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Stay in the loop with the major developments and crucial planning decisions in Greater Manchester

It's been a big week for Manchester City Council's planning department - here's all you need to know.

A board game café and a banquet hall in Manchester will soon be allowed to serve alcohol.

But a new city centre bar’s bid to sell booze has been refused.

Manchester Planning Applications Granted

Goodtime Games in Didsbury has been granted an alcohol licence despite objections from a neighbouring business.

Empire House off Cheetham Hill is also licensed after concerns about a brawl at the venue were addressed.

But a new bar which was due to open in Shudehill within weeks has had its application for an alcohol licence rejected.

Manchester council also revoked a Collyhurst shop’s licence at a town hall hearing on Tuesday (August 1) after hundreds of illegal cigarettes and vapes were seized in five raids since 2016.

Councillors also approved changes to a Fallowfield convenience store’s licence at the hearing after its owner pulled plans to extend its hours.

But the licensing panel rejected an application from a Rastafarian Church in Moss Side to host an event on the Caribbean Carnival weekend despite offers to end it earlier.

The previous day (July 31), the licensing panel approved two more applications. The Red Lion pub in Withington won a battle to set up a bar in its beer garden.

The panel also approved a late-night licence for a pizza takeaway in Burnage.

Here are all the decisions made by Manchester’s licensing panel this week.

Goodtime Games Didsbury

Goodtime Games, Didsbury

The vegetarian board game café in Burton Road has a ‘bring your own bottle’ policy, but it now wants to sell alcohol too. Managing director Tom Walker told the panel he put his ‘heart and soul’ into setting up the three-year-old business on a ‘shoestring budget’, but despite its popularity, it is struggling financially.

However, 14 objections were made in response to the application. Mr Walker claims they are all associated with one business that is located above the premises which has complained about noise from the board game café.

The licensing panel approved the application in principle. But the exact hours during which alcohol can be sold will be agreed at another hearing next week.

Empire House, Cheetham Hill

Empire House Cheetham Hill

The banquet hall off Cheetham Hill Road has served alcohol at several events recently, but it has had to apply for permission every time.

Greater Manchester Police initially objected to the application by Empire House for a permanent premises licence because one of these events resulted in a ‘large brawl’.

According to the police, the fight which took place in the early hours of the morning resulted in a man receiving ‘serious facial injuries’ and requiring hospital treatment.

But speaking on behalf of GMP, PC Alan Isherwood said he is satisfied with the conditions on the new licence which address his concerns.

The venue offered to prepare and share a risk assessment for any promoted events, including ticketed events organised by a third party, such as the one which led to the brawl.

The panel granted the licence with the new condition.

Casa Mia, Shudehill

Casa Mia, Shudehill

The new bar in Shudehill was supposed to open within weeks.

Casa Mia also plans to offer food at the new establishment based in the listed 29 Shudehill building – but councillors refused to grant the premises an alcohol licence.

GMP originally objected to the application, but extra conditions about security arrangements satisfied their concerns.

However, town hall staff remained opposed, raising concerns about the impact of noise on residential properties.

Speaking on behalf of the business, Geoff Dixon argued that the area is not residential.

But the licensing panel rejected the application after a heated exchange over new concerns which had not been raised before the hearing.

Fallowfield Convenience Store

Fallowfield Convenience Store

The former Fallowfield Convenience Store already had an alcohol licence in place when it was taken over by a new owner around a year ago.

The new owner applied for a late night licence which would allow the shop to sell alcohol two hours later than the current permitted closing time of midnight.

The application was subject to several objections from residents and groups which represent them, as well as the police, licensing officers and other council teams.

However, the owner pulled the plans to extend its hours.

The business still wanted some conditions on the licence to be changed though, including a requirement to stick labels on each alcoholic item to identify where it has come from. The application variation was approved.

Rastafarian Church, Moss Side

Rastafarian Church, Moss Side

The Rastafarian Church in Claremont Road applied for a temporary event notice which would allow for alcohol to be sold until 4am at event on August  11.

Representatives from the church said the event would raise funds to cover medical costs for a well-known artist who will be performing in a wheelchair.

However, Greater Manchester Police and the council’s licensing team raised concerns about the size and location of the event which is planned on the same weekend as the Caribbean Carnival when resources are ‘stretched’.

The event’s organisers said they are not expecting 500 people to attend as the application suggested and offered to end the event at midnight. But councillors were concerned about the event and rejected the application.

Collyhurst Village Store

Collyhurst Village Store

The north Manchester shop lost its alcohol licence after hundreds of illegal cigarettes and vapes were seized – but its owner blamed the ‘troubled area’ around it. It comes after 1,800 counterfeit cigarettes, 500g of illicit tobacco and 256 illegal vapes were seized from the shop in five raids since 2016.

At a town hall hearing today (August 1), owner Yaser Mehmood blamed the sale of illegal cigarettes on his staff but took responsibility for the on-display vapes which exceeded the legal limit of 2ml.

However, he said he cannot find ‘professional’ people to work at the shop because it is in a ‘very troubled area’.

He said: “Every day you get thrown stones, smashed windows, smashed cars, all kinds of these things.

“You get these problems in the shop and no decent person is available to work there.” His alcohol licence has now been revoked.

First Time Pizza, Burnage

First Time Pizza, Burnage

The new pizza takeaway in Lane End Road faced opposition from some local residents when it asked for a late night licence allowing it to open until 1am.

People living in surrounding streets said the neighbourhood has suffered from an increase in litter and illegal parking due to the popularity of local takeaways.

A council officer who also spoke at the hearing said that community tensions are ‘extremely high’ as a result and argued that another takeaway would make matters worse. Taman Barzinji, who applied for the licence, said he understood the issues in the area and promised his staff clean the street ‘every night’.

Acknowledging their anger, he offered to close the takeaway earlier to walk-in customers and only do deliveries after 11pm. The application was approved.

Red Lion, Withington

Red Lion, Withington

The historic pub in south Manchester won a battle over its beer garden – but the new brewery behind the Grade-II listed building did not get everything it wanted in its new licence.

The pub in Wilmslow Road, which reopened last year after a £1m revamp, already has a beer garden which has been used for years.

However, although alcohol could be consumed outside it could not be sold there, creating a ‘bottleneck’ when customers come inside to order drinks.

Now owned by Middleton-based brewery JW Lees, the panel was told that the clientele has changed ‘significantly’ as the pub aims to attract more families.

Nevertheless, neighbours of the pub raised concerns about the beer garden bar attracting ‘rowdy customers’ and complained that they ‘already suffer from excessive noise’ when the beer garden is open during good weather.

The licensing panel approved the application, allowing the pub to set up a bar in its beer garden, but the location of the bar is restricted to just behind the building.

The Red Lion in Withington will be allowed to serve alcohol from a bar behind the building despite objections from neighbours.

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