Leeds's Turtle Bay allowed to trade later despite police concerns

A restaurant and bar in a 'red zone' of Leeds city centre has been permitted to open and sell alcohol later on weekends '“ despite authorities' concerns about a rise in late night crime in the surrounding area.

Turtle Bay, Leeds city centre.

Turtle Bay’s application to vary its premises licence was considered by councillors for the third time today – a previous request was refused.

The three-person Licensing Sub-Committee decided by a majority to allow the establishment, which operates from The Light in Albion Street, to sell alcohol and play recorded music until 1am and extend its opening hours and provide late night refreshment to 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays. Its previous licence allowed it to do those until an hour earlier.

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West Yorkshire Police (WYP) and the Licensing Authority objected due to the restaurant’s placement within the “red zone” of the Leeds City Centre Cumulative Impact Area (CIA) – locations saturated by bars and similar businesses.

Inside the Caribbean-themed restaurant.

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PC Cath Arkle, a WYP licensing officer, said that CIA policy means that requests such as Turtle Bay’s should be opposed unless the applicant is found to be an “exceptional operator”.

“Reported crime has risen in this area year-on-year for the last three years,” she said, adding that the peak time for offending was between 11pm and 4am, including a “peak within the peak” from 1am to 3am.

Inside the Caribbean-themed restaurant.