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Pub forced to close over 'ridiculous' rule from the 1980s that had been forgotten

Daisy Phillipson

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Pub forced to close over 'ridiculous' rule from the 1980s that had been forgotten

A pub has been forced to close over a 'ridiculous' rule from the 1980s that had been forgotten about.

The past few months have been stressful for Jason Hamer, owner of the CFeleven bar on Cathedral Road in Cardiff.

You see, he has owned the site for 16 years, having reopened the venue as a plushy gin bar six years ago.

Prior to this, it was run as a bed and breakfast for four decades.

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Despite its long history, the bar is due to be shut down in January, which Hamer said will lead to five people losing their jobs and one staff member even losing their home as they live above it.

Hamer said he was given just three months to shut down the bar, despite spending thousands on the refurbishment and a whopping £16,000 to appeal the decision.

The notice was given after a Cardiff Council official went through decades of archives and found a 42-year-old planning condition, which stated the bar is only open to 'residents of the hotel'.

Speaking to WalesOnline, the 58-year-old said: "As far as we were aware there were no issues with planning.

"During Covid we had an increase of people drinking in the garden and there were some complaints about the noise.

"The council's environmental health department did a sound test and we weren't a noise nuisance or anything.

"Then one of the people in environmental health said he wanted to see all the planning conditions. It was him who fired the gun. He asked the planning department to check the conditions going back decades.

CFeleven in Cardiff is being forced to close down due to a 42-year-old rule. Credit: Facebook/CFeleven
CFeleven in Cardiff is being forced to close down due to a 42-year-old rule. Credit: Facebook/CFeleven

"They checked the microfiche archives and found a condition from 1980 saying we could sell alcohol but only to hotel guests."

Hamer said his expensive appeal was not approved, adding: "We have had to make five people redundant because of it. One of them lives here and has had to find a new home.

"There was a statement from the planning inspectorate saying that while they sympathise with people being made redundant, they think three months' notice is more than fair.

"The main reason given was about not disturbing residents because we're in a residential area of Cathedral Road.

"That's despite this area having the Pontcanna Inn, the Beverley, the Halfway, the Conway, the Robin Hood, some of which are closer to houses than us.

"We had just spent a lot of money converting the whole downstairs and garden, putting in a kitchen and getting a heater umbrella... It's ridiculous.

"No one even knew about the planning condition. It wouldn't surprise me if a few of the former B&Bs on Cathedral Road have a similar rule."

The owner now has just a few weeks to decide what to do, whether that be selling the place, converting it to flats or reopening it as a B&B.

But there is more to this story than meets the eye - it turns out that the appeal to have the condition removed was denied due to 15 comments from the public, all of which were complaints.

The planning condition states that alcohol can only be served to 'residents of the hotel'. Credit: Facebook/CFeleven
The planning condition states that alcohol can only be served to 'residents of the hotel'. Credit: Facebook/CFeleven

Norman Stebson wrote: "I oppose this on the grounds that the noise / extra traffic / drunken behaviour / temporary taxi rank / dumping of glasses in nearby gardens, urinating in the back lane have all been witnessed by myself."

Another named Dyfrig Jones said: "The noise coming from this bar is unbelievable - it is jam-packed and it makes it difficult for my children to study and sleep.

"It is constant on Friday evening from 5pm, Saturday from 2pm and on Sunday also. All year around. Unacceptable."

Fiona Davies added: "Customers leave vomit and cigarette butts outside the property on a regular basis and are extremely loud when leaving the premises.

"The premises are a blight on what is primarily a residential neighbourhood.

"I do not hear customers leaving Milkwood or Tom Simmonds or Canna Deli being so antisocial late in the night and the outside of those premises are kept clean."

LADbible has contacted CFeleven and Cardiff Council for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Google/CFeleven Gin Bar & Accommodation

Topics: UK News, Food And Drink

Daisy Phillipson
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