New bar at Old Granada Studios site in Manchester gets the go-ahead despite neighbours’ objections
A new bar, restaurant and event space at the development on the site of the famous Granada Studios in Manchester has been given a licence, but not everyone is happy with the decision.
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A new venue at the Old Granada Studios site in Manchester has been given a late-night licence despite objections from neighbours. The Lower Stables in the St John’s development was granted a licence on Tuesday (9 May), but the bar, restaurant and event space is not expected to open until later this year.
It comes as the former television studios site in the city centre is transformed into a new neighbourhood with hundreds of flats, offices and creative spaces. The St John’s district – which will also offer retail and hospitality outlets – has been designed to be ‘one of the best’ media, tech and creative hub in Europe.
The BBC’s Morning Live programme is already based in the area at the ABC Buildings on Quay Street, while Sky, Amazon Prime and ITV have all used its studios. In total, 762 apartments are planned in two buildings within the site.
However, residents already living in the area raised concerns about a new venue opening as late as 2am as part of the development. The Lower Stables – an existing building which is set to be refurbished – will be used a bar and restaurant throughout the week with space for events of up to 180 people.
What happened when the venue applied for a licence?
Workspace and hospitality operator All Work and Social Bonded Limited applied for a licence allowing the venue to serve alcohol from 11am to 1.30am on Thursdays, until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays and until 11pm on Sundays.
Alcohol can also be sold until half past midnight from Monday to Wednesday while food can be served half an hour later every night. Eight residents raised concerns about the application for the licence as well as the local councillors.
But representing the applicant at a town hall hearing, Rebecca Lowe of Kuits Solicitors said that some of these concerns have now been addressed. She told councillors on the licensing panel that routes which pass residential properties will be blocked off so that customers do not disturb residents.
She explained that the only entrance and exit to the Lower Stables will be on Grape Street and said that access would be restricted to ensure customers cannot reach Atherton Street or Lower Byrom Street. This dispersal policy was agreed with council officers and forms an additional condition on the licence.
Customers would also be ‘strictly monitored’ by the 24-hour on-site security, according to the solicitor who explained that the St John’s district would operate in a similar way to Spinningfields. She also said that no outdoor area would be licensed as part of this application and explained that a separate application for a nearby site has now been withdrawn following concerns.
Setting out the steps taken to address concerns, she said: “We are confident this will ensure that those residents will be protected whilst also allowing this licensed offering to form part of this exciting new community at St John’s.”
The licensing sub committee hearing panel at Manchester City Council approved the application with the additional condition attached to the premises licence. Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the licensing hearing, the applicant said the premises is expected to open in November.