New French-style village bistro granted licence despite parking and noise concerns

The building in Main Street, Farnsfield, where Le Petit Vert will be allowed to serve alcohol until 11pm.
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

A new village bistro will be allowed to sell alcohol until 11pm after councillors approved its licensing application despite some objections from people living nearby.

Owner James Aspell is planning to open Le Petit Vert, on Main Street, Farnsfield in September.

The business will be a French-style cafe and bistro, serving “tasty vegetarian and plant-based brunch, pastries and cakes” in an old furniture shop.

Mr Aspell applied to Newark and Sherwood District Council to sell alcohol at the venue from 9am-11pm seven days a week.

His application was approved by a licensing panel following a hearing on Thursday (June 8).

The meeting heard concerns from two Farnsfield Parish Councillors over potential excessive noise and car parking issues.

The panel was told the rural village is home to numerous licensed premises, including the popular Rustic Crust pizzeria and The Lion restaurant and pub.

Cllr Kim Drew, chair of Farnsfield Parish Council’s planning and licensing committee, spoke in a personal capacity to raise concerns.

She said: “The huge impact this business will have on this area, in comparison to the previous tenant of these premises … will be considerable.

“Should we not be concerned about the number of licensed premises in Farnsfield? Le Petit Vert would make it 10 licensed premises.”

“We’re [also] at saturation point with cars,” she added.

“We’re an 18th Century village needing to cope with 21st Century demographic and traffic.

“Both have drastically increased but the village infrastructure has stagnated.”

Cllr Peter Sarre, the parish council’s chairman, also raised concerns about noise and disturbance from drinkers and the proposed opening hours.

He added: “Farnsfield Parish Council very definitely welcomes new businesses of various types when the impact on quality of life is proportionate.

“Having spoken to residents, many indeed would favour a French-style cafe in Farnsfield.

“The issue, though, is what impact it would have in its proposed form, particularly on nearby residents and businesses, and the related matters including traffic and parking.”

He suggested the terms of the licence should be regularly reviewed alongside a temporary condition of ‘bring your own’ alcohol.

He also asked for Mr Aspell to work with the parish council on introducing a cycle rack and suggested reduced licensing hours of between 10am and 10pm, similar to the neighbouring Rustic Crust.

However, the panel granted the application in full, meaning the venue will be allowed to serve alcohol until 11pm at night.

But papers published before the meeting confirmed the venue’s actual opening hours would be 9am-10pm Wednesday and Thursday, 9am-11pm on Friday and Saturday and from 10am-4pm on Sundays.

The licence allows alcohol to be served for one extra hour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on Bank Holiday weekends, and until 1am on New Year’s Day.

The venue hopes to offer pop-up food nights, cheese and wine evenings and baby and toddler mornings.

In the meeting, Mr Aspell also confirmed his parents currently live in a connecting flat and he plans to soundproof the building to prevent loud noise and disturbance.

His legal team confirmed signs will be installed encouraging people to respect neighbouring properties, while people smoking outside the venue will not be allowed to take glass outdoors.

Customers will be encouraged and incentivised not to drive when visiting, they added.

Mr Aspell told the panel: “We want to open as a relatively small, family cafe and bistro.

“My parents live in the property and one of the reasons we’re opening the premises is because we want to have control over it.

“We have got no intention of running anything that will cause disturbance to them or anyone else in the village. It will be daytime-focused and teatime-focused.”

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