A POPULAR Newport café has been granted permission to sell alcohol, despite opposition from residents in the area.

Parc Pantry plans to use the new permission to offer private hire events, launch Christmas hampers including alcohol and offer some daytime cocktails.

The Malpas coffee shop is looking to increase its offer after it was unable to stay at its Belle Vue Park tearooms, which has left owners Ant Cook and Matt Ellis needing to make up costs.

South Wales Argus:

Owners Matt Ellis, left, and Ant Cook

Mr Cook told councillors at a meeting on Newport council's licensing sub-committee on Monday that the cafe's food offer would remain the main focus of the business.

"We are looking at maybe three spirits at a push," he said.

"Our business is very much focused on food, alcohol is just a complementary part.

"We do not want to house many spirits."

The main purpose of the licence permission - which allows alcohol to be sold from 8.30am to 4pm Monday to Wednesday, 8.30am to 11pm Thursday to Saturday and 10am to 10pm on Sunday - is to allow private hire events, Mr Cook said.

The owners plan to plan one private hire event per week, with a capacity of between 30 and 50 people attending.

South Wales Argus:

Parc Pantry in Malpas

However the cafe plans to open past its opening hours only for bookings, with Sundays earmarked as a preferable day for events.

Newport council withdrew its objection to the plans after the owners agreed to meet several conditions, including that CCTV will be installed inside and outside the premises.

But residents in the area voiced opposition to the proposal, with concerns more visitors to the venue could worsen parking problems and create additional waste for the cafe's bins.

One resident said it was the "wrong place" to expand what the business offers.

"This building is not adequate for what they are trying to do," the objector, Mr Banfield, said.

"They are in the wrong place."

However Mr Ellis stressed the cafe was keen to work with the community to try and find solutions to parking and waste issues in the area.


Newport County have nowhere to train ahead of Wembley finalNewport attempted robbery leads to Gwent Police hunt for man in ski-mask with knife

Plans to fence off the coffee shop's waste bins, described as an 'eyesore' by residents, are being discussed, the meeting heard.

Mr Ellis added: "We are mindful of the environment and we have always been happy to discuss issues with the community to resolve them."

Chairwoman of the licensing committee, Cllr Deb Davies, said the decision to grant the licence was 'difficult' to make and "by no means unanimous".

The permission will also allow recorded music to be played at the store.