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Late night licence ruling is a victory for common sense'

PUBLISHED: 18:01 24 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 12 August 2010

A COURT ruling to overturn a council s refusal to grant a late license for a bar has been hailed as a victory for common sense . The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) welcomed a decision by Bromley Magistrates Court to overturn the coun

A COURT ruling to overturn a council's refusal to grant a late license for a bar has been hailed as a "victory for common sense".

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) welcomed a decision by Bromley Magistrates Court to overturn the council's refusal to grant 2am weekend trading hours for the Tonic Bar in Beckenham High Street.

Owner Gary Mallen appealed against a decision by the council to reject trading until 1am weekdays and 2am weekends on the grounds that the area was in the 'cumulative impact zone' in areas with a high density of drinking venues.

But on June 9, magistrates overturned the decision claiming that there was no "compelling evidence" to support the council's claim that late trading would lead to disorder.

Following the decision, Mr Mallen said: "I am delighted that the magistrates recognised the investment I have made in my business to ensure that we are well run and an asset to the local community, not a problem. Hopefully my case will give heart to other city centre venues. If you are a good operator with a well run bar and evidence to support that, then you should not be denied a fair hearing".

Nick Bish, chief executive of the ALMR said: "The ruling upholds the principle that licensing decisions should be based on fact and evidence not assumption and prejudice.

"It also emphasises that cumulative impact policies can never be absolute. We hope councils will take note.

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