A bowls club says the decision to allow it to serve alcohol outside will help secure its future.
Mayfield Park Sports Club had applied to have its licence changed to allow the consumption of alcohol outside on its patio area and on the perimeter of the bowls green. Not doing so would cost them thousands of pounds it said.
It also wanted to ‘open the windows’ during social events in the summer, but these plans had led to concerns from some neighbours near the Royal Star Drive venue, with one fearing it would lead to ‘intolerable noise’.
But councillors on Daventry District Council’s licensing committee awarded the variation to the licence this morning (October 2), with the chairman of the sports club Cheryl Haynes saying it was a ‘positive outcome for the club and its future’.
She said: “The bowlers have been there since before the estate, and they had always been able to consume a pint while playing.”
That changed when the club decided to change its licence a few months ago to allow members of the public to be served.
After objections from neighbours, the licensing committee implemented conditions banning booze on the outdoor patio, and that windows should be shut during events with amplified music.
Mrs Haynes says the decision cost the club a lot of money, and decided to re-apply in the hope the conditions would be dropped.
She said: “Over the years we’ve had had fewer members and the revenue we generate comes from the sale of alcohol.
“We’ve had to open it up to members of the community for use for parties, christenings, wakes, there’s also a special needs group that use it from Monday to Friday.
“We had to change the licensing to supply alcohol to the general public.
“We lost £3,000 this year through bowlers not being able to drink, and it would have gone a long way towards air conditioning, which would allow us to keep the windows closed.”
One neighbour, concerned about the possible noise impact, wrote to the council: "My property is less than 100 yards from the club and even with the club windows closed the loud amplified music thumping can still be heard in the summer.
"The noise levels from music with open doors and windows will be intolerable, not to mention the noise levels from patrons drinking and talking loudly outside."
But the committee granted the application on the condition that alcohol is decanted into plastic cups, and that signs would be put up encouraging patrons to leave the building quietly.
The club is also applying for a grant to cover half of the £10,000 expenses to get air conditioning for the building.