Landmark Waterloo pub faces new battle to reopen

The future of the landmark Waterloo Hotel is hanging in the balance
The future of the landmark Waterloo Hotel is hanging in the balance

The future of one of Blackpool’s best known pubs is in the balance again after complaints about excessive noise.

Bosses behind the Waterloo Hotel, famous for having the crown green bowling stadium behind it, have applied to reinstate its licence ahead of the summer season.

But the application from HS Inns has been referred to a council committee next week, which has the power to block the licence.

In August neighbours complained to the council and their MP, Gordon Marsden, over loud music from a charity event. They had also complained about a boxing event earlier in the summer.

Councillors said there had been a few issues with the pub over the years and it was a landmark in need of investment.

However, the country’s crown green bowling fraternity are pinning their hopes on the licensing issue being sorted once and for all.

Adjoining the pub is the bowling green, which holds competitions throughout the year, culminating in Britain’s biggest competition, the Waterloo Autumn tournament - this has been won by some of the greats of the game and has a rich history.

The Waterloo has been a staple of the Blackpool sporting scene for over a century and the tournament is played on the only purpose-built outdoor crown green bowling stadium in the United Kingdom, with terraces and seating.

In its heyday 3,000 spectators attended finals day.

Mark Audin, the Waterloo bowls manager, said the future of the tournament had been in jeopardy if a decision had been made for the Waterloo pub to close for good.

Mr Audin said: “The pub has re-opened its doors with new lease-holders, and they have been very supportive in me carrying on as the bowling manager and organising all the competitions again.”

Coun David O’Hara, from Waterloo Ward, said: “It is a landmark pub and a fine building but it has needed investment for around 30 years.

“If it is run properly it is a great asset for the area but there have been issues with noise and it is important that the new licencees are good neighbours.”

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “There were significant concerns which I shared from neighbours last year about the noises from outdoor events at the Waterloo and a petition was raised.

“With regard to the current application it is up to the committee to decide and whether they think circumstances have altered since then, but my priority will be to ensure whatever is agreed should not not adversely and unfairly 
affect the residents.”

The licensing committee meeting will be held at the town hall on Monday from 10am.