Fenland village ‘to get its pub back’ after landlords win licensing fight

A LANDLORD and his grandson have vowed to give a Fenland village its pub back after they fought off objections from a disgruntled resident to gain a licence.

Malcolm Carter, 67, and Marty Charlton, 25, have promised to breathe new life into the Carpenters Arms, at Coates, after the pair triumphed at a Fenland District Council Licensing Committee hearing today.

Donald Rogers, who lives opposite, had compiled a list of issues with the pub which he said was so noisy that it was “generally referred to as Coates Night Club”.

But, after spending thousands of pounds renovating the pub, Mr Carter and his grandson are now looking forward to pulling their first pints with the new licence.

“I love the pub,” said Mr Carter. “It means everything to me to run it with my grandson and it’s a dream come true really. We want to give this village its pub back.”

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Mr Carter had run the pub for several years as caretaker but was caught trading illegally in April. The previous licence - held by W Licensing Ltd - was surrendered in 2009.

Mr Rogers told councillors that he had been disturbed by the “thump” of the pub’s music and claimed that “if you went to the end of the village you could feel the vibrations”.

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Mr Charlton insisted that they had never had any complaints from other customers or villagers - claims which 84-year-old Mr Rogers dismissed as “complete hogwash”.

Mr Rogers also said the pub was dirty with “dogs allowed to run around, jump up at people and leave their hair on the seats. “I told them that it’s not the dogs that need training, it’s you the owners,” he said.

But councillors ruled that most of Mr Rogers’ objections were “irrelevant for the purposes of the four licensing objectives” and granted the licence with four conditions.

Hourly external noise checks must take place during entertainment nights, a “Challenge 25” policy must be implemented when serving alcohol and a policy must be drawn up for dealing with noise complaints.

Following a representation from Environmental Health, the nights when serving hours could be extended were reduced to six events, including St George’s Day and Christmas Eve.

Mr Charlton told councillors he had gone “door to door” in the village in an attempt to address any concerns.

He said: “We just want to get the families and villagers back in the pub. It’s all we’ve got to be honest - it’s my home and my life.

“I have always been close with my grandad and this is something we have got together.”

Regular customers had signed a petition to keep Mr Carter and Mr Charlton in charge of the pub and messages of support had been left for them on a Facebook group.

One read: “We want this pub open and Malcolm and Marty to run it. They have done a lot of work to get things right and they have made a lot of friends running the pub. It is part of Coates.”

Mr Carter hit the headlines last year after he was reunited with his 46-year-old long lost daughter. The daughter, who lives in America, had spent 27 years trying to find her father but finally stumbled across his name in an article on the Cambs Times website.

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