An application by a pub in a Birmingham suburb to stay open until 1am has been thrown out after people living nearby complained about rowdy behaviour by customers leaving the premises.
Members of a Birmingham City Council licensing committee heard claims that drinkers at the Goose at the Fighting Cocks in St Mary's Row, Moseley, regularly vomited and urinated in the street at closing time. Residents said the problems - including illegal parking, noise, discarded glasses and litter - would worsen if the pub was allowed to remain open for longer.
In refusing the application for extended hours, committee chairman David Osborne said: "We are mindful of the representations made to us about anti-social behaviour including noise, fighting and vomiting at closing time."
The committee received 13 letters of objection from local people and a petition.
West Midlands Police did not object to the application.
The request by the Goose at the Fighting Cocks was one of a block application by Mitchells and Butlers for 47 pubs in Birmingham. There were no objections from the public to the remaining 46 applications, which have been granted.
If the application had been granted, the Goose at the Fighting Cocks would have been able to stay open until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights and until midnight the rest of the week. The pub's request for late-night screening of sports events on television and the staging of indoor snooker and darts competitions was also refused.
Residents' representatives welcomed the decision as a victory for common sense.
Catherine Rock, who lives close to the pub in King Edward Road, said there were ten pubs in Moseley and the village suffered considerably from anti-social behaviour.
She added: "There needs to be a balance between commercialism and Moseley village. People live there and we feel the balance is being tipped over in favour of the commercial side and the residents' needs are being forgotten."
Nathan White, also of King Edward Road, is selling his house because of the problems with late night drinkers.
He wrote to the committee: "On more than three occasions a week people urinate in the side alley next to my front door; not very pleasant, especially for my children."
Pub manager Geraldine Ryan admitted that the pressure to apply for longer opening hours stemmed from Mitchells and Butlers management. All of the company's pubs in Birmingham had been ordered to make an application.
Ms Ryan said it was unlikely that she would want to open her pub until 1am on a regular basis, and probably not at all during the week. But it was important to have the ability to do so for special occasions such as bank holidays or the screening of international sporting events, she said.
She added the pub, which has a maximum capacity of 300, used to have a reputation for trouble but the problem had been addressed in the three years since she had held the licence.
"I am aware of the history but have done my best to curtail that. We have a very good pubwatch in Moseley - if you are banned from one pub you are banned from them all. Moseley has a lot of licensed premises in a very small area. I can only speak for my own, but I will do my utmost to minimise any problems."
Martin Everick, representing M&B, said a refusal of the application would go against the spirit of the Licensing Act which promoted the Government's view that longer pub opening hours would make binge drinking less likely.
The company has a month to decide whether it wishes to appeal to the magistrates court against the committee's decision.