he was concerned about the applicant's lack of experience and worried that Mr Jones would turn to Tracey Speakman for guidance, who was previously a licensee and will be involved in the new enterprise.
The committee decided to approve the application but imposed several conditions, including the premises closing at 10pm and not opening at all on New Year's Eve or the day of the Cerrig Show, where violence had previously flared.
They also imposed a large number of conditions surrounding safety and the protection of children that had been suggested by North Wales Police.
The committee said no alcohol could be consumed outside the premises, and that alcohol could only be served to people having a "sit down, substantial meal".
The Daily Post previously reported that, in April 2016, children had been allowed to get drunk on the premises.
It was alleged they ended up fighting in the A5 and a 16-yearold boy suffered a head injury after being assaulted.
On the day of the Cerrig Show on September 3 last year, police were called to reports of customers fighting.
Crowds dispersed when officers arrived.
Further investigations revealed that two 17-year-old boys, who had allegedly been drinking, had reportedly suffered fractured jaws after being attacked.
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)|
|Date:||Oct 14, 2017|
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