A pub boss has hit back at claims that customers from his pub are causing a nuisance in a Gateshead village.
The Half Moon Inn, in Ryton, has submitted plans to operate an outdoor bar to Gateshead Council.
If the application is given the go-ahead by the authority’s licensing committee, last orders at the outdoor bar would be at 9.30pm with customers cleared from the area half an hour later.
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But some nearby residents are not happy and the authority received 26 objections to the proposals.
Objectors claim that they have seen public displays of nudity and urination from the hostelry’s customers as well as claiming drinkers have been damaging property and breaking glass.
But Steve Outen, co-owner, has said these claims couldn’t be further from the truth.
He said photographs of groups of drinkers submitted to the council were all taken on the night of England’s 2-1 victory over Denmark in the Euro 2021 semi-final.
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Three former customers of the pub had been seen urinating outside, he said, but had been permanently banned as a result.
He said: “It was such a shock when I saw the article in the Chronicle.
“We feel that it is unfair there have been 26 people complaining but some of them live two miles away.”
Mr Outen told ChronicleLive that residents were blaming his pub for problems it hadn’t caused.
He continued: “We have never had a Covid breach and we have never had the police turn up in five years.
“The police have never been called out to the pub for a fight.
“We have been blamed for a used condom that was left on the village green half a mile away.
“They took a picture of a guy unconscious – he was someone we refused entry because he was too drunk.
“They took another picture of a bottle of Highland Spring half-full with urine, we don’t sell Highland Spring. It would have obviously been from a delivery driver.”
Mr Outen emphasised that his drinks were served in plastic glasses, none of which are allowed to leave the pub.
He said glass bottles were being left by youngsters who drink on Ryton Willows nature reserve.
He said: “The broken glass doesn’t come from us, we serve all of our drinks in polycarbonate glasses they don’t break and we wouldn’t let anyone leave the pub with one because they cost a fortune – £6 each.”
Mr Outen said the business had spent £40,000 on revamping its “fabulous” outdoor area.
He added: “It is a fabulous out door area. We built the bar outside so that people can get served without having to come into the building and we spend £1,000 a month renting eight toilets, which are cleaned daily, so that people drinking outside don’t have to enter the building if they aren’t comfortable.”
Three people who live in close proximity to the pub have written to the council to support the plans.
One of these is Richie Palmer, 61, who lives directly next door to the Inn.
He said: “I did see someone urinating against my wall but I stopped him and said ‘you wouldn’t do that on you mam’s wall, don’t do it on mine.’
“The complaints from the objectors have been grossly exaggerated, it is quite outrageous.
“They’re painting a picture of Ryton like its the old Bigg Market in the 70s and the 80s when nothing could be further from the truth.
“My wife was working in the conservatory at 8pm on the night of the England – Scotland match and was not once disturbed by the pub.
“She went to bed at 9.15pm, the bedroom is 10 metres away from the pub, and she never heard a thing.
“It’s a ‘not in my back yard thing’, people want to live in a pub but not next to a beer garden.”
Blaydon MP Liz Twist, who represents constituents in Ryton, backed the objectors.
She added: “I am objecting on behalf of numerous local residents who contacted me about this issue and the impact it was having on them.
“Our pubs have long been at the centre of our village life so it’s in all our interests to see all our pubs do well, but consideration has to be given to the effect of any changes on neighbours.”
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