PLANS to extend the opening hours at a family-run South Tyneside café have divided a South Tyneside village.
Council licensing officers have received an application to alter the existing hours at the No. 4 Bistro Café in Station Road, East Boldon.
If granted, the premises would open from 9am to 11pm each day, instead of the current hours of 9am to 7pm, Sunday to Wednesday, and 9am to 9pm, Thursday to Saturday.
Ten residents and Labour ward councillor Joan Atkinson have raised concerns that the extra hours would create noise and nuisance problems.
But 36 others have written to express their support for the extension.
In her letter of objection, Coun Atkinson says: “Those who object are concerned it will result in public nuisance, disruption to sleep for families with children and the possibility of increased risk to public safety from increased traffic.”
Coun Atkinson suggests an earlier closure of 9pm would be suitable to all village residents.
She added: “It is important to support business and locally residents do just that, but for those whose lives are impacted by this 11pm closure, as witnessed the other Friday when they held a private function, it is asking too much.”
Twenty-two local people have expressed approval for the extended hours, one saying: “This family-run establishment is a treasure and everyone should be allowed to share in this. Opening later would allow those who work full-time to enjoy delicious food in a warm and friendly environment.”
Cafe´ owner Keith Thompson said: “The majority of people objecting are not doing so based on the facts. The fact is we have operated with temporary extension notices for a few months, without any complaints. We have also had no objections from the six or seven bodies that could do so, including the police.
“We have created 11 jobs and two apprentices and that has got to be a plus.”
The council’s Licensing Sub-Committee is to consider the application from 2pm next Thursday at South Shields Town Hall.