‘Landmark’ Chichester bar and restaurant granted extended opening hours and permission to play music

Woodies brasserie and bar in St Pancras, Chichester
Woodies brasserie and bar in St Pancras, Chichester

A ‘landmark’ Chichester bar and restaurant has received permission to play live and recorded music and extend its weekend opening hours.

Woodies Brasserie & Bar in St Pancras, which is under new ownership and reopened in March, has submitted an application to vary its premises licence.

The changes would see the premises open 30 minutes longer until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights, with permission granted to play live and recorded music into late in the evening.

Solicitor Jon Wallsgrove, representing Woodies, said the reasoning behind the application was so customers would be encouraged to stay and have a drink after they finish their meals.

He explained: “It’s trying to build in a bit of flexibility to the business so it does not rigidly apply its licensing conditions for its customers.”

The variations were approved by Chichester District Council’s alcohol and licensing sub-committee on Thursday (June 13).

However the three-member panel heard from residents in New Park Road who were already concerned about the noise levels coming from Woodies at night.

Brian Wilkinson, speaking in objection, said he could clearly hear music in his bedroom late in the evenings, while fellow objector Paul Roberts suggested the Woodies being described was not the current reality residents were experiencing.

The council’s environmental health officers said that while the building had a ‘reasonable control over the noise’ it is not designed for very loud amplified music.

They also expected the business to ‘exercise a degree of self monitoring so they do control the level of noise they generate in the building’.

During the committee meeting Mr Wallsgrove described how Woodies had originally applied for a much more extensive extension of its opening hours, but this had been scaled back after concerns were raised.

He explained that as part of the Live Music Act, premises were allowed to play music until 11pm, so in effect the variation was only asking for an extra hour for the most part, and another two hours for recorded music on Fridays and Saturdays.

Woodies was ‘quite a landmark restaurant’ in Chichester, but Mr Wallsgrove described how it had ‘struggled to maintain itself financially’ in recent years.

But after a ‘bit of a rocky period’ his clients had taken it over and made a ‘substantial investment’ in the business.

He added: “This is about trying to get people in and for them to enjoy their entire evening at Woodies.”