Pub neighbour claims punters have thrown chairs and glass bottles into his garden

The neighbour of a Yorkshire pub has told of his anger with “screaming” punters, who he says have thrown chairs and bottles into his back garden.

David Coates, whose fence borders the Woodman pub in Halton, near Leeds, says he is repeatedly disturbed by late-night drinkers at the venue, likening it to the party resort of Benidorm. It comes as the pub, on Selby Road, has applied for permission to extend last orders by an extra hour on weekends, to 1am.

The pub’s solicitor said the venue had abided by its licensed hours at all times and that the authorities had not taken any issue with how the business was run.

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But speaking at a council licensing hearing on Tuesday, Mr Coates said that while The Woodman’s beer garden was generally quieter during the week, on weekends, “It just goes absolutely mental.”

The Woodman pub in Halton, LeedsThe Woodman pub in Halton, Leeds
The Woodman pub in Halton, Leeds

He added: “They (customers) scream at each other and they use every abusive word you can imagine. The whole character of the pub has changed from a quiet pub. I used to go in quite a lot myself but now it’s like Benidorm – it’s absolutely crazy.”

The pub only has a licence to play music until 11pm. This will not change even if the extension to drinking hours is granted. Representatives of the boozer insisted that they do not play music beyond their permitted hours.

But Mr Coates told the hearing: “It’s not true that the music goes off at 11pm. It stays on until 12 (midnight) many times. I can’t go to bed at 10pm like you’d like to at times. I have to stay up until the pub closes. I’ve had chairs and bottles thrown over the fence and I’ve had to replace three windows.”

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Mr Coates also claimed there’d been instances of drug dealing and drug-taking in the pub’s car park.

But The Woodman’s representative, Alex Green, strongly denied those allegations, calling them “baseless” and saying the operator had a “zero tolerance” approach to drugs.

Mr Green told the hearing: “The police have no concerns whatsoever with this application and no responsible authorities have objected. Out of all the residences nearby, in all we’ve had one objection, from Mr Coates. If this was a problem area or a problem pub and it was causing bother, the police would have objected. This should carry considerable weight.”

Mr Green said that the extension in hours would only affect the inside of the pub only, as the beer garden would still be closed to drinkers after 11pm. He also said that although some noise might have “escaped” from the pub during Covid when doors and windows had to be open, this “should not be an issue” in future.

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He added that if the pub did anything wrong, “Then their licence will be brought to review for breaching their premises conditions and they will be held to account.” Leeds City Council’s decision on whether or not to grant the hours extension will be conveyed in writing in the coming days.