Harrogate pub Coach and Horses appeals licence loss over lockdown breaches

A Harrogate pub which was stripped of its licence for breaching lockdown regulations has appealed against the decision.

Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 4:45 pm

The Coach and Horses on West Park had its licence revoked by Harrogate Borough Council for "blatantly disregarding" lockdown rules in May by setting up tables and chairs for customers buying takeaway drinks.

The council has now confirmed an appeal has been lodged by the landlord, John Nelson, but a hearing date has not yet been set.

Mr Nelson was served a prohibition notice on 31 May when crowds of up to 45 customers were observed gathering outside his pub.

The Coach and Horses has appealed against the council’s decision to revoke its licence.

Police and council officers visited the pub several times across the Spring bank holiday weekend.

A council committee heard how Mr Nelson told officers he would only remove the outside furniture after the notice was served, but CCTV footage later showed customers continued to sit outside.

North Yorkshire Police said it received 44 complaints over the weekend about customers at the pub breaking social distancing rules.

At the time, the lockdown regulations allowed the sale of takeaway alcohol but not for consumption on a pub premises or any outdoor area.

A lawyer for Mr Nelson told councillors he accepted he had made a "chronic error of judgement" and "hugely" regretted it.

Councillor Victoria Oldham said the pub had made a "serious failure" and showed a "blatant disregard" for lockdown restrictions.

It comes as a petition calling for the council to give Mr Nelson's daughter, Samantha, a licence to run the pub has been signed by more than 430 people.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter