A late-night alcohol license has been granted to the Grange, Mayor’s Walk, Peterborough, part of Netherton United Football Club, in spite of a petition from 112 locals all objecting.
Council licensing committee chairman Cllr Azher Iqbal heard from council licensing officer Darren Dolby at last Thursday’s meeting: “Objections have been received from 112 residents of Charlotte Way, the road that gives access to Netherton United Football Club, and the Grange.
“They state that increased hours of drinking, as well as the planned social events, weddings, dances and corporate evenings, will ruin their neighbourhood and their social lives.”
Speaking on behalf of the Charlotte Way objectors was Bill Watson, who said: “There is no demand for the kind of events that are being proposed at the Grange and the people who live here will have their lives ruined by constant noise, traffic movements and anti-social behaviour.
“We absolutely support NUFC and want to have a successful football club, but that is all we want – this neighbourhood does not want and does not need all the disturbance that these late-night, riotous events will undoubtedly cause.
“There were more than 1,000 traffic movements in and out of Charlotte Way during one weekend in September 2018 when counts were taken.
“This proposal would see at least double that number with the risk of accidents to children playing in the area hugely increased, plus the pollution increases in the area not to mention those trying to get some sleep.
“Mr Higgins, the owner of the Grange, says he’s just a ‘local lad made good’ who wants to give something back to the community he grew up in – well, this community doesn’t want or need his club, or the extended hours he proposes.”
Nathan Higgins, owner of the Grange, a club that already has an extensive alcohol license that he was seeking to extend further, said: “I am just a local lad, I grew up around here. I help this community as much as I possibly can. I play football for this club that I love and, yes, I own and manage the Grange.
“What we propose is a small change to our existing licensing hours to allow for later nights on high days and holidays as well as the opportunity to hold corporate events, weddings and dances.
“This will undoubtedly employ more people from the Charlotte Way area, and yes it will bring a few more people into the area.
“But those who live in Charlotte Way now already knew of the access issues with NUFC when they moved there – what I am proposing will not double the number of vehicle movements, nothing like that number.”
Cllr Iqbal asked Mr Dolby if there had been any objections to the license application from the police, Environment Agency or highways, and he reported that there had not been any other objections to the application, other than the 112 signatures on the petition.
Cllr Christian Hogg said: “Mr Watson you say that there were 1,000 vehicle movements over one weekend, but you have no actual evidence of this do you?’
Mr Watson replied: “Other than our notes counting the vehicles as they moved in and out of Charlotte Way, no.”
Cllr Andy Coles asked Mr Higgins why he feels he has helped the local community. Mr Higgins replied: “We hold free table tennis sessions, free table football tournaments for five to 14-year-olds. We give then free soft drinks and food.
“In addition, I allow all the local businesses to utilise the facilities at The Grange for a very small fee, I want to give something back to the community in which I grew up and this license is simply an extension of that.”
Members also heard from Joyce Seddon on behalf of NUFC, who said: “The football club relies very heavily on the facilities in the Grange and any additional income would be welcomed.
“As part of a community-action group we’ve set up litter-collection days with the local residents who all volunteer to collect litter, cans and bottles that can be found around the perimeter of the club grounds.”
After some considerable debate, the members voted to approve the license extension.