Partial decision reached on Bournemouth beach bar bids

Published
Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Beaches were packed when the first lockdown was eased last year

Two licences to permit pop-up beach bars at a popular resort have been approved, while a decision on three others is yet to be confirmed.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council wants to allow events along more of Bournemouth's seafront during the summer months.

But residents and traders fear it will lead to a repeat of the disorder and overcrowding seen in 2020.

Two new licensed areas at Tofts Zig-Zag and East Cliff were agreed on Tuesday.

They permit events, temporary cafes and bars to run from 10:00 until 22:00 BST, seven days a week, from April to September.

Three applications to extend existing licences at the West Cliff wedding area, Bournemouth Pier and east of Boscombe Pier were decided at a separate meeting on Wednesday but the council is yet to announce the result.

If approved, they would allow the sale of alcohol, extending the time music can be played until 22:00 and expanding the range of events that can be hosted.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Services were stretched to "the absolute hilt" last summer, according to the council

Residents and Bournemouth Town Watch - an association of pubs and restaurants - opposed the plans, raising concerns about congestion, disturbance and antisocial behaviour.

Councillors agreed unanimously to grant the two new licences with a limit of five events a year, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Licensing committee chairwoman Judy Butt said: "The extra condition will provide that greater certainty that residents were looking for and we can now look forward to a really great summer."

A major incident was declared last June when an influx of visitors led to gridlocked roads, litter, wild camping and anti-social behaviour.

BCP has agreed an extra £2.4m of resources, including Covid marshalls and drones, to manage "exceptional" numbers expected at the resort this year.

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