Noise concerns raised over rural Chorley sports club's plans for new premises licence

Concerns have been raised over a rural Chorley sports club's plans for a new premises licence.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Friday, 7th June 2019, 1:45 pm
Croston Sports Club (Image: Google)

Croston Sports Club has applied for a new premises licence to open and serve alcohol until midnight, Sunday to Thursday, and 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

It would also allow the non-for-profit club to have live music and film showcases for the same times – all extended to 2.30am on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Currently the club has a Club Premises Certificate, meaning it can only sell alcohol to members, their guests and anyone visiting its facilities for any of its sports activities, either playing or watching.

The new licence would allow anyone to call in for a drink, or at an event, without the need for a Temporary Event Notice.

Neil Rees, a resident in Westhead Road next to the club, has raised “serious concerns” over the plans.

In a letter to Chorley Council, Mr Rees said that loud music and “anti-social behaviour” from the club and its patrons has caused “a detrimental negative impact” on his family’s quality of life and enjoyment of their home.

His concerns saw the council's Environmental Health Office Paul Carter visited Mr Rees’ home for Croston Fest in March and Croston Beer Festival in April; both of which are held at the club as one of many host venues around the village.

In Mr Carter's findings he said there was “sufficient recordings of noise from loud amplified music and from patrons” to suggest there will be a recurring “statutory nuisance” if the new licence were to be granted.

As a result of this the club was issued with two noise abatement notices by Mr Carter.

Noticeably, Mr Carter added that he doesn’t feel proposed control measures to counter any noise “are robust enough to further prevent a public nuisance”.

David Tomlinson from Croston Sports Club said the new licence "will enable us to make the sports club open to a larger audience".

He also stressed that efforts are under way to communicate over noise worries and that Mr Carter "was encouraged by the measures we are putting in place".

He said: "We are working with the resident and the council to address their concerns. We're in regular contact with residents and the council over this matter."

David said that the club is "addressing all the concerns" through changes to management structure and bringing in additional equipment as well as potential soundproofing.

He said: "We've been working with the council quite a few times over licensing, not because there has been any breaches, but because we had applied for temps [Temporary Event Notices], like the beer festival where there are lots of non-members at an event."

Mr Tomlinson said that the club was advised that if members of the public are coming to events they should apply for the premises licence to stop the red-tape attached to having to apply for Temporary Event Notices every time an event is held.

"There is no other reason for the licence," he explained.

Croston Sports Club was used as an evacuation centre for the town in 2016 when devastating floods hit the town.

"We kept it open for all and free of charge," David explained.

"All our sports guys went around the village looking for people who needed help."

The club is set to hear whether it will be successful in its application on Wednesday afternoon (June 12), where it appears before Chorley Council’s Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee.