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EDITIONS
Monday, 28 October, 2002, 12:49 GMT
Critics call time on bar plan
Durham Cathedral
The city trust says Durham is too small for the bar
Plans to open an Australian theme bar on Durham's busiest street have been criticised by a civic leader.

The application to turn the Robins Theatre in North Road into a Walkabout bar was originally turned down over fears about trouble at the weekends.

A hearing starts this week which will decide whether the 700-capacity venue can open at all.

The company behind the plan, Regent Inns Ltd, has said it would operate a strict door policy and use CCTV cameras to deter any would-be trouble makers.

Only cinema

But Roger Cornwell from the Durham City Trust, said: "There are already some serious problems in Durham at the moment.

"They want to add another 700 people coming out onto the street at one in the morning.

"Magistrates heard this issue back in February, but the company won't take no for an answer."

The bar would open at the site of Durham City's only remaining cinema, and there is a campaign to keep the building in use as a film venue.

'Residential area'

A 1,900-signature petition was presented to city MP Gerry Steinberg in September.

Mr Cornwell said the cinema was a much-needed facility and said: "I would like to see it continue as a cinema if it is possible.

"We must remember this is a residential area, this is only a small city, and people live very close by."

The bar application is opposed by the police, the City of Durham Trust, traders and local people.

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Roger Cornwell, City of Durham Trust
"I would like to see it continue as a cinema"

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See also:

01 Oct 02 | England
18 Feb 02 | Entertainment
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