WISBECH: HISTORIC HOTEL MAY HAVE TO SCRAP FUNCTIONS AFTER POLICE AND FIRE SAFETY PROBE
EXCLUSIVE By Elaine King THE historic Rose and Crown Hotel in Wisbech – now hosting a regular night spot- may have to scrap functions because of fire safety regulations. A second Wisbech night spot, SR Taste, also faces an uncertain future after official
By Elaine King
THE historic Rose and Crown Hotel in Wisbech - now hosting a regular night spot- may have to scrap functions because of fire safety regulations.
A second Wisbech night spot, SR Taste, also faces an uncertain future after officials slapped a closure order on it.
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At the Rose and Crown, owner Jonathan Davies is deciding how to react to a prohibition notice issued on the Trumpet Hall because of insufficient fire exits which has led to the fire service calling for a review of the hotel's licence.
Inspector Robin Sissons is also supporting the review and wants tougher restrictions on the hotel's Passion night club. He wants the club to stop selling alcohol by 2am, wants better CCTV, door supervisors on all entrances and customers going into the club after 8pm to be scanned by a metal detector.
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Mr Davies says that uncertainty over the hotel's licence has stopped it advertising for Christmas, and he may sue the fire service because of a reduction in its profits. The licence review will be carried out by the district council on December 22.
Mr Davies said: "The fire officer does not like old buildings, he is trying to apply modern building regulations to a hall that is more than 100 years old, and to a hotel that is 400 years old. I think he wants to close everything down, that seems to be his attitude."
Andy Dunlop, Fire Safety Manager for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Fire safety officers put these requirements in place for the safety of all those in the premises.
"Our role is to ensure that the lives of customers, staff and guests are not put at risk should a fire break out. This is why we have issued an enforcement notice and a prohibition notice against these premises.
"This is an ongoing process, and a number of other premises in Cambridgeshire are subject to the same constraints."
Another late night venue to come under the spotlight this week was the bar and restaurant SR Taste Place in Falcon Road. It was issued with a closure order at the weekend, putting it on notice that it must comply with its licence conditions that require two door staff to be in place.
Paulo Loureiro, the manager, said takings have plummeted by 90 per cent over the past couple of months - and 10 members of staff have been laid off.
"We are the only place in Wisbech that has to operate as a membership club," he said.
"If people want to come in for a cup of coffee, they have to have a membership card, or we will be closed down.
"We are being victimised, the police want to close us down." Mr Loureiro is also very concerned that all drinks have to be served in plastic. "If someone has a meal, and wants a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape, they have to have it in a plastic glass," he complained.