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Caerphilly Politics South Wales

Caerphilly cricket club wins drinking area bid despite neighbours’ boundary worries

Blackwood Town Cricket Club (Pic: CCBC)

A CRICKET club’s bid to open an outdoor drinking area has been successful, despite neighbours’ worries about litter and bad behaviour.

Patrons at Blackwood Town Cricket Club will be allowed to drink alcohol outside, in the spring and summer, in an area to the east of the clubhouse.

But Caerphilly County Borough Council decided to limit the drinking space to a smaller patch of land than originally requested by the club, after hearing concerns from nearby residents.

At a meeting of the council’s licensing committee on April 12, one neighbour, Kevin Courcoux, spoke on behalf of the residents who objected to the application.

He told members he was “supportive of the cricket club” and its role in the Blackwood community, but added that “unfortunately we have had issues”.

This included his claim that litter affecting nearby gardens was “on balance” coming from the club.

Club representative Phil Williams distanced Blackwood Town from some of the residents’ complaints and told the committee Blackwood Town wanted to “work very much with neighbours”.

Anyone involved in “unacceptable” behaviour would be “ejected from the club”, he added.

In their findings, the committee members noted the club called itself “a long-standing and valued part of the local community”.

Despite an “acceptance that they had been in breach of their current certificate for a number of years”, the club had “highlighted this process had been a learning curve”.

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Blackwood Town was “keen to ensure that [the club] would implement the proposed additions to their current certificate properly, and also were supportive of working with local residents to ensure they would not have any future problems in respect of its patrons”, the committee added.

The agreed area for outdoor drinking will be significantly smaller than the original plans the club put forward, but will include a small section dubbed the “president’s bench”, next to the scoring box and neighbours’ property boundaries.

The committee’s decision is based on conditions that state alcohol can only be consumed within the designated area between April 1 and September 30 each year, and drinking must stop by 10pm.