A prominent Herefordshire bar’s bid to extend its opening hours into the early morning has been granted.

Shooters Bar of Leominster was seeking a licence variation to:

  • have live music extended to 1am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, recorded music until 2am on Thursday and Sunday and till 4.30am on Friday and Saturday;
  • provide late-night refreshment until 2.30am Sunday to Wednesday and 3am on Thursday and 4.45am Friday and Saturday
  • sell alcohol from 9am every day until 2am Sunday to Wednesday, 2.30am Thursday and until 4.30am Friday and Saturday; and
  • open from 9am till 2:30 from Sunday to Wednesday, till 3am on Thursday and till 5am on Friday and Saturday;
  • operate on public holidays as for Fridays and Saturdays.

Herefordshire Council’s environmental health officer Jacqueline O'Mahony said her department “has still to receive a suitable and sufficient noise management plan” despite repeated promptings to the bar.

If it had such a document, “then we would have no objection to any extension of the hours”, she said.

But ward councillor Trish Marsh, who is also deputy mayor of the town council, said residents in the centre of Leominster “are vulnerable to disturbance, there is shouting until 4am and disturbance from the car park by the bar”.

“They tend to hang around the streets and cause noise nuisance, and on Fridays and Saturdays, damage to premises and cars,” she added.

“I have concerns about extending this to 5am, and about off-sales, and litter from late-night refreshment. We have no street pastors, and few police officers between 2 and 5am – indeed it’s hard to get police officers to attend Leominster after 10pm.”


Town clerk Julie Debbage added that the council had been told of fire doors at the bar being left open in warm weather, creating a noise nuisance.

Acting for the bar’s owner Jonathan Rudge, licensing agent Nick Semper explained the proposed earlier opening time was to accommodate darts and other sporting events.

At closing time, Shooters does not tolerate “lock-ins” as other venues might, he said, as since taking on the bar in late 2018, Mr Rudge “complies with the letter of the licence”.

Mr Rudge had put in soundproofing in 2019, since when there have been “zero noise complaints, and zero attention from authorities”, Mr Semper said.

This was confirmed by submissions from neighbouring properties reporting no noise nuisance, he added.


The bar had submitted a noise management plan after the soundproofing was completed, but this “was not signed off by the council”, he said, and added: “We question whether Environmental Health can lawfully insist on this.”

As to the crime and anti-social behaviour in the area, “there is no evidence of when or where, or that this is anything to do with us”, Mr Semper said.

As the bar serves drinks in polycarbonate glasses, “the broken glass outside can’t be ours”, while Shooters’ licensed door staff prevent customers taking drinks away, he said.

The bar welcomed recently installed CCTV in the area “as it will exculpate us from the lingering finger of suspicion”, he added. And he denied the bar would leave fire doors open, given the expense of recently installed air conditioning.

The county’s police officer in charge of licensing “could find no objection – otherwise they are obliged to be here”, Mr Semper said.

“Representations against this application are not evidence-based but are founded on fear and speculation.”

After deliberation, the licensing sub-committee approved the variation.