The Delany Hotel is pushing for 2am closure in an appeal to the NSW Land and Environment Court after Newcastle council rejected the proposal and instead opted for a 1am trial.
Marvan Hotels applied to City of Newcastle in 2021 to extend the Delany's closure time from 12am to 2am Monday to Saturday and from 10pm until midnight on Sundays, which attracted strong opposition from nearby residents.
The operator changed the plans to 2am Wednesday to Saturday after feedback from the council.
Councillors in 2022 voted to allow the pub to trade until 1am Fridays and Saturdays on a 12 month trial basis.
The 2am closure had been recommended for approval by council staff. But deputy lord mayor Declan Clausen, who suggested the 1am closure, said 2am was inconsistent with the city's after dark strategy, which refers to the night-time economy as operating between 9pm and 1am and "low impact venues" to trade until 2am.
However Marvan Hotels escalated its proposal to the Land and Environment Court, seeking the original planned closure time.
Objectors addressed the court at an on-site hearing at the hotel on February 12, where they listed their reasons why they believe the pub should not be allowed to stay open until 2am.
Glenn Burgess from Cooks Hill Community Group said the nearby residents and the hotel had co-existed reasonably well for many years, but that had been under the long-standing midnight closure.
"Clearly 2am closing would increase the negative impacts on the surrounding area," he said.
Mr Burgess referred to documents provided by independent consultants as part of a previous DA to extend the trading hours in 2017, which said "environmental impacts would be the potential disturbance of amenity generated by departing patrons or by noise from within the premises".
"Approval of this DA would see more noise, more anti-social behaviour, violence and vandalism and more traffic in the broader neighbourhood to 2am, six nights a week," he said.
"Any plan for security staff can only address anti-social behaviour in the very immediate area of the hotel."
He said the application stated the hotel had an approved maximum capacity of 990 patrons, and the planned staged shutdown relied on patrons voluntarily leaving the venue.
John Barnes said he had lived next door to the pub for 23 years, and had chosen to live there based on certain conditions.
He said residents had not tried to force the pub to close earlier, but there had been numerous attempts by owners over the years to extend the hours.
Mr Barnes said there would be increased levels of noise, intoxication, violence and antisocial behaviour as a result of the 2am closure, and there would be "not one" social or community benefit.
Community advocate Tony Brown said it appeared there had been no social impact assessment undertaken regarding impacts on the local community.
"This risk must be contextualised within the surrounding late trading entertainment areas of Newcastle CBD that experiences some of the chronic highest levels of alcohol violence and drink driving in NSW," he said in a written submission to the court.
A conciliation conference was held between Marvan Hotels and the council in July 2023, but the matter could not be resolved.
The hearing continues in the Land and Environment Court on February 13.