A FAMOUS chip shop rapped for serving fish suppers after closing time has been given a battering for attempting to exploit a licensing loophole to overturn previous sanctions.
The Concorde Fish Bar was slammed by police and licensing chiefs for trying to “circumvent” an earlier ruling to slash opening hours after being convicted for selling takeaway food after the shop had closed for the night.
The late-night chippy in Home Street – said to be suffering “catastrophic” losses after being forced to close at 11pm because of its record – sought to double up as an off-sales outlet with an amendment to increase its food trading times until the early hours. The move would have superceded the earlier decision to cut its opening hours
A lawyer representing the eaterie said having the option to sell alcohol would make the outlet “more attractive to customers”. He added that yesterday’s licensing application process was “far faster” than others, which may not be heard until the end of the year which would leave the business in “serious jeopardy of closure”.
But the application was withdrawn amid a slew of criticism.
The chip shop, which had operated until 2am on weekdays and 3am at weekends, will operate standard opening hours, with suppers now only served until 11pm every evening.
Upstairs neighbour Angela Dawson, an outspoken objector to the Concorde’s backdoor licence bid, said it was a “victory for the residents”.
“For three years I have had the most horrendous noises coming through the ceiling into my house,” she said.
“This was just a gateway for the shop to stay open until 2am or 3am.
“The owners don’t answer to anyone, they are a law unto themselves and it’s about time this was put stop to.” She added: “I feel like it’s a victory for the local residents – five of whom have objected to this application – but this whole saga will be ongoing.”
At the climax of the hearing in City Chambers, Councillors said it was “too early” to consider revising the penalty imposed upon Concorde’s owners.
Councillor Mike Bridgman echoed the chief constable’s report that the application was an attempt “to circumvent the regulatory committee decision made in November 2012”.
He said: “You have never had an alcohol licence before and now you want one and I think its trying to circumvent as per the police report.”
Councillor Gavin Barrie said: “It would seem completely at odds with natural justice that one committee considers something and hands out sanction and another then overrules it by granting something.
“This was atrocious behaviour.”