Cafe in Staithes, near Whitby, given thumbs up to serve alcohol, despite objections

A cafe in Staithes has been granted permission to serve alcohol on an area outside its premises in spite of local objections.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Monday, 10th May 2021, 4:57 pm
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 4:58 pm

Dotty’s Tearooms in Staithes High Street wanted to be able to expand its business in order to allow it to prosper in a post-pandemic world.

Applicant Trudie Ward told a meeting of Scarborough Council’s licensing committee last month that she was looking to grow the existing music night and add other amenities to the business with alcohol being sold until 11pm.

Scarborough Council has now published the result of the hearing and the application has been granted.

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Dotty's Vintage Bistro, Staithes picture: Google images

The plans were not met with universal approval in the village with some residents registering their opposition with the council due to concerns that it will cause disruption to locals.

At the hearing, Mrs Ward laid out why she wanted the permission for the cafe.

She said: “We think there is a place for a bistro in the evening serving simple food well with sharing platters, three item menu, supper club etcetera.

“A bistro at night with an alcohol license, a wider offering in the afternoon and the ability to open some times in the evening would make the business more viable, enhancing what Staithes already has to offer.

“And so doing will bring more employment for local people.

"It would also allow us to serve a glass of prosecco with an afternoon tea because we are always asked about it.

“Like many other businesses we have used these long lockdown months to look at various ways of operating post-Covid.”

In its application the cafe stated that it is opposite a pub, The Royal George, which also has outside seating for its patrons.

The objectors, the number of which was not made public by the council, stated that granting the alcohol licence would have a negative impact on the quiet village.

One of the objectors, Adam Rice of the Royal George pub, spoke at the hearing, telling councillors that customers of the tearoom regularly came in to use his toilets - a claim Mrs Ward said she had no knowledge of.

Mr Rice added: “I am directly opposite that business, it will have a detrimental effect on my business.

“As you are well aware over the last few years pubs are closing every other week.

“So to keep a pub going you need reliable alcohol sales [and] if everybody else is selling alcohol in the village, obviously it is going to dilute what I take.”

Cllr Jane Mortimer said that “competition” was not a factor that could be taken into consideration in licensing hearings.

The committee granted the licence, which will also allow for the playing of live music, with extended hours for certain village events including Staithes Lifeboat Weekend.

Mrs Ward has also now applied for a permanent change of use of the property, which used to be an antique shop, from the North York Moors National Park Authority after a temporary permission expired during the pandemic.