'Totally gutted’: Hornchurch nightclub owner vows to appeal after opening hours extension refused

Shelly's Bar in Hornchurch was hoping to extend its opening hours

Shelly's Bar in Hornchurch was hoping to extend its opening hours, but was refused by Havering Council's licensing sub-committee - Credit: Google

A Hornchurch nightclub and bar owner has said she will appeal after her application to extend its opening hours was refused. 

Shelly’s Bar, on Station Lane near the corner with The Avenue, requested it be allowed to operate later into the early hours. 

The submission, filed by the bar’s owner Michelle Vickers, asked its hours be extended to 11am to 1am on Thursdays and 11am to 2am Fridays and Saturdays.

At a licensing sub-committee meeting on July 27, councillors queried the proposed extension, with two local councillors raising specific objections. 

These were Cllr Gerry O’Sullivan and Cllr Paul Middleton, the latter of whose opposition was read by Cllr Bryan Vincent. 

Both councillors said the extension would be unsuitable because it is in a largely residential area, with Cllr Middleton saying those living nearby “have a right to a peaceful existence”. 

Cllr O’Sullivan added: “Whether we like to admit it or not, when there’s extended drinking hours there’s also always a certain amount of antisocial behaviour.” 

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Councillors Jane Keane, Christine Vickery, and Natasha Summers, meanwhile, asked Ms Vickers if the bar was effectively equipped to manage later finishing times, questioning her on topics such as processes regarding training and checking ID. 

In the decision, issued on August 3, Havering Council noted several factors in favour of the application, including that there was no opposition by the police, and the councillors' representations were “largely generic statements that lacked evidence linking the issues raised directly to the premises”. 

However, it decided to refuse due to concerns around existing licensing conditions, regular training of staff and how long CCTV recordings were kept on file. 

Ms Vickers has described the refusal as “ridiculous”, and said she intends on appealing. 

She claims there was a misunderstanding regarding some of the questions she was asked, leading to answers which affected her application. 

“If my training was that bad, why have I had no drunken brawls?” she said. “I just feel that...I’m totally gutted. I feel that the whole thing was misconstrued.” 

According to documents, Ms Vickers has 21 days to make her appeal.