Licence application approved for Harpenden wine bar

Station Road, Harpenden. Picture: Krishan Bhungar.

Station Road, Harpenden. Picture: Krishan Bhungar. - Credit: Archant

A wine bar in Harpenden has been granted a licence, despite an objection from the resident in the flat above. 

The team behind FMC Hospitality have already revamped the Station Road venue and started to train their staff – ready to open. 

And now – days after appearing before a meeting of St Albans Council’s licensing sub-committee – they have been granted permission to open until midnight, seven days a week. 

Their application for a premises licence had prompted objections from the resident in the flat above – amid fears the venue would create too much noise and disruption. 

But the sub-committee – chaired by Cllr David Heritage – has now granted the application, as requested. 

Outlining the sub-committee’s reasons, the decision notice acknowledges the resident’s concerns about noise nuisance from customers leaving, deliveries and the smoking area. 

But it points to the nature of the area, the experience of the applicants and their willingness to work with the resident. 

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“Despite there being two residential flats above the premises it is not a residential area; it is a mixed-use area with a number of restaurants and other businesses,” says the notice. 

“We consider the applicant has addressed the points raised by the objector and agreed to work with the resident. 

“We note that the applicants are experienced in the licensing trade and have offered contact details to the resident. 

“We are satisfied that the applicant can operate as set out and promote the four licensing conditions.” 

At the virtual hearing, on Thursday (May 20), applicant Helena Fletcher said that she – and fellow applicants Daniel Fletcher and Paul Monks – had many years of collective experience in hospitality, including work in five-star hotels and Michelin starred restaurants. 

She stressed that the venue – with just nine tables on the ground floor – would be "more akin to restaurant than a bar". 

“We have every intention to run this as a sophisticated restaurant bar and eatery – not a nightclub,” she had said. 

According to the premises licence the venue – at 26 Station Road – can now serve alcohol between 11am and 11pm Mondays to Saturdays and 10pm on Sundays. 

Recorded music can be played between 11am and 11pm on Mondays to Saturdays and until 10pm on Sundays. 

Live music can be performed between 5pm and 11pm Wednesdays to Saturdays and between 11am and 10pm on Sundays.