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CLUBHOUSE: Alcohol licence granted to football club

CLUBHOUSE: Alcohol licence granted to football club

Image: LDRS

A football club has been given an alcohol licence for its new clubhouse, despite complaints about a smashed gate and drunken behaviour.

Lairds Sports Club, on St Peters Road in Rock Ferry, Wirral, was granted the licence by Wirral Council’s Licensing Panel, after several conditions were attached to its application.

The club will be able to serve alcohol between 11am and 10.30pm from Monday-Saturday and from 12pm-10pm on Sundays, with the premises closing 30 minutes later.

Speaking at the panel meeting, local resident Bernadette O’Neil said there were complaints about the old clubhouse, used by Lairds before it was forced to sell the premises to raise funds, especially from the vicarage.

Mrs O’Neil said the vicar had complained about people urinating in his garden, as well as issues regarding music and the way people left the club with cans and glasses being left around.

However, Kevin Birchall, club secretary, said he had never heard any complaints from the vicarage.

At the time, the vicar was not in the meeting, but he joined shortly afterwards and denied that he had ever complained about the former club.

Fellow resident Christine Robinson had many issues with Lairds.

She said she has had things stolen from her garden and she complained about noise disruption from music, as well as drunk people leaving the club.

Ms Robinson added that her side gate was smashed by a football from the club, and people going home from the facility had smashed her car’s wing mirror.

Discussing the issue of drunken behaviour, Mr Birchall said that patrons will be warned at first if they behave in an unruly, noisy way and if it happens again they will not be allowed into the club.

In his closing remarks, the club secretary said that he takes into consideration the concerns of neighbours and while there are going to be hiccups along the way he hoped Lairds Sports Club would be a positive part of the area and a place children can come to play football and exercise.

He added that neighbours were more than welcome to come over and have something to eat and drink while watching a football game if they wanted to.

Ultimately, the Licensing Panel decided to grant the alcohol licence with a number of conditions attached.

One such condition was that a quarterly forum be arranged between the club and local residents to discuss any concerns they had.

Another was that there must be a person representing the club located at the exit gate to manage customers leaving the premises 30 minutes before closing time and they must remain there until all customers have left the premises.

As well as this, drinks must not be taken outside of the building after 9pm.

A key factor in the panel’s decision was that there had been no complaints made to the licensing authority or directly to the club secretary regarding public nuisance caused by the club since 2013.

It was also noted that Merseyside Police and the council’s environmental health officers did not make any representations against the licence application and that there was no evidence submitted to support the idea that granting the licence would cause anti-social behaviour.

 

Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter


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