Marsden cafe's bid for alcohol licence to play out after 'sabotage'

Food from Oi Dumplings
-Credit: (Image: Oi Dumplings)

Nearly 2,000 Marsden locals have backed a local cafe’s bid to gain an alcohol licence amid claims of attempted “sabotage” by objectors, and a final decision will be made on Wednesday (July 3).

Oi Dumplings, or Café Oi as it is also known, has applied to Kirklees Council for an alcohol licence. The Asian-fusion restaurant wants to sell alcohol when it moves to its new location at 9 Peel Street next month.

The application has garnered a great deal of community interest. Owner, Maisie Davies, launched a petition that has demonstrated the strength of local feeling in favour of the plans. Around 2,000 signatures have been racked up.

READ MORE: Jay Slater's mum issues seven-word warning as family say they've been let down

The petition came in response to objections to the licensing application from what the cafe’s owners have described as a “small group of pernicious individuals”. Kirklees Council says that it received four objections in response to the plans, one of which was later withdrawn. It also received a petition in opposition to the licence but the number of signatures is not disclosed.

One anonymous objector wrote: “An additional alcohol licence will cause an increase in public nuisance and add to the social disorder associated with a concentration of bars in the area, causing loss of amenity to the existing residents.

“Marsden is a small place and the Ale Trail already leads to considerable problems in public disorder. Another licence will only exacerbate this.” The objector said they had also attached the petition opposing the application to their email, and said signatures were that of “local people we have canvassed”.

On the flip side, well over one hundred Marsden locals have written to the council backing the plans and urging it to grant the licence. One supporter wrote: “The business and its owners/staff are an integral part of the village. It's vital we give small businesses all the support we can to help our rural economies grow.

“Supporting a small independent business like Oi Dumplings helps the village keep its identity. This is hugely important where so many small communities get saddled with the identical chain restaurants.”

Another said: “...following the success of their smaller outlet, the owners have now invested a great deal into a main building on Peel Street to grow their business and add to our wonderful community. I am, however, saddened to learn that a small group of individuals are attempting to sabotage this venture by raising issues with the alcohol application. I understand that some of their methods to attract objectors have been quite forceful.

“We have all seen how our neighbouring village of Slaithwaite has flourished with a variety of similar businesses. It has been difficult seeing Marsden fall behind, becoming less attractive to visitors. However, with people now willing to invest in our village we should all support and welcome these new ventures.”

If granted, the licence would allow the business to serve alcohol between 10am and 11pm seven days a week. Further permission would also need to be acquired from the council if Café Oi wants to use the licence to the full, as planning restrictions limit the trading times at the premises to 08.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 12 noon until 5pm on Sundays.

The application will be determined at 9.30am on Wednesday, July 3 by Kirklees Council's Licensing Panel.

Get all the latest and breaking news in Yorkshire by signing up to our newsletter here.