Whitby cafe owner hits out at 'vexatious' objectors during alcohol licence meeting

The Walrus and Carpenter in Whitby.
The Walrus and Carpenter in Whitby.

A Whitby cafe has been granted permission to sell alcohol after its owner branded those who objected to his plans as “vexatious”.

Arnold Dixon says he has spent £40,000 restoring the Walrus and Carpenter in Church Street to its “former glory” and had applied to Scarborough Council to sell alcohol inside and outside the building.

Three people objected to the plans and at a hearing of Scarborough Council’s licensing sub-committee today Mr Dixon said the objections had come from rival businesses or people associated with them.

The objections stated the area suffered from anti-social behaviour and the plans by Mr Dixon to serve alcohol outside would be detrimental to other businesses.

Mr Dixon said the objections were from his competitors.

“I think they are vexatious,” he said.

“I don’t know where they are getting their evidence from, the police state there is no street violence.”

He added: “I have been running Arnie’s since 2005 without any incident in all those years, the police will back me up on that. I just want to offer people some nice food with some nice wine, beer or spirits. That’s it.”

None of those who objected were present at today’s hearing in Scarborough.

A number of the objections, the councillors were told, claimed Mr Dixon had been operating outside of his licence by supplying alcohol to a seating area he rented from the council outside of his other business, Arnie’s, which is located next door to the Walrus and Carpenter in Whitby’s Market Square.

During the hearing, the council’s senior licensing officer, Mark Heaton, explained that as the alcohol was provided by Arnie’s via waiting staff there was no breach.

He said: “The waitress or waiter will take the drinks order and the table and will then procure the alcohol from inside Arnie’s which is licensed, it is not sold from the market. It is like ordering alcohol from Tesco online. Even though you purchase it online and it is delivered to your house, the sale takes place in the warehouse technically, which is licensed. That is the point of sale.”

Mr Dixon said this had been explained to the people who objected before they had written to the council to oppose his plans.

He said: “These people have rung licensing numerous times and have had it explained to them that I’m not doing anything wrong. But they have still objected again saying I am.

“How many times do they have to be told before it sinks in?”

Mr Dixon was granted permission by the sub-committee to serve alcohol on the premises until 10.30pm on Sundays to Thursdays and 11.30pm on Friday and Saturday.

No alcohol will be served outside after 7pm except in the summer months of June, July, August and September and bank holidays where that will be extended to 8pm.

All drinks will be waitress served and there will always be a minimum of 15 seats available inside to negate the need for vertical drinking.