The pub had initially been granted a licence by Wirral Council to open until 1am on Friday and Saturday and until midnight during the rest of the week. The Saughall Massie Village Conservation Society appealed against the decision to the local Magistrates’ Court on the ground that the extended hours would lead to excessive noise and disorder. The magistrates agreed and reduced the hours. Thwaites appealed to the High Court, arguing that the objection was based on speculation rather than evidence, as there had not been any complaints of noise nuisance, and also that the decision of the magistrates was contrary to the philosophy of the Licensing Act, and the restrictions placed on Thwaites were unnecessary to promote the licensing objectives. The judge agreed, reinstating the original decision of the Council.
The effect of the decision will be to make it easier for licensees to defeat objections to extensions where these are based on speculation rather than evidence.