Whitby families in fear of pub’s ‘back door’ drinks licence – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Dave Wharton, White Horse Yard, Whitby.

Whitby is welcoming back visitors - but what wil be their impact on local families? Photo: James Hardisty.

WE all have suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic, and with my second jab coming in a couple of weeks, I thought we were nearly home and dry.

Whitby is in the midst of another great influx of people and, for a lot of local people, it’s not going to be easy. Everyone is tired and I think could do with a couple of weeks to get their breath back before having to face the crowds.

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I’m 76 and, although a Leeds lad, I came to Whitby to try to fish nearly 60 years ago. I bought a house for £450 and started what has been a good life here. I have done what I could for the town and its people have been really good to me .

My neighbours and I have just taken a hit from the Government that I can hardly believe is legal and we need some help. I live, 
as I have done for the last 50 years, in White Horse Yard, one of the old yards that run off Church Street. When I moved in, the yard was fronted by the White Horse and Griffin Hotel, closed since 1939 for unruly behaviour I believe.

In 1993 the the old hotel 
at the bottom of the yard found new life and opened as a restaurant with rooms. It was quite successful. In 2013 new tenants took over but they never quite got it back to where it 
was.

Two weeks ago we found a note in the restaurant window notifying us that they were applying for a full drinks licence, again. A full licence was refused as recently as 2018 because it went against the Cumulative Impact Zone and also against planning restrictions on the building.

This time, again, they are applying for a full licence with the addition of an outdoor drinking area within the yard. There are lots of objectors to this and we are going through all the correct channels, getting our paperwork in to the Licensing Sub-Committee for April 8 but 
it could still go through on the nod.

Now we have been informed that whatever the outcome the licence will still be allowed because of the Covid easement rule. This will mean customers drinking in a yard where there are 20 properties, some with windows directly overlooking the yard, all of which use the yard as access and will have to pass through where people will be drinking.

I think people will be amazed that people in government can give a rule that no matter what the circumstances and consequences one side can ride rough shod over the other with no regard for people’s homes and livelihoods.

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