RESIDENTS have won their battle with a cafe which applied for a licence to serve alcohol.

Its plea has been turned down over fears noise and antisocial behaviour would keep families up at night.

Coffee shop Pelicano in Sydney Street, Brighton, was refused a licence by Brighton and Hove City Council’s licensing panel, after residents raised their concerns.

Owner Zephir Thomas had planned to open Pelicano as a restaurant serving up to 60 customers alcohol with sit-down meals in the evening.

But the licensing panel said the restaurant would only add to the noise and disturbance and denied the application.

Councillor Lizzie Dean, representing the North Laine ward, spoke against the cafe at a licensing meeting last week.

She said her long-suffering residents would be relieved by the decision.

She said: “North Laine residents will be delighted because they have been suffering for years from alcohol-related noise, nuisance and antisocial behaviour.

“Much of this is due to there being more than 70 alcohol outlets in this tiny conservation area.

“Pelicano were unable to demonstrate to the panel that they would not be adding further to this.

“It is disappointing that they had not discussed this application with the community beforehand.”

The North Laine Community Association also made written representations to the council, citing fears of children being kept up at night by antisocial behaviour.

A report by the panel said: “We consider that there is likely to be a negative impact upon the prevention of public nuisance licensing objective in terms of noise levels with in the premises and and outside areas, and from people dispersing into the nearby area in the late evening adding to the problems of noise and disturbance already experienced by residents.”

Mr Thomas had hoped Pelicano, which is in an area of the city where new premises’ licences are automatically refused, would be given an exception as a restaurant.

At a previous licensing meeting he said the restaurant would fill a gap for places to eat in Sydney Street in the evening and sell Korean burgers and pizza.

But councillors said a restaurant for 60 people was too big.

They said the “sensitive location” – referring to the narrow street filled with flats above shops – did not qualify for exceptional circumstances.

The panel also criticised Mr Thomas for not having a proposed menu, suggesting to them it was a cafe bar than fully-fledged restaurant, and for saying at a licensing meeting last week that he did not feel the need to consult with residents.

The report added: “The panel were disappointed that the applicants did not take steps to consult local residents prior to making the application.”

The Argus contacted Mr Thomas but he did not respond.