Gorleston cafe’s alcohol bid accepted

A COUPLE have been granted permission to serve alcohol at their cafe on Gorleston seafront – despite strong objections from local families.

After listening to the passionate arguments of Marine Parade residents, and considering 29 letters of objection, Great Yarmouth Borough Council licensing committee approved a premises licence for the Beach Cafe, on Lower Marine Parade, which will permit the serving of alcohol and live and recorded music inside the premises from 10am to 11pm, seven days a week.

The licence also makes provision for 12 special events a year, such as parties, when there can be live music outside as well as inside.

George Riley, a Marine Parade resident, said the cafe was in a “beautiful and unique location at the bottom of Gorleston cliffs”.

He said: “It has previously been advertised as a traditional tearooms, and it is making a big leap to introduce cafe culture into an area enjoyed by walkers and people exercising their dogs.

“I have lived here since 1979 and, in that time, the cafe has served a whole range of people without the benefit of alcohol or entertainment.”

Mr Riley said seafront residents had on occasion suffered anti-social behaviour from people straying into the area, and nearly all the incidents were alcohol-related.

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Tony Hart, also of Marine Parade, told the committee: “The peaceful lives of hundreds of people is in your hands.”

Other local residents raised fears of parking problems and children being cut by broken glass on the promenade; one said there was a danger of the cafe moving towards becoming a club.

Jay Formosa, who took over the cafe with his wife Hayley last Easter and opened in the summer after completely refurbishing it, said: “I am trying to build a good facility for the Gorleston area. People who walk past will know what I am about.

“I just want to give people who come down to sit quietly and have a sandwich the choice of enjoying a glass of beer with it. I am not looking for bands with drums, but perhaps to put on a solo singer to add some atmosphere.”

In granting the application, committee chairman George Jermany specified that glasses taken outside had to be plastic, and there would have to be regular glass collection.

He stressed that the terms of the licence prohibited noise at a level that was audible in local homes, and urged residents to keep a log and report incidents to the council if they experienced any hassle.