Club tries again for alcohol licence after previous application was refused

Bristol Rovers Supporters Junior Football Club are trying again to win an alcohol licence at the ground next to Kingswood Leisure Centre in Soundwell that they lease from South Gloucestershire Council.

The council’s Licensing Sub-Committee refused an application last August by two votes to one, citing public nuisance and parking concerns, as well as insufficient security measures in place for storing alcohol in the pavilion at the ground.

The club had applied to sell alcohol for consumption on and off the premises from 6pm to 9pm Monday to Friday and from noon to 10pm at weekends. They said they needed more revenue and the COVID emergency had resulted in a substantial loss of income.

There were no objections at the timje from the police, fire officer, planning, environmental health and environmental protection, safeguarding children’s services, trading standards and public health. But there were 35 objections from local residents. Fears included the potential for anti-social behaviour in a park used by families and dog walkers. Residents were also worried about the impact on traffic and parking in Church Road, particularly for pedestrians, as there are already congestion problems. Noise and litter, including the risk of broken glass, were also of concern. The actual need for a bar at a junior football club was also called into question.

The club wrote to objectors to try to allay fears, saying they would be operating under 30 conditions on the licence, but only one person withdrew their complaint.

Now another application for a premises licence starting from 1st May has been lodged with the council by Nicholas Hammond from the club.

It says: “This application is for the grant of a premises licence for the retail sale of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises primarily to allow members, parents, visiting teams and officials but also the general public to enjoy licensable activity. Off sales of alcohol is sought to allow visitors to purchase alcohol for consumption at home, for outside catering services and for the sale of gift items associated with the club. Such off sales must leave the premises in sealed bottles or containers.”

The proposed times are 6pm to 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6pm to 9pm on Fridays, noon to 9pm on Saturdays and noon to 6pm on Sundays.

The application includes a long list of conditions they intend to operate under, including that management and staff would take all necessary steps to ensure that the premises don’t cause or contribute to crime and disorder in the area. There would be a ‘Challenge 25’ policy and high value items would be stored securely.

Polycarbonate or plastic drinking vessels would be used in outside areas when risk assessments indicate this would be necessary for public safety. And notices would be prominently displayed at all exits, asking patrons to respect the needs of local residents and leave the area quietly.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the application and have their views taken into account can find out more on the council’s website  and the deadline for comments is 8th March.

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