An application by Mitchells & Butlers for a 4am licence has been refused by councillors in Middlesborough because of anticipated disruption caused by the pub. M&B said in a letter to Middlesborough Council's planning committee that it had applied for the 4am licence at the Crown Pub in response to consumer demand. Nick Davey, from the planning consultants who represented the company before councillors, drew attention to the M&B social responsibility policy and the Britain's Most Responsible Retailer award, which it received last November. However, the council still refused the application, which the pub had to make before it can apply to the council for licensing approval. Councillor John McPartland, planning chairman, said: "I have talked on many occasions to residents about the distress people feel about the total lack of quality of life because of late closing in general". "I am sure the Crown is a good employer and does all it can to mitigate problems - but a 4am finish will add to the town centre problems. There is noise, banging of car doors and sexual activity that goes on when people have had too much to drink." Davey said an appeal or revised application may be considered.