Drink and entertainment licence agreed for Seals Cove

A DRINKS and entertainment licence has been agreed for a family centre on St Andrew’s trading estate at Bridport.

Residents living nearby objected to the licence fearing disturbance into the evening across seven days.

The building, Seals Cove at St Andrews House, is currently used as a children’s nursery with a café.

Owner, Chris Seal, told a Dorset Council licensing hearing that, despite local rumours, he had no plans to turn it into a late-night drinking venue and was only planning to run a family entertainment centre which would include party rooms.

The licence, granted by Dorset Council, allows for the sale of drinks on the site between 11am and 11.30pm daily with an additional hour on New Year’s eve and bank holidays.

Residents told councillors at the July 15th application hearing that they feared disturbance from the venue itself and from people leaving and arriving which they said would be a fundamental change to their quiet evenings and weekends.

One said that a trading estate was simply not the place for an entertainment centre, especially one which sold alcohol until late in the evening.

Mr Seal said he was taking steps to overcome potential parking problems and was investigating a free summer-only hourly bus service for patrons between the town and West Bay to and from the centre. It was said that the building currently has around 50 parking spaces of its own.

Mr Seal said the business would be aimed at families and would have rooms for family parties as well as a dining area, bar, soft play area and climbing wall.

He told the online licensing sub-committee hearing that he hoped to employ 10 full time and 10 part time staff and that many of these had already received appropriate training for their roles.

Councillors heard that none of the statutory consultees had raised any objection to the licence.

Mr Simon Middleton, representing a group of six familes, said that at the moment there was no Sunday working on the estate and work was generally finished by 6pm. He said that the licence would fundamentally change life for residents.

“One of the reasons we chose this location to live was because it was quiet out of hours and at weekends and this threatens that,” he said.

Conditions of the licence include installing CCTV and the adoption of a dispersal policy for patrons leaving the business.

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