New hotel 'The Jet Black Jewel' in Whitby granted permission to sell alcohol
A new hotel in Whitby has been granted a licence to sell alcohol after councillors dismissed an objection from a church next door.
Zoe and Andrew Cottier bought the former Scarborough Council offices in Skinner Street with designs on turning it into destination accommodation with a café which would double as a community hub.
Called “the Jet Black Jewel” in reference to the gemstone made famous in Whitby, the couple were granted planning permission for the hotel earlier this year but an application to sell alcohol and play background music proved more problematic.
The building is next door to Whitby Evangelical Church, which lodged an objection to Scarborough Council with regards to concerns over noise. North Yorkshire Police also submitted an objection in order to secure a number of conditions to be attached to the licence.
At a meeting of the council’s licensing sub-committee today Mrs Cottier told the council about her plans for the building.
She said: “The church has raised concerns about music but I would say it will be very quiet background music, it won’t be loud at all.
“The purpose of the café is to serve the rooms and it is going to be a celebration of Whitby, its stories, its folklore and it’s going to be a community hub where people can come and give talks. It’s not going to be a vertical drinking establishment. It is not central to the operation of the business.
“We are closing at 6pm. It’s not a bar, people won’t be coming in for a drink.”
The committee heard that the applicants and North Yorkshire Police had agreed a number of conditions, regarding CCTV and other matters, ahead of the hearing and therefore the police’s objection had been withdrawn.
Mrs Cottier said she had tried to speak to the church to tell them about their plans for the hotel and also that they had been invited to see the building.
She said the church did not take her up on the offer, and also did not attend the licensing hearing today.
PC Debbie Chadwick, North Yorkshire Police’s licensing officer, told councillors it was “disappointing” the church had not attended the hearing as without its objection the committee would not have needed to meet to determine the application.
The premises licence was granted allowing the hotel’s café to open from 8am until 6pm seven days a week and serve alcohol from noon until 6pm. Recorded music can also be played at the premises.
The building will have nine rooms over three floors and the ground floor will be a café/bar serving local drinks and produce.
Scarborough Council sold the four-storey building to the couple last year after being unable to secure a long-term tenant to take over the property.