A Jesmond takeaway has won permission to sell alcohol after dismissing “fanciful” suggestions that it could become a loud drinking venue.
Councillors have granted the Tomahawk Roast House in Acorn Road the right to serve booze alongside its meaty dishes.
Some neighbours had objected to the plans, fearing that the move could exacerbate anti-social behaviour, litter, and noise problems caused by drinkers on Osborne Road.
But solicitor Richard Arnot told a Newcastle City Council licensing hearing last week that the noise from the site will be “negligible” and that most objections had been dropped as locals realised “we won’t turn into the monster that they assume we will”.
One neighbour, Jane Richardson, withdrew her complaints during the hearing – telling the panel of councillors that she was “reassured” by Tomahawk’s promise to close no later than 10.30pm, rather than its original midnight application, and the fact that alcoholic drinks will only be served with food and for consumption inside the premises.
North Jesmond ward councillor Wendy Young also withdrew her objections, but the BSIS insurance brokers next door to Tomahawk still had major concerns over noise.
Director Patrick Carney warned that a previous occupant of the Tomahawk building, which used to be the Filmore and Union cafe, stripped out insulation – meaning his staff could easily here takeaway staff playing music while they work.
He added: “We already have a problem with noise and we think that will be compounded by allowing them to serve alcohol to customers, who will become noisier by human nature.”
However, Mr Arnot said Tomahawk “wants to be a good neighbour” and that it was “fanciful” to suggest it could become a boisterous drinking venue.
A week after the hearing, the council confirmed it would grant the alcohol licence – on the condition that “no noise from the premises shall be audible at the nearest noise sensitive premises, so as not to cause a nuisance”.
A statement from the licensing sub-committee said: “The sub-committee has considered the objections raised by residents, local councillors and a local business and has also taken into account the conditions agreed with Northumbria Police.
“The sub-committee is satisfied that the licensable hours and closing times combined with the conditions provided, as amended, will ensure that there is no negative impact on the licensing objectives.”
Councillors also approved plans for the Deli Espresso cafe in Gosforth to serve alcohol.
While one objector had complained that doing so could add to nuisance caused by patrons of the Gosforth Hotel, Mr Arnot insisted: “I cannot imagine in a million years that this would create a feeder premises for the Gosforth Hotel.
"It is a totally different premises, a totally different crowd. It has nothing to do with us.”