POLICE claims that drinkers are jumping into the River Tyne and residents’ fears about noise could see a beer garden application rejected.

The proposals would see the parking space outside Quay Taphouse, River Café and Dodgins Yard, in North Shields, turned into extra seating areas. If they were to go-ahead up to 100 customers could be served from the area from 10am to 9pm.

Paul Sample, director of 55 Quay Limited, the operator of Quay Taphouse, submitted the application on behalf of all the businesses to North Tyneside Council, which considers the plan next Tuesday.

But Northumbria Police have fought the plans claiming that “several customers” from the beer garden have jumped into the Tyne.

An email from the force to the council said: “We have been made aware of at least one incident whereby several customers from the beer garden have jumped into the Tyne.

“You will appreciate that as a tidal river this sort of behaviour is very risky and in recent years there have been notable fatalities. We are therefore cautious of development that brings intoxicated people even closer to the waters edge particularly when the relevant licensed premises is across a roadway from the hazard.”

The force was also concerned about the safety of drinkers crossing the road between the premises and the seating area to access the toilets.

The authority also received 25 objections to the proposals from residents concerned about noise, rowdy behaviour, and the area becoming saturated with drinking venues with one called for the proposals to be “stopped at all costs”.

Another warned that the Fish Quay’s café culture was at risk of being stifled by a “culture of boozing”.

Others were worried that noise from the seating area could be heard from near-by apartments.

Previously Mr Sample denied that the seating would cause noise problems, saying that the outdoor area would close at 9pm with its customers ordering their last drinks half an hour before.

A portable toilet, mentioned in the original plans, has been withdrawn from the application following feed back from residents.

Supporters of the proposals submitted 58 comments in favour of the scheme to the council.

They claim that the current parking spaces are under-used and that the seating would allow al fresco drinking to be controlled.

They also claimed the seating would “enhance” the area with another writing that it would help the area become “hub for café culture attracting people from all regions and parts of the country which will benefit the local businesses and create jobs.

But the authority’s planning department isn’t convinced, and has advised councillors to vote against the plans, citing noise nuisance.

They wrote: “The need to support existing business has been taken into account but in officer opinion this is not sufficient reason to justify a development that would result in significant harm to the living conditions of residents.”

The council’s planning committee is set to vote on the application next Tuesday.