West Leeds: Rowdy drinking den loses licence

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A BAR in Armley has been stripped of its licence - just months after opening - following a catalogue of anti social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled violence.

Neli Bar in Branch Road can no longer operate after a Leeds City Council licencing panel heard about a string of complaints and police callouts to the venue since it officially opened its doors in August last year.

The panel was told that even before its opening, there had been complaints of an illegal drinking den operating from the premises.

Cat Sanderson, licencing officer with West Yorkshire Police, said complaints had been received from the start and “an eye was kept on them”.

“As soon as the licence was granted, we were having issues with them,” she said.

The committee was told that on one occasion, a police officer had turned up to find a drunken man lying unconscious on the steps of the bar. On another occasion, multiple officers were called out after reports of dozens of people fighting and smashing bottled outside the venue.

And during another incident of “large scale disorder” two police officers were assaulted and one had to pull a drunken reveller off his colleague.

Miss Sanderson said there had been some “absolutely horrendous” incidents, with up to 20 police officers at a time having to be called and trouble often going on until 4am. She said police felt there was “no alternative” but to request an immediate shutdown.

The licencing panel was also told that health and safety conditions were not complied with by the owner, among them the installation of CCTV, door staff and better access and fire exits The string of safety issues “beggared belief”.

The committee took just a few minutes to make their decision to revoke the bar’s permit. A health and safety prosecution against the proprietor is now being considered.