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Hotel Abergwaun.


Hotel Abergwaun. Grant of a Provisional License. Temperance Protest. As briefly recorded in our last issue Mr W Evans applied at the Fishguard Brewster Sessions for the grant of a provisional license j for a new residential hotel to be entitled the Hotel Abergwaun, to be erected at the cost I ,ctl of _( i i,ooo upon Parkymorfa, in connection with the scheme for the development of the Fishguard Castle Estate. Opposition was raised on behalf of the Fishguard Temperance Society by Messrs Peter Williams, West-street, and Enoch Davies, Lower Town. The constitution of the Bench was the same as that which adjudicated upon the Fishguard Bay Hotel application (elsewhere reported), except that the Vice-Chairman (Mr I J C Yorke) being an interested party, did not ait. Mr Evans, having put in plans showing the position and nature of the proposed hotel, described the position as being second to none on any part of the coast, remarking that it commanded splendid views, and that those who were in need of rest or a change could not be recommended to a better spot. The company had acquired the whole of the estate extending from Parkymorfa to Garngelli, on both sides of the road. with the object of de- deloping it as a health and pleasure resort on entirely original lines which would render it specially attractive. He had after felt sur- prised in the past that no one had ever mooted the scheme which his clients had now taken in hand for, go where one would, the royal and ancient game of golf was to be found at every seaside resort. His clients had not rushed there without having gone carefully into the whole project, having obtained expert advice as to the suitability of the estate for golf links, and had no hesitation in saying that they would be second to none in the whole kingdom. The position of the hotel was such that it would undoubtedly draw a huge number of visitors to the locality, and not only did the promoters think that it would prove remunerative, but that the district would benefit directly and indirectly by hav- ing such a well-thought-out attraction in the place. Having gone in for golf links of that class, the promoters were bound to have room to accommodate the resulting visitors. They were in the locality two or three hotels, but their accommodation, although good, was limited, and would be too limited by a great deal to accommodate the number of people whom they hoped to see enjoying the beauti- ful air on the Pembrokeshire coast. Having built the hotel the promoters would owe a duty, not only to themselves, but to those who frequented it. Some of the latter might be total abstainers, but a number would like to have whiskey or a drop of wine with their dinners, The distance to Fishguard was not great, but the hills were a drawback to any- one who wanted a drop of wine or a glass f whisky. Therefore the promoters felt that they would have to look after the convenience of those who stayed at the hotel, and felt it necessary to make that application for the grant of a provisional license. The applica- tion was not for permission to sell spirits pure and simple—it was really a secondary matter so far as the revenue to be derived from it was concerned it was done simply and wholly for the purpose of studying the con- venience of those people who came down and stopped at the place. It benefitted all in the town to see visitors coming down to that place and on those grounds he asked the Bench to grant the application. Dealing with the question of monopoly value, he pointed out that, where the profits of an hotel were not wholly derived from the sale of intoxicating liquor, no increased valfce derived from profits not so derived should be taken into consideration in fixing the monopo- ly value. This, he reminded the Bench had been the course adopted in dealing with the Harbour Station Refreshment Rooms, and was ever more applicable in the present in- stance. Mr Peter Williams said the Fishguard Temperance Society objected to the license on the grounds of its previous consistent op- position to the existence of the licensing sys- tem as at present controlled. They consci- entiously believed that the grant of that licence would be very determinal to the in- terests and well being of the community. In all probabiliiy the applicants had some con- nection with previous companies which had unsuccessfully applied for licenses in the locality. There were within the urban area already twenty licenses, which was really very far in excess of any reasonable require- ments of the place or of visitors who might come here. This represented one license to every 150 inhabitants, as compared with 27 per 10,000 — the average throughout the the country. There were three licenses in in Lower Town, so that Mr Evans had been mistaken in stating that visitors to this hotel would have to go to Fishguard to ob- tain a drink. The Speaker suggested that the license was the chief concern of that com- pany. That question had arisen in different guises and disguises for some years, and the further elaborations had now been added so as to blind the Bench. Mr Evans protested against such insinu- ations. The Chairman said he did not think Mr Williams had gone too far; he would stop him if he did so. Mr Williams, continuing, said there were seven licenses in Dinas, not very far off. A new road would be made to tap the traffic of the Newport district, and very possibly they would be induced to visit the hotel. The grant of the license would necessitate increa- sed police supervision of that locality .Were not for the license, the Society would be very glad to see all developments of the place, but it was quite possible that, in course of time, the development of the estate would extin- guish the golf links, when it would be found to be very difficult to get rid of the license because of the inadequacy of the Compensa- tion Fund. Trippers would probably visit the estate and, not being all teetotallers, some would probably collapse in Lower Town on the return journey. The Chairman intimated that the Bench had heard enough on that point, and asked Mr Williams if he did not consider that an increase in population—such as had occurred locally—without any increase in the number of licenses, was equivalent to a reduction in licenses. Mr Williams replied that according to the population, he thought that there ought to be a reduction of nine or ten licenses. The Chairman said they did not want it to go out to the world that they were worse than they really were. If there was anything to be said in their favour, let it be said. Mr Williams replied, amidst laughter, that he was afraid that there was not much which could be said on that score. Mr Williams, cross-examined, said the opposition was raised unanimously by the Rechabites. He had not tried to get up a petition against the license, but would do so if the application were adjourned, as many people had been under the mistaken impression that the Great Western Railway Company was interested in the venture, and had consequently not opposed it. Both at Haverfordwest and at Fishguard he had con- sistently opposed all such applications. Mr Evans: You have no regard for the convenience of visitors as long as it is a licensing application you are pledged to op- pose it ? Mr Williams Those are our convictions. Mr Enoch Davies formally supported the opposition. Mr W G James (Pantyphilip), enquired if the promoters were prepared to provide stables. Mr Evans said there was stabling accom- modation on a farm which had been acquired as part and parcel of the estate, and he did not think itwould be fair to ask the company to erect stables as part of the building, there- by rather spoiling its appearance. The Chairman asked for information as to the extent of the operations proposed and the capital expenditure involved. Mr Evans said the deposit money—amount- ing to between two and three thousand pounds—had already been paid and it was improbable that this would have been done had not it been intended to proceed with the scheme. After a consultation in camera the Bench granted a provisional license for the full term of seven years from the date of the final grant and subject to a monopoly value of £500, half of which would be payable on the date of the final grant and the balance at the end of three years. The Bench further direc- ted that, unless the buildings were completed or in a fairly advanced state of progress, within two years, the grant should lapse.

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