A pub, once described as being like the “wild west”, wants to overturn a number of strict conditions which were imposed two years ago after people living nearby said they had experienced abusive language, fights and drinkers urinating in the street.

The new owners of the Three Ferrets in St Ives, and their supporters, have said they have turned the pub around and the restrictions are hampering business.

However, residents living near the pub in Chapel Street are fearful changes to the licence will see a return to the antisocial behaviour which plagued their lives for a decade. A Cornwall Council licensing committee will decide next week if licensees Maria Francis and Ann Arrowsmith can make the changes.

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They would like permission to have live music in the Three Ferrets until midnight and to extend opening hours from 9am until 11.30pm to a 12.30am finish. The couple also want the removal of prior conditions, including a ban on entry after 10pm and a requirement that all doors and windows remain closed after 6pm. They argue this creates an uncomfortable environment inside the pub, which becomes hot and stuffy.

There has been no objection from relevant authorities such as the police, health and safety and public health. However, the council has received representation from 15 residents against the application, while ten people have sent supporting comments.

Among the comments against are:

“At the time of a review in October 2022, the Three Ferrets’ conduct was utterly appalling and this was meticulously evidenced by CCTV footage from local residents, and you will be aware how bad this situation was. Since the review, the conduct has improved resulting in a substantial reduction of public nuisance and crime and disorder.

“The application to remove most of the conditions only recently imposed after careful consideration at council expense is simply not acceptable and should not be considered. It is extremely rare for a licensed premise to be brought under review by members of the public, but the evidence against them was overwhelmingly in our favour and I don’t believe there is any justification for additional allowances at the expense of others’ quiet enjoyment.”

Another local said: “This is a residential area with a considerable number of permanent residents alongside some holiday let cottages. The quality of life for all of these people will be significantly affected adversely if the licensing team grants the application as it increases the likelihood of anti-social behaviour as occurred previously.”

One of those who opposes the licence said there was regular fighting, open drug use and dealing, and people urinating on private property in the area around the pub prior to the magistrate’s licence review. “There is a strong likelihood that without serious licensing constraints, the Three Ferrets will rapidly revert to its previous appalling behaviour and lack of respect for either the local residents or the licensing authority.”

Another set of neighbours say they are “deeply concerned about the negative impact this extension will have on our community’s safety, peace and well-being”. They say since moving to the area last year they have regularly witnessed fights and have even had food posted through their front door.

Comments in support include:

“The girls have abided by every restriction that was imposed on them previously and proved they can manage the situation admirably. I’m sure they will be able to satisfy everyone who has concerns by applying their current approach.”

“Under new ownership the premises has done a complete U-turn. The staff and bouncers on the door have strict policies around antisocial behaviour and are extremely efficient in their duties. The Three Ferrets has a new and exciting feel about it, bringing back the establishment we all know, loved and respected.”

“Since the current owners took over, the pub has undergone a dramatic transformation. It is now a welcoming and safe place, unlike four years ago when I stopped visiting due to its deteriorating atmosphere.”

Licensee Maria Francis has written to the council in support of her application, stressing that she and her team now run the pub in a positive and responsible way since taking on the lease with her partner Ann at the end of 2022, and have upheld all of the licensing restrictions. However, she argues that many of the conditions are affecting business.

She said a restriction of no entry after 10pm “has been causing a financial strain on our business. Every week we are forced to turn away potential customers and subsequently lose out on hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds in revenue”. Maria added that a condition that blinds should be closed at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays has become a health and safety issue, as security staff on the door can’t see inside the pub.

She stressed they were not seeking to revert the pub to its previous state but urged the council to “consider our dedication to maintaining a responsible and enjoyable establishment, free from the constraints imposed by past associations” which are “shadowed by the reputation of the former owners”.

At a licensing meeting in 2022, the pub’s previous landlord, John Bestwick, apologised to residents for putting up a sign in the pub which complained about people “whingeing” and submitting complaints about the Three Ferrets.

A licensing committee will make a decision on the new application on Wednesday, July 17.