‘Late night party venue’ fears sees Fingle Glen Golf hotel premises licence extension refused

By Crediton Courier Newspaper   |   Editorial   |
Friday 14th August 2020 3:22 pm
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The Fingle Glen Golf Club at Tedburn St Mary. ()

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FEARS over a golf club becoming a “late night party venue” had led to councillors rejecting plans to allow them to stay open until 2am every Friday and Saturday.

Fingle Glen Golf Hotel had asked Teignbridge District Council to vary and extend their existing premises licence to enable them to stay open until 2am on Friday and Saturday and sell alcohol until 1.30am on those days.

But while the council’s licensing sub-committee on Thursday morning (August 13) allowed the variation to allow to shift the alcohol licence from 10am to 7am as requested so “Champagne Breakfasts” could be served, they rejected the extension at the end of the night, and only allowed late night refreshment and regulated entertainment until 12.30am on Friday and 1am on Saturday, with the supply of alcohol ceasing at 11pm as present.

Cllr Linda Bellshaw, chairman of Tedburn St Mary parish council, urged the three strong committee to reject the licence application.

She said: “The concern as a parish is about the noise late at night. Pathfinder Village has historically been a site for older people and we are worried about the extension of music and general sound and the application for 1.30am on Friday and Saturday.

“It may become more of a late night party venue which really concerns us, and we are worried about those who will be substantially affected by this.”

Jess Hogan, from Teignbridge’s Environmental Health team, added that she agreed that the opening until 2am was likely to cause a disturbance.

She said: “Permitting the extension would give rise to potential noise concerns.”

But the committee heard from a representative of Fingle Glen that golf was their main business and they did not foresee the future of the venue as being a late night party venue rather than a golf course, adding: “Golf will continue to be the main focus of our membership. We are making the application for a variation to a typical licence for others in the industry for entertainment so we can offer a venue for weddings and functions which does so much to support the main business of golf.

“The opening hours are more suitable and will keep us on an even keel. We have lost a lot of business already and cannot afford to lose more if people and weddings go elsewhere. By extending the opening hours, we have no intention of causing disruption to the neighbours.

“It is looking to accommodate weddings, and a Temporary Event Notice wouldn’t be satisfactory and is limited in the number that we can request. It would be a shame to lose out on the entire wedding booking because the option to stay open an hour later isn’t there.”

They added that they are trying to push Fingle Glen as a club course, but the functions and weddings are necessary to supplement the main businesses, and said: “This will cause very little added disruptions to the neighbours and we will enforce the code of conduct to all guests to maintain the tranquil atmosphere that Fingle Glen strives to keep.”

But after a lengthy debate, the committee chose to reject the late night aspect of the premises licence variation.

Committee chairman Cllr John Nutley said: “We have taken into account the risk to public nuisance and to those in the vicinity.”

He added that the golf hotel could make applications for Temporary Event Notices for individual events if they wished on occasions to stay open later, but that the TEN process was limited to a maximum of 15 events a year.

Daniel Clark

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