JD Wetherspoon (JDW) has secured a new licence in Blackpool’s town centre saturation zone, despite police objections, writes Paul Charity. The unusual decision came after JDW satisfied the licensing committee that the pub would not increase alcohol-fuelled disorder in the specified zone, which covers the town centre and promenade. Normally such applications would be refused, especially when opposed by the police, who feared the planned 300-capacity site on Bank Hey Street could fuel alcohol-related problems. Last year JDW was granted a new licence for a 1,000-capacity site on nearby Market Street. The pub operator, which runs close to 700 managed houses across the UK, said the Bank Hey Street venue would be “family friendly” and wouldn’t encourage vertical drinking because seating will be provided on 50% of the ground space. In addition, food would be served every day from 9am until 10pm. The licence was granted on condition that CCTV operates throughout. A statement from the council licensing panel said: “In reaching our decision we have taken into consideration the fact that JD Wetherspoon is a responsible operator that works closely with the police and local authority.” JDW spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are delighted to have been granted the licence. “As always, we stressed that our pubs are extremely well run and an asset to an area.” Peter Coulson, legal editor at the Morning Advertiser newspaper, said: "The burden of proof in such cases is entirely on the applicant, who has to overturn the presumption that the licence will be refused. "Wetherspoon must have done extremely well to demonstrate that their new outlet would not have any impact on known problems in such a high-profile area."