COUNCILLORS will consider whether to allow a town centre pub to stay open until 4am for a special event this weekend.

The Merry Monk in Bishop Auckland Market Place hopes to get a late licence for its 1980 and 90s night on Saturday, which coincides with the Bishop Auckland Celebrate Together weekend.

Premises user Christian Burns has applied to Durham County Council for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) so the pub can play DJ music and run a late bar serving alcohol until 4am on Sunday. The event is being advertised as a party from 8pm to late, with the pub already permitted to open until 1.30am.

But the application, which will be considered by the statutory licensing sub-committee sitting at Spennymoor on Thursday, has met opposition from Durham police.

The force is concerned the event could undermine the licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance.

The concerns follow incidents in which the pub is alleged to have served alcohol after hours. On Monday, August 20 the council issued a warning about serving after hours and officers had to contact the licence holder to get CCTV after the applicant failed to cooperate. The pub is also under investigation for a similar incident on or around September 9.

On behalf of licensing Sergeant Caroline Dickenson, of Durham police’s harm reduction unit, the force wrote: “It is the concern of the constabulary that a 4am licence for up to 285 people would be excessive and would cause an increased demand on services, as well as contributing to noise nuisance via DJ driven music and public nuisance in the area as a result of the increased footfall at that hour, which will lead to an increased risk of disorderly behaviour.”

Councillors could impose conditions to tackle the police’s concerns, if minded to approve the application on Thursday.