POLICE have objected to a landlord’s request to allow alcohol to be drank outside in one of the city’s prominent areas for anti-social behaviour.

West Mercia Police said the council should reject an application by Roger Lethem, who owns the building on the corner of Angel Street and Angel Place most recently occupied by Panama Jacks, because it could prove dangerous to allow drinking on the street.

Police said Mr Lethem’s request to sell alcohol off the premises meant customers could leave the building into Angel Street with bottles and glasses and straight into a busy area known for alcohol-fuelled disorder.

The building already has a licence to serve alcohol but can only do so with food rather than selling it on its own as a pub or bar.

Angel Place sits within the council’s cumulative impact zone - an area of the city which attracts a high proportion of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour - which means new applications are usually rejected.

If a building sits in the zone, it is up to the applicant to demonstrate how crime and disorder would be prevented, how the public would be kept safe, how children would be protected from harm and how public nuisance would be prevented.

Disorder within the zone around Angel Place increased by 11 per cent last year, according to police figures, with alcohol-related disorder increasing by 35 per cent.

Public health bosses at Worcestershire County Council also objected to the application because of the likelihood it would fuel more disorder.

Mr Lethem has already asked city council planners to lift an almost 20-year old planning permission which says only restaurants can open there and is still awaiting a decision.

Mr Lethem wants to be able to offer the building to different businesses after a number of restaurants have proved unsuccessful despite him subsiding rent by at least two-thirds to try and improve trade.

The building was home to The Angel Chef between 2001 and 2015 before lying vacant until November 2017 when it opened as a Chinese buffet U Canteen.

U Canteen closed in June 2018 and reopened as American style steakhouse Panama Jacks in September which only lasted for six months – the last three months of which resulted in payment arrears forcing the restaurant to close.

The council’s licensing subcommittee meets on Monday (September 9) to make a decision.