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Permission granted so two outdoor bars can sell alcohol at Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa

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A seafront hotel has been given permission to use two new bars on its terraces despite noise objections.

Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa sits on Dover beach in a Grade II listed building.

The licence was granted despite concerns for anti-social behaviour
The licence was granted despite concerns for anti-social behaviour

The hotel applied to license their two new bars to serve drinks on the front terrace of the building.

Best Western also applied to serve light night refreshments between 11pm and 5am but this was only granted for indoors.

Objecting to the new bars, nearby resident Amanda Stockbridge said: “There are quite a few concerns from local residents, for example the amount of time serving alcohol, which is up until 11.30pm.

“That’s almost 20 hours a day, every day of the week, this is quite concerning.

“There are a lot of residents who are quite elderly, sick or shift workers so that is a concern for them.

Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa in Waterloo Crescent
Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa in Waterloo Crescent

“We already see alcohol misuse on the seafront. We’ve seen defecation, urination, vomiting in public areas on a regular basis, it’s not fun.

“There are going to be a lot of places in a small area serving alcohol. All of these places are adding up”.

Because the hotel is a Grade II listed building Best Western aren’t able to install window glazing without approval from the council.

Addressing her concerns, Cllr Oliver Richardson said: “The two bars are going to be situated outside but will still be inside the premises and will be closing in the evening.

“The hotel has been there a long time and I agree with a cafe-style society in Dover and I want to encourage more on the seafront.

The view of Dover beach from the terrace of the hotel
The view of Dover beach from the terrace of the hotel

“Twenty hours a day I think is normal in the hospitality business. I do understand your objections, but they’ve had a terrible last 18 months and they don’t want much besides what they’re already doing.”

The area has seen vast amounts of renovation in the Port of Dover’s flagship £250m Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) project.

In what is the single biggest investment the port has ever undertaken there is now the new Marina Pier, a new marina and piazza called the Clocktower Square.

The area, known collectively as the Marina Curve, is being eyed-up for a potential mixed use development. A scheme including a 90 bed motel, restaurant bar and outside pool made from converted shipping containers was submitted and deferred with the instruction to designers to “go back to the drawing board” making the scheme more suited to the world class port.

The applicant also said that it was within the hotel’s interests to keep noise down: “We are a four star hotel and people expect a good nights sleep. We have our own paying guests in the hotel and we don’t want to disturb them as much as our neighbours.

The plan was for shipping containers to be moulded together into a 90 bed motel at Dover Marina Curve
The plan was for shipping containers to be moulded together into a 90 bed motel at Dover Marina Curve

“The license can always be reviewed but so far we’ve had no problems serving in the area.

“In effect there will be no change but we will be providing quicker service.”

Whilst Mr Richardson was content with the hotel opening two more bars, he was curious as to why Best Western wished to serve refreshments into the early hours of the morning.

The applicant replied saying that sometimes customers would indeed use those facilities: “Tomorrow morning we’ve got someone leaving for a cross-channel swim at 3am in the morning. They want a soup with friends at that time before they leave.

“There are instances where corporate guests come back to the hotel in the early hours of the morning with guests and wish to invite them in for coffee before they go.

“Technically speaking it’s just dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, to do this legally.”

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Dover Jordan Ifield, Local Democracy Reporter



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