Par 59: Gareth Bale faces battle with scores of angry residents over golf bar plans at Bristol licensing hearing

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‘The committee must reject the application’

Football superstar Gareth Bale faces 80 residents, the police, environmental health and a ward councillor at a Bristol licensing hearing next week over plans to open a golf-themed bar.

The Wales captain’s business venture has applied for a premises licence for Par 59, next to Lane7 in Harbourside, but neighbours have flooded the city council with objections.

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A sub-committee of three councillors will be held at City Hall at 10am on Thursday, April 21, to decide whether to grant or refuse the new venue, which is seeking to serve alcohol until 1am from Thursday to Saturday and 12am on other nights, closing half an hour later.

A report to the licensing panel says the premises in Millennium Promenade, set to open 10am daily, are within the city centre cumulative impact area (CIA) where the number of licensed premises are at “saturation point”.

It says the policy is in place because the area “witnesses a high number of assaults and other related crime and disorder including public nuisance and risk to public safety”.

This means that if members consider the application triggers the CIA – which often depends on the hours sought and the activities requiring a licence – the applicants would have to demonstrate why an exception should be made and permission granted.

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Bristol City Council has been flooded with objections to Gareth Bale’s latest business venture.Bristol City Council has been flooded with objections to Gareth Bale’s latest business venture.
Bristol City Council has been flooded with objections to Gareth Bale’s latest business venture. | JPIMedia

Unlike other neighbouring local authorities, Bristol City Council does not publish the representations, even a redacted version without identifying anyone, so the exact nature of the objections is not known for sure.

And neither are the reasons for the submissions by Avon & Somerset Police, which is the driving force for the CIA, or the council’s senior pollution control officer.

But David Mair, chairman of the leaseholders association for nearby Balmoral House and Waverley House, which have 104 apartments, said last month that bars in the area were seeking extreme licensing hours that did not match their apparent uses under planning permission.

He said Lane7 was primarily a drinking establishment rather than a 10-pin bowling venue and that the same was likely to be the case for Par 59 and mini-golf.

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Mr Mair said: “With every new late-night bar that opens, the noise and antisocial behaviour around the buildings get worse.

Millennium Promenade in Harbourside, Bristol.Millennium Promenade in Harbourside, Bristol.
Millennium Promenade in Harbourside, Bristol. | Google

“The opening of Lane7 has had a significant impact on this, extending the party zone around Millennium Square ever closer towards the residential area.

“At weekends the noise from drunk revellers echoes round the buildings into the early hours. They weren’t designed for this level of street noise.

“The licensing sub-committee must reject the application.”

Par 59’s premises licence application was submitted by True Swing Bristol, a fledgling company incorporated in January that was set up by Real Madrid forward Bale along with James Humphrys, Nicholas Saunders and Peter Cro.

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It includes a request for late-night refreshment, which is required for hot food sales after 11pm, and recorded music. The first Par 59 opened in St Mary Street in Cardiff city centre last month. It is described as adults only and has a pair of nine-hole crazy golf courses.

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