AN alcohol licence has been awarded to Caffi Y Gaer in Brecon, despite objections that it could cause anti-social behaviour.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Licensing sub-committee on Tuesday, April 4, councillors listened to arguments for and against premises licence application by NPTC group of colleges.
The cafe was opened in January inside the iconic building.
The college group want to be able to sell alcohol and show films from 9am to 11pm.
The application had received five objections.
Martin White of NPTC colleges said: “The licence is purely for bottles of beer and wine, to go with meals at the cafe and to support any functions in the building which includes college, library and museum.
“We have societies that use the building and they have asked if we can provide reception (facilities) if they have a guest speaker.
“This is why we looked to get a premises licence.”
Objector, Tish Jack said there had been a “history of littering problems” with people taking drinks and sitting in the garden outside the building.
Mrs Jack said: “I am concerned, takeaway bottles of beer would be effectively for sale all day and not just for events.
“That would add to anti-social behaviour and littering.
“The library, college and the museum are not really a place that should be selling alcohol at all.”
She also felt that the hours for selling alcohol are also “inappropriate.”
Mr White answered the objections and said that littering had been an issue at Y Gaer “before” the NPTC’s involvement in the building
He was having regular meetings with library staff to “limit and reduce” the amount of litter.
Mr White said: “We’re trying to promote and get more users into the building and unless it’s kept tidy people will stay away.”
Following a short break to consider the arguments for and against the licence application, councillors returned with a decision.
Committee chairman, Cllr Ed Jones said: “We’ve had a chat and have decided to grant the application as applied for.”
The college also need Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (BBNPA) to approve a planning application to change the opening times, as these are “outside” the current planning permission.
In December 2019, Brecon’s new cultural hub and library, Y Gaer (Welsh for Fortress) finally opened.
It is the redevelopment of the Grade II* listed Shire Hall and construction of a new modern library at the former Brecknock Museum & Art Gallery which saw the project costs rise, from £9million to £14million.
The council’s Finance Panel investigated the problems with the project which was delivered late and £5 million over budget.
The council will be paying off borrowing that was used to fund the project for 50 years.
NPTC group of colleges run Brecon Beacons College which operates from several buildings in the town including Y Gaer.