PLANS to open a Victorian-style gin palace in the centre of Worcester have received a further blow with the rejection of a planning application..

Amber Taverns wants to convert a former supermarket in the city's Angel Street into one of its Hogarths pubs, which are known for offering 120 types of gin.

The company applied to Worcester City Council both for planning permission and for a license to operate the premises.

In September, the Council's licensing subcommittee rejected it the licensing bid. And now the planning application has likewise been turned down.

The news has been welcomed by Cathedral ward councillor Lynn Denham, who said: "I am pleased to see that Hogarth's Gin Palace will not be coming to Worcester.

"Whilst we would all like to see regeneration and improvements in Angel Street, it needs to be the right offer which will have a positive impact on city life."

The planning refusal was made by the council's planning officers under delegated powers.

The reasons for refusal included potential harm to the balance of retail and non-retail use in Angel Street, and fears that an extra bar would "further contribute to disturbances locally, resulting in increased levels of crime and disorder, fear of crime and resultant harm to the quality of life experienced by the occupants close to the application site".

Angel Street is within Worcester’s ‘cumulative impact zone’ because of the large number of pubs, clubs and late-night food outlets in the immediate vicinity.

At the licensing hearing, a police representative said the proposal posed a "clear significant risk of an increase in disorder and fights" at a time of cuts to police funding.

The application was also opposed by Worcestershire County Council’s health and wellbeing service, which pointed out that Worcester has the largest density of licensed premises per square kilometre in the West Midlands.

And elderly and vulnerable residents of Berkeley Court Almshouses, which backs on to the site, were "extremely worried" about its potential for increase in noise and anti-social behaviour.