Strong objection to school's bid to sell alcohol

A SCHOOL S application for permission to sell alcohol and play music when its premises are hired out has been met with strong opposition from residents. Stevenage Borough Council s (SBC) licensing committee is set to decide tonight (Thursday) whether to g

A SCHOOL'S application for permission to sell alcohol and play music when its premises are hired out has been met with strong opposition from residents.

Stevenage Borough Council's (SBC) licensing committee is set to decide tonight (Thursday) whether to grant permission to The Barclay School on Walkern Road.

The school is already permitted to sell alcohol to members and invited guests, but wants to be able to hire the venue out and supply alcohol between 6pm and 11pm Sunday to Friday and from midday until 11pm on Saturdays.

The application also seeks permission to play live and recorded music and provide entertainment between 9am and midnight Monday to Saturday and from midday until 6pm on Sundays.

SBC has received a petition containing 71 signatures from residents living in Walkern Road, Church Mews and Church Lane. Five letters of objection have also been received by the council.

A resident of Walkern Road said: "The area is fully serviced by licensed premises for the public. There is no requirement for Barclay School to be added to the list. These places cater quite well and are possibly under utilised due to the current economic climate."

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He also said: "There will be more late night foot traffic along Walkern Road, with the inevitable rowdy behaviour causing disturbance."

Another Walkern Road resident objects to the proposal on the grounds that it will exacerbate an already major problem with parking and that "the potential of an increase in noise level is not acceptable".

He added: "There is already a safety problem trying to cross Walkern Road and this gets significantly worse when there is an event at the school."

However, The Rotary Club of Stevenage Grange and the Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre based in Letchworth GC are supporting the application, saying the site suits their needs for fundraising events.

Both bodies say the site is a sufficient distance from homes to negate public nuisance and that there is ample on-site parking.

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