Concern over ice-cream parlour’s alcohol plans

A BID to sell alcohol at an ice-cream parlour frequented by children has been opposed by councillors.

Icebar in Newgate Street has applied for a licence to run from 11am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday, and from noon to 10pm on Sundays.

However, the application has met with concern from Morpeth Town Council’s Planning and Transport Committee.

Coun Alison Byard said: “I’m puzzled by this application. This is an ice-cream parlour that is patronised by children on their way home from school and it is asking for an alcohol licence.

“They are not saying that the place they will be serving alcohol in is divided or separate in any way from the ice-cream parlour.

“I don’t understand why they are going to do it. Maybe they are trying to expand because the ice-cream season is coming to an end, but there is no explanation.”

Coun David Clark added: “My worry is that this is a back-door way of getting a bar.”

Other members criticised the application for omitting key information, such as details of measures to prevent crime and disorder and ensure children are protected from harm.

Coun David Parker said: “I think this is an inappropriate application, It doesn’t specify in any of the most obvious sections what action will be taken. It seems to be a going concern, but this isn’t a very good application.

“We are getting a lot of shops now applying for licences and other businesses in the town wanting alcohol licences. I don’t know why that should be because there are a lot of pubs in the town.”

Committee Chairman Ken Brown said: “There is no information here for us to be able to make a decision at all. The application form hasn’t been completed.

“I propose we object to this application because of the lack of information.”

The committee agreed unanimously. The objections will be passed on to Northumberland County Council, which will determine the application.