Booze won't be served for special events at Rowley Park in Stafford

Saturday, July 6th, 2019 11:21am

By Simon Humphreys & Kerry Ashdown

Alcohol will not be served at Rowley Park in Stafford after 40 objections from residents.

However, Freedom Leisure, who run the council's leisure and cultural services were granted permission for live music performances and film screenings.

They amended their proposals ahead of Friday's Licensing Sub Committee hearing at the council, reducing the number of special events it planned to hold each year from a maximum of six to four.

The serving of alcohol was also dropped from the list of licensable activities Freedom Leisure sought permission for, but it has been given the go-ahead to stage plays, live and recorded music and dance performances as well as film screenings.

Residents remained concerned about the lack of information given on what type of events were planned however. More than a dozen residents attended Friday’s hearing.

Graham King said: “No-one knows anything about it – they haven’t got any information to give us.

“It’s completely inappropriate for this area – the area is residential and we don’t see why we should have to put up with having to listen to amplified music or people coming and going at any time of the night. Why did you pick Rowley Park when you know there is only one access to it – why aren’t you using the castle?”

John Watton said: “My concern is the ingress and egress, health and safety for people coming into the park and leaving the park. There is one entrance in Averill Road and West Way is quite congested. If in excess of 500 people attend how do emergency vehicles get in and out of the area?

“The natural shape of the park is a bowl shape – any noise will echo around the houses surrounding the area.”

The first event to take place will be Party in the Park, a family fun day that has previously been held at Victoria Park which is unable to host it this year. Party in the Park takes place on Sunday and runs from 12pm to 5pm.

Kevin Murray, speaking on behalf of Freedom Leisure, said: “We want to make sure it is a safe event for everybody. We will have door staff more than above the level (required)

“The nature of the event we are running on Sunday is family fun. We are doing face painting and having a bouncy castle and land train – we have Paw Patrol as the headline act.

“I will be there myself on Sunday and we intend to do a fantastic job to make sure concerns are alleviated. It is an opportunity to showcase how good an event we deliver. Everything will close by 5pm and everything will be down by 7pm.

“We run the Stafford Half Marathon and Stafford 10k. This is not a venue we go into every six months for events – we use it daily.

“We understand the frustrations of residents. We have not covered ourselves in glory with paperwork but we will be able to provide this.

“We have had some very good suggestions and we are always open to suggestions.”

The premises licence was granted with a number of conditions attached, including the requirement a noise limiter is fitted to the amplification system and set at an agreed level. Event visitors will not be allowed to bring alcohol onto the site -and any booze found will be confiscated.

Licensable activities will be limited to 10am to 9pm on event days and no more than four events involving licensable activities will take place each year, for a maximum of one day each.

The licence holder must consult with the council and police no later than three months ahead of each planned event and must submit event safety and traffic management plans. There should also be dedicated phone number for the duty manager provided to residents, the local authority and ward councillor in case they have any complaints about events – and a log of complaints must be kept.


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