A PUB landlord believes he is the target of a campaign of homophobic abuse after finding three bullets on his doorstep.

Charlie Bell, manager of the Packhorse bar in Stokesley High Street, is applying for permission to officially change the use of his business from a cafe to a bar, but has been met with a series of objections.

And he said he and his partner had faced a “homophobic backlash” since they decided to open a bar in Stokesley.

He said: “We have had quite a lot of homophobic abuse since opening the bar. If you ask someone to leave they will do anything to attack you. People don’t like being told they are barred. But when I found the bullets on my doorstep I was concerned for my partner’s safety, so I did call the police. That, and the recurring homophobic abuse and intimidation, is just disgusting.”

Parish councillors raised concerns at a recent meeting that there had been 13 police call-outs to the bar.

But Mr Bell said at least half a dozen of those incidents were when he called the police himself, due to homophobic abuse.

He said he felt his bar was being unfairly criticised by complainants, who made allegations that there were chairs being thrown around in the Packhorse – but he said this had never happened.

Parish councillors had previously said they thought there was a “clear threat” to community safety in the way the Packhorse was being operated as a bar, something Mr Bell strongly denied.

Objections received by Hambleton District Council against the Packhorse’s retrospective change of use application included neighbouring businesses, who claimed it was “not in keeping in Stokesley” and “lowering the tone” of the town.

The landlady of the neighbouring Queen’s Head, whom Mr Bell admitted he had had disagreements with, also objected.

Others said: “The clientele have been rowdy. The street is littered with cigarette ends, which to his credit the owner of the business does attempt to tidy up, and the pavement is regularly washed down with Jeyes Fluid, creating a wholly undesirable environment in the centre of town.

"There is nothing wrong with a genuine café in this location similar in character to its predecessor Lincolns but what this has turned into is unacceptable in a town that relies on high quality shopping and is developing a café culture coupled to dining out in the evenings."

Another said: “I was visiting the Yorkshire Store... and had to step over vomit on the cobbles, which was very unpleasant.”

Among those objecting were people who did not like the smokers outside the bar: "Smokers spill out on the pavement in which the public reluctantly have to step through the smoke," one said.