Confusion as Holbeach pub ‘closes’ its doors

The Chequers Hotel, Holbeach, about which Lincolnshire Police has called for a licensing review hearing.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG061216-114TW.  ANL-160612-154755001.
The Chequers Hotel, Holbeach, about which Lincolnshire Police has called for a licensing review hearing. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG061216-114TW. ANL-160612-154755001.
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The future of a Holbeach pub is in question after staff “voluntarily closed” its doors under the cloud of a police investigation.

A review of the premises licence for The Chequers Hotel in High Street has been called for by Lincolnshire Police over claims of “fraud, smuggling of goods, unauthorised licensable activities and a recent lack of management”.

The Chequers Hotel, Holbeach, with a note in the window from South Holland District Council's licensing team.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  ANL-160612-154437001.

The Chequers Hotel, Holbeach, with a note in the window from South Holland District Council's licensing team. Photo by Tim Wilson. ANL-160612-154437001.

The pub was at the centre of discussions by Holbeach Parish Council members at their November meeting after what police described as an “altercation” between a number of teenagers outside The Chequers Hotel 
last month.

Speaking about the incident, a Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “There was an altercation between a group of teenagers, but there were no serious injuries and enquiries into the matter are ongoing.”

A notice put up at The Chequers Hotel gave details of the reasons why police want the pub’s premises licence to be reviewed.

The notice said: “A review is sought on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

“Evidence is being submitted in relation to fraud, keeping smuggled goods or allowing them to be kept on the premises, unauthorised licensable activities, lack of duty to keep and produce the premises licence and the recent lack of management at the premises in relation to the licensing objectives.”

The pub is owned by Mark and Chony Andrews who were both away from the UK when the Guardian reported on parish councillors’ concerns about reports of disorder, as well as the appearance of the building which the Andrews took over in June 2009.

Rumours that the pub had lost its licence to sell alcohol were denied in 
a post on social media which said: “The Chequers has not been closed by the licensing (authority) – it has voluntarily closed.”