Chickenley pub’s locals help save it from closure

SECOND CHANCE: Councillors decided not to revoke the Crown Hotel's licence after letters from locals keen to see it stay open. (d18041242)
SECOND CHANCE: Councillors decided not to revoke the Crown Hotel's licence after letters from locals keen to see it stay open. (d18041242)
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A PUB which faced losing its licence has been given a second chance to prove itself after locals came to its defence.

Police had asked councillors to consider closing the The Crown Hotel following a series of violent incidents. A report to Kirklees Council’s licensing panel detailed drunken brawls, noise complaints and an unproved allegation of drug dealing during a poker night.

But regulars defending the pub in Chickenley Lane, Chickenley, described a family-friendly place at the heart of the community which was being blamed for trouble on surrounding estates.

On Tuesday, the panel met at Dewsbury Town Hall to hear both sides.

Peter Wadsworth, representing premises licence holder CDSL Limited, said: “There is a problem, there’s no doubt about it, but it appears to be youths who congregate outside the shops.”

Licensing officer Richard Woodhead said: “When we first put in this review we were looking at revoking the licence, but we’ve taken note of the letters of support from the community who do wish the pub to continue to trade as it does seem to be the social hub of Chickenley and does help with community fundraising and charitable events.”

He asked councillors to consider various conditions, including door staff on some nights and an upgraded CCTV system.

But the managing director of It’s A Pub Life, which now holds the tenancy, said paying for doorstaff would ‘cripple’ the loss-making business.

Scott Williamson said: “We take pubs on when they’re fairly run down and try to turn them around, but if we have to stick to this, it’s likely the pub will have to shut.”

The panel put five conditions in place, including closing 30 minutes earlier Thursday-Saturday. The pub will not have to hire door staff.

Panel chairman Coun Masood Ahmed said: “It’s really up to you now to make sure things are running smoothly.

“The last thing we want is to have you back at another hearing.”