A new pub in Tower Street has been licensed despite fears from restaurateurs opposite that drinkers could ‘scare off’ their customers.

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East Devon District Council licensers approved a bid to allow a patio area and ground-floor balcony outside 5 Tower Street, formally Goa Spice, for drinking.

They ruled that no more than four people could be on the balcony at anytime and tables or chairs were not allowed.

They added that the street had to be swept regularly during opening hours and CCTV should be installed.

But Olivier and Sheila Guyard-Mulkerrin of Les Saveurs and Michael Balbi of Michael’s Restaurant said they were concerned with antisocial behaviour from ‘binge drinkers’.

Mr Guyard said that drinkers spilling onto the street would not ‘be confined’ to the designated area.

He added: “The neighbouring church has a toddlers’ group and it is inappropriate for children to see people drinking outside at all hours of the day.”

But a licensing officer said: “We consider it relevant that no representations have been received from the police…

“From this we have concluded that the police do not consider that there is currently any significant problem…or that there is likely to be if the application is granted.”

They considered the establishment would be ‘sufficiently managed and controlled’ and added: “We acknowledge the concerns expressed by the interested parties before us today. We believe the concerns expressed in representations have been addressed by the hours of operation for the licensable activities and the conditions we have imposed which have been tailored to the size, characteristics and activities on the premises, and which we believe are necessary and proportionate.”

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