Seventeenth century Yorkshire pub will not become 'Wetherspoons type operation'

The team behind a seventeenth century Yorkshire pub which wants to be able to serve alcohol early in the morning has said they are not wanting to create a “Wetherspoons type operation”.

The new owners of The Old Grey Mare in Clifton Green, York, have invested more than £350,000 into the Grade II listed pub, which reopened in April. Mark and Kasia Caulfield now want to expand the former coaching inn’s alcohol licence to cover revamped areas of the building.

If approved, the new licence would allow alcohol to be sold from 8am as long as it is served with food. North Yorkshire Police have met the applicants and are not opposed to the changes, subject to several conditions – including the installation of colour CCTV.

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But four residents have objected, citing concerns about noise, anti-social behaviour and the impact on young children.

The Old Grey Mare in Clifton Green, YorkThe Old Grey Mare in Clifton Green, York
The Old Grey Mare in Clifton Green, York

One wrote: “ I feel strongly that the serving of alcoholic drinks with breakfast in the outdoor area at these early times would set a very bad example to the children passing by implying that consumption of alcohol at breakfast is a normal acceptable event.”

Another said: “This is our retirement home and not what I expected from a conservation zone. The noise generated by music from the pub presently isn’t acceptable. Believe me, as it is, I can hear the beat of music thudding when I’m in bed.”

A letter from applicants’ solicitor said: “It is not intended by the applicant that it will replicate a ‘Wetherspoons’ type operation; it is not anticipated that there will be any significant supply of alcohol in the additional two hours and supply will be limited to those eating at the premises.

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“The premises are already licensed for the provision of outdoor live music. However, the applicant acknowledges that a recent performance by a band was louder than had been anticipated and the applicant will take steps to ensure that live music will be played at a lower sound level in future.”

The former bar and pool room area has also been transformed into a delicatessen where wine and beer will be available for off premises sales. City of York Council’s licensing committee will consider the application on Thursday, August 25.