A picturesque Doncaster town is to have new licensing restrictions imposed after concerns were raised about booze-fuelled disorder.
A Cumulative Impact Zone is set to be imposed in Bawtry, restricting new licensed premises from opening and limiting applications for extended hours from existing businesses. The plans, approved at Doncaster Council’s Cabinet meeting yesterday, come after some residents said they no longer felt safe in the town at night.
The zone will cover licensed premises in Market Place, High Street, Swan Street, Church Street, Scot Lane and Wharf Street in Bawtry town centre.
At the meeting it was also agreed that the Cumulative Impact Zone covering Doncaster town centre should continue and a new zone should be implemented in the Wheatley ward to include Netherhall Road, Copley Road, Christ Church Road, Broxholme Lane and Highfield Road.
A spokesman for Bawtry Town Council said: “Many residents are no longer feeling comfortable in the town at night, and some are feeling unsafe.
“This fear is accentuated by the lack of a police presence in the town; officers only attend in response to an incident, unlike in Doncaster town centre where they are permanently deployed.”
The spokesman said there are more than 20 licensed premises in the town, which has a population of only 3,573.
A survey of residents and business owners was conducted as part of the consultation process.
The spokesman said: “Specific concerns are about noise, litter, nuisance parking and anti-social behaviour, which are all believed to be related to persons, often from outside Bawtry, frequenting licensed premises and the consumption of alcohol.”
But licensed business owners in Bawtry have hit out at the plans, claiming they are an overreaction.
Craig Dowie, managing director of the Crown Hotel in Bawtry, said Bawtry Licence Watch team had been recognised with several national awards for the good work it does.
He said: “We all work together in Bawtry to create a safe environment, we’re self- managed and self-controlled and it must be working as Bawtry was in the top three Licence Watch schemes in the UK.
“The police are so impressed with the system we have in place that there wasn’t even a police presence in Bawtry over the Leger Festival – that’s how confident the police are with our approach.
“Cumulative Impact Zones are for places where the police have lost control, places that have bars and clubs open until 5am, that’s not what we’re about in Bawtry, this seems like an overreaction.
“They need to take every application on its merits and look at the hours of service as it’s not just pubs that fall into this category but anything from a hairdressers who serve a glass of prossecco to a client whilst they are having their hair blow dried to a supermarket.”
The scheme will be reviewed in two years’ time.
The news comes after it was revealed that Doncaster is ranked as the 39th most dangerous place to drink in Britain in a list of the 50 places across the UK with the highest number of alcohol-related hospital admissions.
Figures showed that 530 per 100,000 people in the borough received hospital treatment after drinking last year.