Closure fears for Worksop chippy after licence to trade at night rejected

NWGU fish and chip shop   L>R Colin Barton, Kumari Nicola
NWGU fish and chip shop L>R Colin Barton, Kumari Nicola

A chip shop owner says he “may as well have thrown £20k in savings down the drain” and faces closure after being told he cannot trade during night-time hours.

Colin Barton, who co-runs Nicola’s Fish bar on Carlton Road with his partner, hoped to obtain a Late Night Refreshment Licence in order to bring in extra custom by operating the chip shop from 11pm-3am on Friday and Saturday nights.

But to do this, the 56-year-old was told by Bassetlaw Council that he would need to employ two bouncers to man the door, install extra CCTV and ask permission from the Nottinghamshire children’s safeguarding board and liquor team.

His application has since been rejected, which he says will place him in financial difficulty which may result in the closure of the chip shop.

Colin said: “I feel like I might as well have chucked £20,000 in savings that I’ve spent on this place down the drain. It’s been heartbreaking for my wife and I.

“I never understood why I had to have bouncers, or apply to a liquor team, as I sell chips- no alcohol involved.

“I’ve never had any trouble from anyone- people tend to come in for their food, get ina taxi and leave.

“I thought that as an independent business in a small town I would receive support from the council and police but I feel like someone has it in for me. I don’t know what the future holds for my chip shop now.”

The council said that although they “wished to support the growth of Worksop businsesses”, they were unable to award the licence as the premises does not have planning permission for night-time trading.

Councillor Josie Potts, chair of licensing at Bassetlaw Council, said: “Mr Barton is operating from premises that do not have planning permission to open after 11pm and he also does not have a premises licence to allow him to serve hot food after 11pm.

“Despite being aware that opening after 11pm without a licence is a criminal offence, he has continually flouted the law and continued to open late into the night.

“The police objected to Mr Barton’s licence application and the licensing panel considered his on-going conduct. We believe that Mr Barton has no respect for the powers of the Licensing Act and has engaged in frequent criminal activity. His application has therefore been rejected.”