Plans to sell alcohol at comedy venue no laughing matter

PLANS to sell alcohol at a stand-up comedy venue have proved no laughing matter for neighbours.

Residents are objecting to proposals by Kayvan Khazaee to sell alcohol at The Jumping Bean in Neville Street, in Durham City, from noon to 11pm from Monday to Sunday - on the grounds it could be the cause of noise and litter.

An application for a premises licence for the venue, which also seeks permission to open from 8am to 11.30pm, will be heard at Durham County Council’s licensing sub-committee meeting on Tuesday.

The Crossgate Community Partnership is trying to reach an agreement with Mr Khazaee.

In a letter to the committee meeting, partnership chairman Roger Cornwell said: “North Road is an area in need of careful management. There are already problems of drunkenness and under-age drinking.

“Because the premises are so small, it is inevitable that if it became crowded customers would spill out of it and create noise and litter.”

He added: “Neville Street is a very narrow street, steep and cobbled and one way. The buildings in the street are old domestic premises.

“Customers accessing entering and leaving the premises would be a focus for disorder and traffic such as taxis would create significant disturbance.”

Mr Cornwell said residents are not seeking to impugn the “good faith” of the applicant, but feel that “if his vision does not work out we must not be left with a licence that could be exploited, possibly by another operator”.

Mr Khazaee has indicated he wishes to run Jumping Bean as a cafe serving hot food with alcohol, tea and coffee with stand-up comedy as  entertainment.

Mr Cornwell said: “The impression given is that alcohol would be incidental to the enterprise rather than its focus.

“If everything goes right this could be an enhancement to the facilities of the city.

“Unfortunately application shows no evidence that the potential risks have been assesses and addressed.”

Durham Police has objected on the grounds it will impact adversely on the quality of lives of residents in the area.

Mr Khazaee was not available for comment.

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