The Cherry Tree in White Horse Lane is a popular venue

Much-loved city centre pub wins hours extension

The Cherry Tree pub in Canterbury city centre has been granted a 3am licence at weekends.

But its application to open later on the other days of the week was rejected by the city council’s licensing sub-committee which met today (Tuesday).

It means the pub in White Horse Lane off the High Street, which dates back to 1372, will still operate until 1am on Sunday to Thursday nights.

Solicitor Steve Burnett, representing the Cherry Tree, said the Knight family had run the pub since 2006 and described them as responsible landlords.

He said the aim of the application was to bring it into line with other venues such as The Cuban and The Foundry which have 3am licences.

Licensing expert Steve Burnett

“The reason for the application is to make the pub economically viable,” Mr Burnett said.

“They want to look at providing a different kind of entertainment to a nightclub.

“And they want to prevent a migration from their premises to other premises.

“If this doesn’t happen, then the Cherry Tree will simply be another statistic. But if the premises is well run, then there’s no reason why it should not run with later hours.”

Mr Burnett added that neither the police nor the council’s own licensing department had raised objections to the Cherry Tree’s application.

At present, its opening hours are 10am to 1am every day of the week.

As well as opening until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights, the pub wanted to stay open until 2.30am on Sundays to Thursdays.

This was rejected by the three-councillor committee, none of whom represent the Westgate ward it is situated in.

But Westgate councillor Mike Dixey spoke to oppose the application. He said: “The major issue in my casework is anti-social behaviour.

“It’s the single biggest concern for people living in the city centre. It’s the result of the night time economy and people having too much to drink. It’s responsible for people shouting and screaming, dropping litter and graffiti.”

Cllr Dixey conceded that had never had cause to raise any concerns connected directly to the Cherry Tree.

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