Committee hears alcohol licence application

Assurance has been given that excessive noise and anti-social behaviour will not be permitted at a community pavilion if it is granted an alcohol licence.

Llanfair Waterdine Community Pavilion
Llanfair Waterdine Community Pavilion

The application for the new timber-framed hall on the Joan Adams Community Field in Llanfair Waterdine drew 11 objections from people living nearby, who said previous events on the field had caused significant disturbance to the community.

But trustee Andrew Beavan told a Shropshire Council licensing hearing that these issues would not be repeated now that the hall had been built.

Further concerns were voiced over road safety, the trustees’ ability to manage an alcohol licence, and potential competition with the Everest Hall.

Trustee Andrew Beavan said the pavilion was largely grant-funded and built by local volunteers, after the potential for a new building on the field was identified in the parish’s community-led plan.

Mr Beavan said it was, “an opportunity to provide a facility which could become a social hub for the community, and be used for families, sporting events, and evolve into what the community might need going forward in the future”.

The trustees said in their application that an alcohol licence would allow the venue to host a range of activities to the benefit of the rural community, which lies on the Welsh border near Knighton.

Mr Beavan said: “Having finished the building, we need to be available to groups that want to use it in various different ways.

“It’s a shame that it’s come across as being in competition with the Everest Hall, I don’t think that’s the intention – it’s a different building in a field that’s owned by the community.

“We were spending around £400 to £500 a year to maintain the grass on that field, but it wasn’t being excessively used because there was not electricity and no toilets.

“Now we have car parking, toilet facilities that are open 24/7 on the outside of the building, and electricity which can be made available for village fêtes and whatever else may want to be held on the community field.”

Mr Beavan said a trustee would either be on-site during any event at which alcohol was being served, or would be on-call to attend if needed.

Events such as private parties and functions would hire in a third party events company or pub to provide the bar, who would be covered by their own personal licence.

Llanfair residents Sue Smith and Michael Tree spoke at the hearing along with Iorwerth Waters, representing the Everest Hall.

Mr Waters asked Mr Beavan for assurance that the two venues would work together to avoid being in competition with each other, and Mr Beavan said they would.

Ms Smith said the trustees had attempted to keep the licence application secret from village residents, but this was not accepted by Mr Beavan.

Asked how people drinking in the hall during a community event at the field would be prevented from taking alcohol outside, Mr Beavan said: “We are not applying for a licence for people to drink all the way around the field so we will have to enforce that.

“That will either be successfully done by notices or talking to people at the event, or if that doesn’t work we would not be able to open the bar until after the field stops being used.”

In response to noise concerns, Mr Beavan said there was only one property within 100 metres of the pavilion, and that in line with advice from the council’s environmental protection team the trustees had agreed all windows and doors will be closed from 9.30pm.

He added: “Our absolute bottom line as the community trust is to ensure that we adhere to and enforce the full licensing objectives.”

The police and the council’s trading standards, environmental health and planning departments supported the application.

The committee, made up of councillors Keith Roberts, Roy Aldcroft and Simon Jones, will announce its decision on the licence within five days.

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