A PUB has been granted an extension to its public entertainment licence, despite objections from residents including the village mayor.

The Hope Inn, in Front Street, Sedgefield will now be allowed to stay open until midnight from Monday to Saturday and to 11pm on Sundays.

Sedgefield Borough Council's licensing committee considered the application at a meeting in Spennymoor yesterday.

Licensee Jean Brown attended the meeting to put her case and allay residents concerns.

Most of the objections to the application involved worries about noise, broken glass and anti-social behaviour

A letter from Sedgefield Town Council said: "Members feel that the existing hours already cause some disturbance, particularly when music functions have been held and that an extension to these hours is not conducive with the overall feelings of our residents."

Coun Jim Wayman, the Mayor of Sedgefield, also objected on similar grounds, but did not attend the meeting to voice his concerns.

One resident, Mel Carr, did speak at the meeting. He said he felt an extension would lead to drinkers remaining in the village until nearer 1am, once they had left the pub and caught taxis.

He said: "I'm concerned about the noise extending further into the evening and disturbing us."

Mrs Brown said she appreciated the concerns of residents and their right to object, but disputed the effect an extension would have.

The pub is currently undergoing a £250,000 refurbishment, due to be completed in three weeks, which includes measures to reduce the noise coming from a vent and closed-circuit television cameras both outside and inside to monitor potential disturbances.

She said: "It is the first phase of a development to achieve a comfortable family premises to accommodate all age groups."

While members considered their decision behind closed doors, the council solicitor obtained details of entertainment licences for the other two pubs in that part of the village.

The Crosshills Hotel has a licence to open until midnight from Monday to Saturday and the Hardwick Arms to the same time on Friday and Saturday.

Members agreed to vary the licence for The Hope Inn as per the application, except for Sunday evenings when it must close at 11pm.