HOTEL owners behind the £1.5m refurbishment of a former Sedgefield pub have faced objection over a licence which would allow them to serve alcohol, host sport events and a range of entertainment until late.

Ramside Estates, the company behind nearby Hardwick Hall Hotel, and Durham’s Ramside Hall Hotel, has applied for a premises licence for the renamed Impeccable Pig, on Front Street.

Previously The Hope Inn, the building in the town centre has undergone a major overhaul which planners last year estimated would cost between £1.5m and £2m.

It is understood the applicant is now in the final stages of development ahead of an opening originally scheduled for Easter but is facing objections over concerns about potential public nuisance.

The licence application is for the sale of alcohol from 8am until midnight from Sunday to Thursday and 8am until 1am from Friday to Saturday at the restaurant, bar and ten-bedroom hotel.

Sedgefield Town Council has submitted an objection to Durham County Council (DCC) which details concerns that, due to the building’s capacity for more than 200 people, crowds of customers could be leaving at closing time. It requests the closing time to reduced by one hour.

Council clerk Dr Jane Ayre stated: “The centre of Sedgefield, a Conservation Area, is very quiet at this time of night and due to the unique shape, layout and construction of the buildings, noise is echoed and carried all round the centre.”

The clerk adds the council-owned Sedgefield Parish Hall has a smaller capacity and has restrictions imposed on entertainment hours due to to the residential area and “problems in the past”.

Two further objections from residents have been submitted, calling for a reduction in opening hours and referring to the impact of noise from music and customers.

One resident details a lack of public transport at night could increase traffic from cars and taxis in the early hours while another, who lives next door, raises concerns about the requested extended use of live and recorded music indoors past 11pm.

They state they will lose sleep and be disturbed should permission be granted.

According to the application, Ramside Estates offered to meet with the neighbouring objector but did not receive a reply.

DCC’s statutory licensing-sub-committee will make a decision on the licence at County Hall, Durham City, on Tuesday, April 24.