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Plymouth bar boss to appeal licence conditions after taking on barrister


THE boss of Union Street's Clipper Inn is to appeal against licensing conditions slapped on his bar by Plymouth City Council.

Tam Macpherson has lodged an appeal with Plymouth Magistrates Court after engaging top licensing barrister David Campbell and law firm Kitsons, which specialises in licensing matters.

He is appealing against conditions imposed on the late-night venue following a review by the council's licensing committee, last month.

The committee heard allegations about violence and drunkenness but discounted all but six incidents and rejected a request by the police licensing department to revoke the pub's licence.

Nevertheless, it told Mr Macpherson to beef up door security, provide CCTV footage within seven days of any police request, and ensure officers have his mobile and landline numbers.

However, Mr Macpherson has now lodged an appeal citing six grounds.

These include his claims that the council failed to give "sufficient weight" to his evidence, that it attached too much weight to "flawed" police evidence, and that the conditions went beyond what was necessary to promote licensing objectives.

Furthermore, his appeal grounds claim the council failed to consider "informal measures" in place at the pub, that the CCTV condition is "unworkable" and that the condition requesting more door supervision is out of proportion.

Mr Macpherson said he decided to appeal because he wanted "redress" for the Clipper as a business, and to reassure his customers, staff and "the wider community" that he runs a safe establishment.

At the time of the committee hearing, Mr Macpherson was one week away from contesting, unsuccessfully, the St Peter and the Waterfront ward as a Tory candidate, and he now wants evidence heard in a court "removed from the political sphere".

One licence condition imposed dictated that the Clipper must have two registered door supervisors on duty between 4am and when the pub closes, seven days a week, and one on duty after 2am.

The door supervisors must remain in a position where they can marshal patrons in the outside smoking area.

But Mr Macpherson said he was appealing against this because he feels: "I should not be policing the street. It's too top-heavy on the licensee when there's no consideration for what policing levels are in our evening and nighttime economy.

"The Clipper should be expected to monitor its patrons," he added. "But the question remains as to that of the general public or adjacent businesses."

He said this amounted to what he called "a disproportionate level of legislation" and said it was "amounting to excessive running costs which will put too much of a burden on what is a single small business".

He added: "It's onerous and disproportionate for the size of the premises."

A council spokeswoman said the authority was "not able to comment at this stage".

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