AN AMESBURY pub has had its licence stripped, after a series of issues including “public disorder, antisocial behaviour, and the sale of alcohol to customers who are already extremely intoxicated”.

An application was submitted by Wiltshire Police to review the premises licence for the New Inn, which was welcomed by residents blaming the pub for “chaos engulfing the town”.

Heard during a Southern Area Licensing Sub Committee meeting today, January 26, Wiltshire Council withdrew the premises licence, concluding that just making conditions to the licence in place would not bring “the changes necessary”.

READ MORE: A tourism threat or creating a ghost town? Residents react to New Inn closure

'Knowingly allowing drug use/dealing'

In documents given to the committee by police, it was heard that several complaints have been raised about the New Inn in the last six months concerning loud music, urinating and vomiting on neighbouring properties, and multiple reports of fighting in surrounding streets.

“Historically there has always been a considerable number of drink/drug related incidents in this small town but since July 19, 2021, there has been 17 (to date) reports made to the police concerning New Inn,” the report said.

It added: “This can be attributed to over-intoxicated clientele who’ve come from the premises. This includes incidents of disorder/fighting in both large and small groups, assaults of various degrees of severity and over-intoxication.

“It is also felt that drug use and drug dealing is a regular occurrence at the premises.”

Following a conversation with the previous licence holder, the police report said there is “a real possibility that the licence holder may knowingly be allowing drug use/dealing to take place on the premises”.

'Inconsistent' approach to complaints

The police application was backed by the council’s licensing authority and Environmental Health.

Vicky Brown, senior environmental health officer, told the meeting that noise from the New Inn has been an issue for residents sporadically over the last four years.

She added that despite a willingness to work with the agency to address noise concerns, the New Inn’s practical approach has been “inconsistent”.

“It’s resulted in regular disturbance for residents and a comparatively high level of involvement from this department over a number of years,” she added.

'Chaos engulfs the town'

Amesbury residents have also raised concerns about the management and clientele of the pub.

During the meeting John Madeley, who lives near the site, said that the main customers for the New Inn are “single, young soldiers”, adding that across the weekend “chaos engulfs the town for many hours, as many intoxicated customers are tipped on to the streets”.

He claims the streets are regularly filled with shouting, swearing, vomiting and urinating, and one night in October seven police cars were visible in the area.

He added that nearby businesses have “given up” replacing smashed windows, caused by antisocial behaviour.

Change in application

Nathan Muirhead, previous New Inn owner, transferred the licence to the landlord earlier this week, meaning the establishment is currently without a licence owner.

Because of the sudden change in licence ownership, the police asked for the licence to be adjusted instead of revoked, with conditions including reducing the hours alcohol can be sold, closing the pub at 11.30pm every day, regulated entertainment, door staff at peak times and a noise management plan enforced.

Police licensing officer Alastair Day told the committee that closing the pub earlier would prevent serving more alcohol and causing “over-intoxication”.

'An opportunity' for change

Despite this request, the committee said that, with no information on who would manage the pub in the future, “a fresh licence application” would address issues of “serious antisocial behaviour, public nuisance and public safety”.

Councillor and chairman Trevor Carbin added it would be “an opportunity to demonstrate [a new owner] can positively and proactively promote licensing objectives”.

Community served in 'responsible and safe way'

Following the meeting, Inspector Tina Osborn from the Amesbury Community Policing Team said: “We have been aware of issues relating to The New Inn for some time now, including public disorder, antisocial behaviour and the sale of alcohol to customers who are already extremely intoxicated.

“As with all premises, we have attempted to engage with the licensee and resolve any problems, but on this occasion we were forced to apply for a review of the premises licence due to the fact that it was continuing to breach its licensing objectives.”

Inspector Osborn added that the force will “continue to work proactively with all licensees”, ensuring the community is served in “a responsible and safe way”.

She added: “Although in the vast majority of cases we are able to have positive relationships with licensees, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action when necessary.”

Mr Muirhead has been approached for comment.

Get more Salisbury news

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date, as well as signing up for one of our newsletters.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.