A NEW sports bar called Delilah’s could open in Carmarthen in time for next year’s Six Nations rugby tournament, according to its owner.
Adam Cole was speaking after his planned venture was given a premises licence by a Carmarthenshire Council licensing sub-committee.
Mr Cole still needs planning permission to use the ground floor of 2 Nott Square as a sports bar, but said that if his application was approved soon he would like to open for the Six Nations, which kicks off on February 1.
The new licence would see the bar open from noon to 2.30am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and noon to 3.30am on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with last drinks served half an hour before closing time.
Mr Cole thanked his solicitor, Gwynne Hughes, who represented him at the licensing meeting at County Hall.
Objecting to the application was Carmarthen town councillor Peter Hughes Griffiths, on behalf of the town council, which runs St Peter’s Civic Hall.
Mr Griffiths said the hall was just two metres from the planned sports bar, and that another licensed premises in the vicinity would compound declining usage of the community building on weekend nights.
He said the hall was “essential” for the town, but that people were “scared” to visit Nott Square on Friday and Saturday nights.
Over the past four years, Mr Griffiths said Dyfed-Powys Police had recorded 86 crimes and 20 incidents in the square.
“That does not surprise us as a town council,” he said.
Mr Griffiths said he appreciated that licensing conditions were proposed inside the sports bar, but that the problem was outside.
If the sports bar went ahead he said there would be five licensed premises in the vicinity and that the town council might have to consider closing the hall, where alcohol can be served for special events.
Earlier in the meeting, Carmarthenshire Council’s lead licensing officer Emyr Jones said the authority considered Nott Square to be a hot spot of alcohol-related crime and disorder.
He said the proposed operating schedule for the sports bar was not sufficiently precise, and that additional conditions had been requested by Dyfed-Powys Police and the council’s environmental health department.
But Mr Jones said the applicant had subsequently confirmed that he would accept all these conditions.
Mr Hughes, on behalf of Mr Cole, said the conditions were extensive and would be expensive to implement, but that doing so would satisfy police and environmental health.
He added: “While we accept the town council obviously has a right to object, to some extent the objection could amount to competition, which I suggest is not a reasonable ground for refusal.”
Mr Hughes said Mr Cole had “considerable experience in the licensing trade”, with a wine bar in Cardigan and a business running bars at major events in Wales.
The county council is separately considering Mr Cole’s change of use application for the ground floor of the building, which used to be a Co-operative Bank branch until 2016.