In a dramatic pre-Christmas Planning Hearing Councillors voted overwhelmingly (10 to 2) to refuse the application for a 910 capacity super-pub to replace the Charlotte Baptist Chapel at the west end of Rose Street.

Residents, alongside landlords and local businesses, were ecstatic at the campaign success to avoid additional night-time drink-fuelled disturbance in a block which already has seven small pubs. However the episode illustrated the failings of planning officials who recommended granting the application in face of additional objections from the New Town & Broughton Community Council, City Centre Councillors and, remarkably, their own environmental assessment team. The planners had no concern for the increase in reveller antics in a mixed-use city centre area where residents form a significant part.

The message is that New Town and Old Town residents alike need to remain vigilant because, while policies are in place to protect residential amenity, it seems that the pressure of investment of any kind will trump us - a culture which appears to apply equally to the Licensing Board. Not this time.