Blanket ban on glass at St Albans bar overturned

26 September 2008 by
Blanket ban on glass at St Albans bar overturned

An appeal court's decision to overturn a blanket ban on glass at a Hertfordshire bar has been hailed as a "victory for common sense".

The bar, 24/7 in St Albans, was banned from serving drinks in glass containers at a licence review in May, which followed an assault at the premises. The licence was suspended for two months.

At an appeal hearing last week, St Albans District Council claimed that the premises was "high risk" because it traded late into the night, did little food and had music and dancing available.

But licensee Ferdinand Konig argued that the premises was "low risk" because there were no incidents of glass being used as a weapon or causing injury by accident, and crime and disorder was "remarkably low" for a late night venue.

The magistrates agreed and found that banning glass was not, in fact, necessary and ordered that the condition be removed from the licence. They ordered the local authority to pay a portion of Konig's legal costs.

James Anderson, partner at solicitors Poppleston Allen, representing Konig, said: "It was a victory for common sense but also for a rigorous interpretation of the statutory test which, to their credit, the magistrates applied, rather than being persuaded to adopt a safety first risk elimination approach which, although tempting, would not have been correct in law."

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By Daniel Thomas

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