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Ban on smoking hits profits

PUBLISHED: 17:21 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

A GORLESTON landlady claims smokers are “cheesed off” with the ban which has been in force for more than six months.

Diane Mitchell, of the Belle Vue Tavern in Quay Road, said even non-smokers were venturing outside to speak to people who were puffing on a cigarette.

A GORLESTON landlady claims smokers are “cheesed off” with the ban which has been in force for more than six months.

Diane Mitchell, of the Belle Vue Tavern in Quay Road, said even non-smokers were venturing outside to speak to people who were puffing on a cigarette.

Ms Mitchell has applied for planning permission to put an extension on the back of the pub to form a smoking shelter.

She said business was good over Christmas and the New Year celebrations, but added trade had quietened down a lot.

She claimed the smoking ban had hit her profits, with the most noticeable being the gaming machines.

“The machines have been hit the worst, which surprised me. People used to stand at the machine and have a cigarette while playing, but they can't do that anymore.”

The area poised for the extension - which will include a courtyard-style area with tables, umbrellas and heaters - is open and gives little shelter to smokers.

Ms Mitchell hopes the extension will also curb the noise which comes from people lighting up outside.

“There are problems with the ban. There is more litter outside - no matter how many ashtrays you put outside, some people will always drop their cigarette butts on the ground.

“It's also noisy with a crowd of people standing outside, but that is difficult to control. This new shelter should help reduce the amount of noise from smokers.”

If plans are approved, she hopes the work will start next month.

Meanwhile, fundraising efforts to have a mural restored in the main bar have so far netted more than £3,000.

The mural was discovered over the fireplace during renovation work and it is believed it had been bricked up for 25 years. Ms Mitchell said locals and her regulars had been “very generous” in helping with fundraising to restore it to its former glory.

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