Police hit out at 'violence and Covid breaches' after pub's licence bid

The Tramway pub in Gorleston.

Police are contesting a bid to vary the terms of Gorleston pub the Tramway's licence. - Credit: James Weeds

A bid to vary the licence of a pub on the coast is facing police objection over concerns about violence, Covid breaches and anti-social behaviour.

Flavio Fernandes, who holds the licence for the Tramway, on Lowestoft Road in Gorleston, has applied to Great Yarmouth Borough Council to vary the venue's licence to name Lydia Jones as the designated premises supervisor.

The application states that Ms Jones has held a personal licence, which allows her to sell alcohol, since May 14 this year.

The Tramway pub.

Police have been called to the Tramway numerous times since April 12 following reports of violence, Covid breaches and anti-social behaviour. - Credit: James Weeds

Opposing the bid, Norfolk police have said that since the premises reopened on April 12, there have been "endless problems and numerous calls for service following reports of violence, Covid breaches and anti-social behaviour".

"The local residents are angered by the poor running of the premises," wrote the police's licensing officer, Chris Brooks, in a letter to the borough council.

He added: "The premises is in a residential area and when patrons leave in the early hours, they are significantly disrupting the locals."

The objection states that it is "an issue which cannot continue".

"Given the number of calls received and the nature of the incidents reported, including several for disorder and patrons assaulted, the nominee's ability to supervise effectively is demonstrably inadequate," the police said.

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A decision on the application will be made at the licensing sub-committee hearing at Great Yarmouth's Town Hall next Wednesday (July 14).

The pub sign of Tramway pub.

The Tramway pub on Lowestoft Road, Gorleston is closed pending a licence review. - Credit: James Weeds

The pub is already facing a review of its licence after complaints from neighbours about noise, fights and large groups gathering outside.

The application, which has been posted on the council's website, has been submitted by Philip Henley on behalf of people living in Lowestoft and Sussex Roads.

It has been made on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and the prevention of public nuisance.

The bar's licence states that the venue can stay open until 4am on Friday and Saturday and 1am on other nights.

The Tramway pub's current owners took over in September 2019 after the previous owner left after losing thousands of pounds following an incident where one of the patrons set fire to the toilets.

A notice in the Tramway pub window. 

A notice in the Tramway pub window. - Credit: James Weeds

The pub's landlords have been contacted for comment.

A notice in the venue's window on Sunday said it was temporarily closed and apologised for any inconvenience.

Chris Speed, who has been a neighbour of the Tramway pub for more than 20 years, said: "When you live next door to a pub you expect noise.

"But since lockdown ended, it's been another level.

"There's been fighting in the street at 3am."

Mr Speed, 42, lives close to the public house with his wife and two daughters, who are aged 13 and 14.

Jack Whiteman, 18, another neighbour, said: "It gets rather loud. It has been a bit better recently.

"There has also been a few fights and it all happens quite late, definitely past midnight.

"The police were outside the pub at 2am about a month ago."

Aaron Daniell, 48, former Chief Petty Officer with the Royal Navy, said: "I don't want to see the pub closed down. I sometimes drink there, and it would be a shame for it to be gone.

"But the crowd of people lingering outside at 4am is unacceptable.

"I've seen a fair share of trouble in the pub. Typical drunken behaviour. Urinating against walls, general unpleasantness.

"After the England v Germany game, there was a big fight outside and police were about.

"It wouldn't be so bad if patrons just got a taxi and went home. But they linger.

"I think the management are trying hard and doing their best.

"But the problem is they're open too late and then the idiots come along. If the pub can just get their opening hours put back - in line with other pubs in the area - and maybe open later for special events, that would be much better.

"It's a pub at the end of the day, not a club. I don't want to see it closed down."

Mr Daniell also commented that abusive language from patrons outside had woken his daughters on occasion.