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Powys councillors to decide on changes to church parish hall alcohol licence

Powys councillors will decide an application by St. Mary’s Church council in Hay-on-Wye to vary the alcohol premises licence for their parish hall on Lion Street (Pic: Google Streetview)

CHANGES to a church parish hall alcohol premises licence which would extend its opening hours on New Year’s Eve will be decided by Powys County Councillors.

In April, Powys council received an application from the St. Mary’s Church council in Hay-on-Wye to vary the licence for their parish hall on Lion Street.

The hall on Lion Street in the town currently has a licence that allows the sale of alcohol daily from 9am to 11.30pm, Monday to Sunday.

The application has been made to extend opening hours on New Year’s Eve from 11.30pm to 1am on New Year’s day.

The tweaks would include being allowed to sell alcohol until midnight (12am) and that the premises be allowed to have live music until 12.30am.

Another change in the licence asked for by the church council is to allow the building’s forecourt to be used “for all licensed activities”.

The report explains that the church council have had a licence for the parish hall since 2006 and at times they have had “temporary events notifications” to sell alcohol at events.

The report said: “These events have been run without any problems and no complaints have been received.”

But complaints have been lodged with the council against the licence tweak.

Objector one said: “I am surprised that church feel a need to apply for this licence as in the past when a special event has occurred a special licence has been granted but not permanent.”

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They go on to say that people have been “sick” outside their house after leaving other nearby drinking establishments.

Objector one said: “There are enough alcohol outlets around a small area now, another regular outlet of alcohol is one too many.”

A second objector said: “The parish hall is a wonderful local facility, and we are supportive of extending its use, including to the sale of alcohol.

“However, we have concerns that if the current application is granted as it stands, the likelihood of causing a public nuisance and harm of children is greatly increased.”

Objector two said that loud music from the hall can be heard in buildings opposite and is also against people congregating outside the hall in its forecourt.

Objector two said: “Since the introduction of the smoke-free legislation there has been an increase in the numbers of people congregating outside licensed premises.

“Annoyance is caused from raised voices, particularly during evenings.

“This has the potential to cause a public nuisance and harm of children through sleep disturbance.”

Objector two asks Powys councillors to consider a number of “controls” to be placed on the licence which includes rejecting the use of the forecourt and not allow customers to “take drinks outside.”

They would like to see the music at the hall controlled by: “installing double glazing, keeping windows and doors closed” and “controlling low frequency music” to reduce the risk of “bass noise penetrating buildings.”

The council’s environment protection has asked that licensable hours of the outside area of the hall is restricted to 11pm.

The application will be decided by Powys councillors at a Licensing sub-committee meeting on Wednesday, June 5.

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