Newcastle City Council has refused JD Wetherspoon’s attempt to dodge the city’s late-night levy by cutting back its hours at three pubs.

The managed pub operator is now considering whether to appeal the decision.

Wetherspoon’s had sought permission to close at midnight to avoid paying the levy but the move sparked opposition from the council and police.

At last night’s meeting the council’s licensing sub-committee confirmed that its determination had to be consistent with the advice given to other operators against such applications, whilst raising concerns over the reinstatement of any hours post levy.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We are disappointed with the decision.

“We will consider whether to appeal the decision in the next few days.”

Earlier this month Wetherspoon’s won their battle for similar concessions in Nottingham.