Wetherby bar in licence review after complaints

NAWN 1403115AM4 The Angel. (1403115AM4)
NAWN 1403115AM4 The Angel. (1403115AM4)

A High Street bar is currently having its licence reviewed by the council at the request of West Yorkshire Police.

The Angel - a sports bar above the Italian restaurant Sant’ Angelo - has been the source of several complaints to the police since the current licence holders took over in 2009.

Information about drug use, violent crime, and the sale of alcohol to under-age customers has been passed to the police since that time, prompting the application to carry out the review.

Violent crime taking place on the premises or as customers were leaving was raised as a major concern by the police. This did not involve the Sant Angelo restaurant.

The police confirmed that the application was submitted in order to prevent crime and disorder and public nuisance, as well as to protect children from harm under the Licensing Act.

The application stated that, after a lengthy period of engagement, it is felt that the review is necessary as the licence holders continue to operate outside of their premises licence.

Owner of The Angel Franco Del Buono told the Wetherby News: “The allegations made in the application are being strongly rejected by my barrister.

“I have been in this area for 25 years and I have always done my utmost for visitors to my establishment.

“Those who know me know that I do not condone any form of bad behaviour.”

Also raised were disturbance issues due to excessive noise, as well as concerns over relevant planning consent, raised since 2009.

The application states that absence of any CCTV equipment has been pointed out as a problem on several occasions, as it has prevented offenders from being brought to justice.

Mr Buono said that The Angel Sports Bar is primarily used as a function room and is only used as a bar two nights a week, when it is open between 6pm and 12.30am.

The bar that forms part of the restaurant downstairs is, however, open seven days a week between 10am and 11pm.

Coun John Procter said: “Some of the issues that have arisen regarding the trading that takes place will be a focus of the review.

“What is clear to me is that the premises plays a strong part in Wetherby and it is a very popular venue.

“Whatever issues are there are ones that can be resolved and dealt with.”

Leeds City Council, which is carrying out the review, is inviting comments from the public before the review on April 20. Send to Entertainment Licensing Section, Leeds CC, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR.