NORTHWICH town centre pub The Roebuck has had its licence suspended over issues relating to noise and anti-social behaviour.

The one-month suspension has been imposed on the Witton Street pub by Cheshire West and Chester Council’s licensing committee.

The council said the suspension followed a review about noise, anti-social behaviour, disturbance inside and outside the premises and a test purchase of an underage alcohol sale.

This is the first application for review made by the licensing authority following a change in the Licensing Act, and the first time the committee has taken the decision to suspend a licence.

A council spokesman said concerns were raised with the premises licence holder and the manager responsible for the premises, and despite warnings and advice given, problems persisted.

“Our licensing enforcement team spent many weeks working with Punch Taverns staff in an attempt to help them address the problems at The Roebuck,” said Ian Saville, police licensing officer for the area.

“Unfortunately this advice went unheeded, and this review became the only way forward.

“The number of Responsible Authorities who contributed to this action was a perfect example of partnership working, and was robustly supported by the decision of the licensing committee.

“We will continue to work with the staff there to ensure these issues do not reoccur once the venue is reopened.”

Committee chairman Clr Adrian Walmsley said the suspension was not taken lightly, and the council would act to tackle problems if it had serious concerns.

“This is the first decision of its kind, and our residents need to know we will act decisively if we believe we need to take action to promote the licensing objectives,” he said.

The council spokesman said Punch Taverns PLC was considering its position, and had the opportunity to put in place a policy to address the concerns by undertaking staff training.

Clr Brian Jones, Opposition spokesman for licensing, said: “This matter has been treated very seriously, and follows issues raised by police, trading standards and environmental protection.

“The committee was concerned the premises did not co-operate with the relevant authorities once these issues were raised.”

A Punch Taverns spokesperson said: “It is always our priority that our pubs provide a safe and welcoming environment for responsible adults to enjoy good drink, food and entertainment.

“We can confirm that there was a licensing review for the Roebuck, the outcome of which was a period of closure and conditions being added to the premises licence.

“As premises licence holder Punch Taverns take these matters very seriously, and will continue to work very closely with the responsible authorities to prevent any further issues arising.

“This will involve regular communication with our licensee at the premises and providing them with legislative and compliance documentation to support the licensee with responsible retailing.”