An Irish-themed restaurant and bar close to residents’ homes has been granted a licence after the couple behind the scheme insisted it wouldn’t be an Irish pub.
Residents living near the proposed Hooley House in Concord Street, Honley, feared noise, nuisance and rowdy behaviour and said such an establishment had no place in a small village.
Builder Jonathan Tahany-Jones and his partner want to quit their jobs and go into the restaurant business.
Mr Tahany-Jones applied for a premises licence to serve alcohol and have live music and dancing seven days a week.
Local residents – some of whom live just yards from the proposed restaurant – objected and the issue was brought before a Kirklees Council licensing panel meeting.
The new restaurant already had planning permission with conditions on opening hours and the panel decided to grant a licence but with strict conditions.
Hooley House is already promoting itself on Facebook and caused concern among local residents when its own branding and logo described the premises as an “Irish pub.” The word ‘hooley’ is an Irish term for a wild or noisy party.
Residents told councillors on the panel they feared outside drinking, loud music and rowdy behaviour.
When asked at the virtual meeting what the premises would be Mr Tahany-Jones said it wasn’t an Irish pub. Instead, it would be an Irish restaurant specialising in seafood which had a bar.
They would have live music but maybe only at weekends and it would be acoustic and not amplified. The dancing referred to in the application would be Irish dancing and “that might only be once a year” on St Patrick’s Day.
Mr Tahany-Jones told the hearing: “Because of our signs a lot of people have been asking if we are going to be a pub. But, no, we are going to be a restaurant with a bar.”
He blamed an “honest mistake” with the wording on the signs. They had already spent £5,500 on them and didn’t want to have them done again.
Mr Tahany-Jones said they would do whatever they could to minimise noise and had opted for carpets instead of exposed wooden floors and were looking at triple glazing to the windows.
“We want to be a nice, friendly family place and we don’t want people falling all over,” he added.
Residents raised concerns over the lack of parking in the village and near neighbours said their homes would be overlooked and that deliveries would block their homes.
One woman said she wouldn’t have bought her home if she knew an “Irish pub” was going to be across the road.
She added: “Once something is passed, even with conditions, it will be hard to control. The houses are directly opposite and we are talking really close proximity.
“I don’t believe that the bar is in the right area to be living next to residential properties.”
Another resident said while the restaurant was a “good idea for a town, it’s not in-keeping with anything for the village.”
The panel agreed to the operating hours as approved in the planning application which are:
Live music (indoors only) Sun-Thurs noon-9.30pm and Fri & Sat noon-10.30pm;
Recorded music (indoors); Sun-Thurs 8am-10pm, Fri & Sat 8am-11pm;
Performance of dance; Thurs & Sun noon-9.30pm, Fri & Sat noon-10pm
Sale of alcohol; Sun-Thurs 10am-10pm, Fri & Sat 10am-11pm.
The panel, chaired by Clr Amanda Pinnock, also decided that the outdoor area should not be used between 8pm and 8am; that CCTV should be installed; and that the applicant should work with residents to keep disruption from deliveries to a minimum.