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Report highlights alleged impact of disorders at premises

The report states there are currently 24 licensed pubs, bars, clubs, tea rooms, cafés and restaurants in Whalley and Painter Wood

The alleged impact of late night bars, noise, filth, anti-social behaviour and crime on residents of Whalley in the Ribble Valley is highlighted in a new report for the borough's licensing committee.

The report for Ribble Valley Borough Council's licensing committee features numerous anonymous residents' complaints about noise from customers, discos, live bands and taxis; drunkenness, fighting, drugs, vomit, faeces and litter on pavements and gardens, and damage to cars and homes.

Earlier this year the borough council launched a consultation process about Whalley's booming pub, bar and restaurant scene. The survey could now be used as evidence towards a formal Whalley Cumulative Impact Assessment which could influence and support future licensing decisions and work.

The licensing committee is being asked to look at issues such as venue closing times, bar trends, capacities and concentrations of drinkers leaving venues at different times.

The report states there are currently 24 licensed pubs, bars, clubs, tea rooms, cafés and restaurants in Whalley and Painter Wood.

Through public consultation, the borough council received 60 replies, of which 51 were from residents. The majority of residents who responded said they would support the licensing committee putting restrictions on the number of new licensed premises and on opening hours. Eighty per cent felt there were too many licensed premises open at night.

Whalley has been the focus of concerns over crime and disorder a number of times recently. Earlier this summer, CCTV was installed at Whalley Abbey and councillors, police and Lancashire's deputy police and crime commissioner held talks about disorder and vandalism in the village.

In the new survey, some Whalley residents claim they have been warning of licensed premised and night time problems for years. Some say there has been disorder long before covid-safety arrangements and customer habits brought more outdoor socialising, hospitality and drinking.

The licensing survey does not contain feedback or statements from operators of licensed premises in Whalley, who may dispute the residents' statements or versions of events.

However, a number of residents who did respond said they also operate business in the village. Two other businesses responded, owned by people who live elsewhere.

In the new report, one resident statement reads: Some of the licensed premises on King Street and Queen Street are attracting a number of unsavoury characters to the village. I have witnessed increased drug use and drug dealing in car parks and pubs. My wife has been verbally abused on two recent occasions. When we moved to Whalley nine years ago, there were just four pubs and two licensed restaurants on King Street plus Rendezvous on Accrington Road. Now there are 12 drinking establishments on King Street alone.

There used to be a regular community police patrol around the village and a police car at the bus terminus. Unfortunately I very rarely see a police presence now which I'm sure must be contributing to the proliferation of unsociable behaviour in a village which I once considered to be one of the top ten places to live in England.

Other villagers claim loud music, noise or customers arriving and leaving Rio's club or the Salvage Works are problems.

One states: The Salvage Works is a real concern. They have live bands at midnight and don't have the doors closed. That coupled with people drinking outside contributes to excessive noise.

Some respondents believe that some venues are well-run and very good, including Whalley Wine Bar, The Swan and The Dog.

Some say the dominance of Whalley's night-time economy is effecting property rents and discouraging day time businesses such as shops.