By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 31 October 2013 Updated: 01/11 07:23
FURIOUS residents branded councillors ‘a disgrace’ after a Winyates Green venue was given the green light to sell alcohol and play music until 2am.
Nearly 50 people attended a licensing sub-committee meeting on Wednesday (October 30) when the decision was made regarding the Blue Inn Hotel on Far Moor Lane.
Committee chairman Alan Mason was forced to close the meeting due to the angry reaction as councillors were told they had not ‘heard the end of it’ with others shouting ‘what have we got to look forward to now’ and ‘it was a lovely, lovely close until you stepped in’.
Residents slammed the decision-making process with one calling it a ‘pigs’ ear’. Speakers were also angry they were not allowed to read out a log of recent incidents because they had not sought permission from the applicant, despite them claiming they had asked officers in an e-mail exchange if they needed to supply the information beforehand.
Their concerns centred around the potential affect on residents in Kingham Close, particularly noise disturbance and the potential for anti-social behaviour.
However part of the application had been changed by the Blue Inn on the night to mean only a maximum of 80 people would attend private functions rather than 190 and music would not be played outside.
Resident and former police officer David Wilkins said: “If residents don’t get a police response they will potentially start to get frustrated and start to deal with it themselves. There could be an escalation of problems in an area which to date doesn’t have a lot of issues.”
Coun Yvonne Smith, also speaking against the proposals, added: “State bodies must encourage safe environments and set an example to children about what activities we allow at night in a residential area.”
David McGowan, head receptionist at the Blue Inn, said the venue would not open until 2am every night of the week but instead intended to hold a ‘handful’ of private functions each month which would be invite-only, with people turned away on the door if they were over capacity and staff specially trained to deal with anyone starting to get rowdy.
“At least in the last year nobody has mentioned to us any issues. We are not and have no desire to be a nightclub of any sort,” he said.
“This hotel’s been here for over 20 years, during this time we have always taken steps to protect the public from harm and comply with planning objectives. We would like to continue to operate for the next 20 years working with local residents.”
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