FIERCE OPPOSITION: Gummy Bear cafe plans hanging in the balance
The cafe is set to open on Mill Lane in West Derby, Image: Google Maps
A dessert cafe’s plans to sell booze are hanging in the balance after neighbours said the proposals threaten their childrens’ wellbeing.
Andrew Eaves went before members of Liverpool Council’s licensing and gambling sub-committee this morning in an attempt to secure an alcohol licence for Gummy Bear, a new dessert cafe in West Derby.
Mr Eaves said the cafe, set to open in a former newsagents on Mill Lane, will be geared towards sweets and desserts but has applied to sell alcohol from 9am to 10pm as a “secondary” part of the business.
However, fierce opposition from residents of a nearby row of homes means he will now have to wait for a decision from councillors.
West Derby’s three ward councillors had also opposed the plans, arguing selling alcohol in a premises called Gummy Bear blurred the lines of whether it was a business geared towards children or adults.
Helen McAvoy, who lives in a house adjacent to the proposed cafe, said she feared that granting a licence until 10pm would mean her children would be exposed to loud noise and anti-social behaviour on a regular basis while trying to sleep.
She said: “This will have a serious impact on our children’s mental health.
“We are concerned that we can not safeguard our children from alcohol when they are in their own homes.”
Ms McAvoy said the building was “far too close to houses and far too close where children are sleeping” for it to be turned into a licensed premises.
She and her husband Anthony said the layout of their home meant their childrens’ bedrooms would bear the brunt of any disruption.
Other residents who spoke this morning pointed to the existence of a number of bars and restaurants nearby and said another licensed premises was likely to worsen issues like noise and anti-social behaviour late at night.
Mr Eaves’ representative at this morning’s meeting, Carl Bruder, said he had listened to residents’ concerns and made a number of changes to his application in response, including introducing plans to shut an outdoor area of the cafe by 8pm.
Mr Bruder described Mr Eaves as well known and respected within the community.
He said: “He is a family man, he has three kids with another on the way. Mr Eaves is a responsible individual and this will be a well run premises.
“I want to emphasise the integrity of Mr Eaves. He has listened to residents’ concerns and changed his plans accordingly.”
The former owner and operator of the newsagents, who sold Mr Eaves the building earlier this year, also vouched for his character this morning.
Mr Eaves himself confirmed that the cafe would only serve a small selection of beers and wines, with no spirits on offer, and he said the sale of alcohol would be monitored closely.
The sub-committee’s decision will be published within five working days.
Words: Nick Tyrrell, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV