RESIDENTS who objected to plans for a new bar at a former workingmen’s club say their fears have been allayed after the owners made changes to their plans.

Scott Walker is applying for a licence for The Distillery, in Red Rose Terrace, Chester-le-Street.

Chester-le-Street Central Residents’ Association chairman Derek Briggs said: “We objected initially because of the history we have with licensed premises in the area. It hits a sore point.

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“People were concerned we could end up with rowdy behaviour and there were about 40 objections.

“But we had a very good meeting with the owners and solicitor.

“They listened to our points of view and the problems and we explained why there were so many objections.”

He added: “They explained that it was not the type of premises we were expecting and was going to be more upmarket establishment.We are quite happy with that.”

Following mediation with Durham Constabulary the Mr Scott agreed to amend the premises licence by adding additional conditions to the operating schedule.

They include the installation of a CCTV at the back of the premises to cover the bin area, and a reduction of the licensable hours.

Mr Briggs said: “The only problem that we have is there is going to be a smoking area out the front with piped music playing.

“We will try and see if we can get a condition imposed that music not be played there.”

The application will be considered by a licensing sub-committee meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Walker was not available for comment.