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Controversial licence bid given green light by West Norfolk councillors

A contentious licensing application in a West Norfolk village has been given the go-ahead, but with conditions.

A premises licence has been granted for the Dove Barn site on Thetford Road, Northwold, following a borough council sub-committee hearing last week.

But, in a move which appears to be intended to address the concerns of local residents, no rave or festival-type music events will be allowed there.

Concerns about the safety of people accessing the Dove Barn site off the A134 were deemed to be outside the licensing remit (43253646)
Concerns about the safety of people accessing the Dove Barn site off the A134 were deemed to be outside the licensing remit (43253646)

Dozens of people living in Northwold and nearby villages had raised objections to the application, which also prompted calls for extra powers to be given to councils to prevent large gatherings during the coronavirus crisis.

Concerns were also raised about potential safety implications on the nearby A134, though the committee was advised that they fell outside the licensing regime.

But no statutory consultees, including the police, the fire service or Trading Standards, made representations to the council on the issue.

And the applicant, Thomas Janes, insisted that his intention was to run the site as a wedding venue, despite many of the objections highlighting problems they say occurred during a music event held there in September.

A decision notice, published by the borough council today, said the sub-committee's ruling had focused on the application before them, rather than the September event, which was held under a temporary licence.

The notice, signed by the sub-committee's chairman, Sam Sandell, said members "acknowledged that the Applicant had made an attempt to reassure the local residents but felt that they could not completely disregard the concerns raised."

Although the licence will allow for alcohol to be sold on the site between 11am and 11pm, events will be limited to Fridays and Saturdays only and an acoustic assessment will be required before any functions are held.

The notice added: "Functions or events which include the provision of alcohol, live or recorded music shall be limited to wedding type events only; including weddings, civil partnerships, wedding blessings and renewal of vow celebrations.

"No concert, rave or festival type events can take place under this premises licence."

A maximum of 12 events per year, and two in a single calendar month, are permitted under the licence and the conditions also require the employment of professional security personnel when functions are taking place.

It says there should be a minimum of one security staff member for every 50 guests present, with at least half of them being accredited by the Security Industry Authority.

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