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Naturist campsite 'had no music licence for 20 years', West Norfolk Council hearing told

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A council error meant a naturist campsite has not had the music licence it needed for almost 20 years.

Croft Country Club, in Lott’s Bridge between Downham Market and Wisbech, is right on the border of West Norfolk Council (WNC) and Fenland District Council.

After a noise complaint in the area, council officers discovered that the club did not have the necessary licence with WNC.

King's Court, Borough Council of West Norfolk.. (49703902)
King's Court, Borough Council of West Norfolk.. (49703902)

“There was a discrepancy in this particular location because it borders Fenland Council, half of the caravan site is in Fenland’s jurisdiction and a small part is in our jurisdiction,” WNC’s licensing officer told the licensing committee on Tuesday.

“Normally, the person who has the biggest area will take the licensing, we were under the impression it was licensed by Fenland but I subsequently discovered that the caravan site licence is with Fenland and we licence the area north.”

She said they contacted the owners who were happy to go through the licensing process to clear up the issue.

She added: “It was an oversight on the local authority as opposed to any negligence.”

It was alleged that the noise complaint may not relate to the country club property, instead possibly coming from a nearby Airbnb.

Sixteen letters of support and three objections were raised, but the applicant said they believed an inaccurate leaflet had been distributed by a disgruntled former club member.

A speaker on behalf of the applicant said they had been operating for 30 years, with music for around 20 of them, and in that time they were not aware of any noise complaints.

A club member, who travelled all the way from Leicestershire, and a fellow nearby business owner came to offer support.

The latter said: “Our premises is approximately a mile away from the Croft and we have never had any disturbance from them.”

The applicant aims to only put on upwards of five outdoor events every year, with indoor music set to finish before 1am at the latest on Fridays and Saturdays.

The committee will make a decision in writing within five days.

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