The owners of a troubled former pub in Wolverhampton – which was the site of repeated criminal activity – have withdrawn their application for a new licence to reopen.
It comes after months of opposition from nearby residents and failed meetings with city council bosses.
Years of protest from neighbours has seen the controversial Harp Inn, in Walsall Street, Eastfield, being forced to close down several times following incidents of violence and nuisance behaviour.
In more recent years, the pub had previously reopened under the name ‘The Mississauga’.
Wolverhampton City Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee had already held several meetings to address the matter, yet the situation has remained unresolved for several months.
Applicant Angela Bent had been unable to attend the last hearing in November due to illness, with her solicitor Heath Thomas requesting an adjournment until she could be present.
However, it has now been revealed that the licence application has been withdrawn, although no reason was given for the decision. The council’s licensing sub-committee had been due to discuss the matter this week.
Despite prolonged protests and a petition from local residents to stop the pub reopening, sub-committee members and representatives of West Midlands Police and Wolverhampton City Council’s Environmental Heath Department had been in favour of proceeding with the matter.
Sergeant Steph Reynolds from West Midlands Police had already told the previous meeting she had “major concerns” about the application going ahead.
She said: “The pub has attracted criminal activity and known gang members have frequented it over a number of years.
“Class A drugs have also been used on the premises, traces of which were found on numerous surfaces inside the pub by officers using specialist wipes.
“If this application had been granted by the committee, West Midlands Police had envisaged further issues of drugs being dealt and criminal activity. And all of this would have seriously undermined all four of the licensing objectives.”
Since the pub’s latest bid to reopen was received by the council, residents have been firmly opposed to the move amidst claims of fighting, loud music, cars racing up and down the street and general noise nuisance from the premises.
Speaking on behalf of residents living near the pub, Wolverhampton councillor Anwen Muston (Lab. East Park), also a member of the licensing sub-committee, said locals had suffered for years due to repeated disturbances from activities at the venue.
Applicant Ms Bent was unavailable for comment. A spokesman for Wolverhampton City Council said that the license bid had simply been withdrawn and no specific reason had been given.