THE owner of a new micro-pub has vowed to fight on after councillors rejected his appeal to stay open because of noise concerns.
Hooman Raki said he had been left shocked and tearful by the decision of Rotherham Borough Council’s planning board to turn down his retrospective change of use application and planning application for The Unit in Rawmarsh.
The future of the pub is now in doubt after Mr Raki was given 28 days to appeal against the decision at last Thursday’s Town Hall meeting.
If he is unsuccessful the new £50,000 bar will be forced to close, costing three members of staff their jobs.
The “choked-up” publican (37) said he would definitely appeal, hopeful that an independent person would pass the plans because he believed the board’s decision had not been made on legitimate planning grounds.
And he insisted: “It is business as usual until we know the outcome of the appeal.”
Mr Raki said the pub had seen one of its busiest bingo nights last Thursday after news spread of the council’s decision as customers turned out in support.
He had previously criticised the council in the Advertiser for not informing him when he was granted his alcohol licence in August that he needed to also apply for planning permission.
During the planning board meeting, Cllr Alan Atkin said he had read Mr Raki’s comments and agreed there should be better communication between departments.
Cllr Atkin said: “Isn’t it about time licensing and planning talked to each other better?
“It’s not the first time we have had issues where somebody’s gone to licensing and said: ‘I want to open this pub’.
“Surely somebody in licensing should be saying: ‘Have you already got planning permission for this?’”
Cllr Atkin added that “people don’t know everything” and the council should be encouraging “small businessmen”.
The board heard the council had received six objections to Mr Raki’s plans as well as a petition signed by 84 people in support.
Objections were mainly over noise, general disruption, anti-social behaviour and parking.
Planning officers had recommended the plans be passed with strict conditions attached, including all of The Unit’s doors and windows remaining shut, no amplified noise, extra noise insulation, no eating and drinking in the smoking area and only opening from 10am to 10pm.
Residents living near the Dale Road pub spoke at the hearing about the effect of noise from the bar on their lives.
Cllr Atkin said he believed the noise could not be completely attributed to The Unit because there were several pubs in the area.
Ray Beale, director of Charlotte James properties, which owns five surrounding houses and one flat, told the board that his tenants had never complained about noise before The Unit had opened.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Beale added: “I hope the appeal will be rejected for the sake of my tenants but we don’t know — it could go either way.”