Soccer club licence bid

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A football club’s bid to sell booze at its headquarters could get the red card from licensing chiefs.

An application has been made by Bispham Junior Football Federation (BJFF) for permission to sell alcohol and hold entertainment between 11am and 11pm daily at its community hub on All Saints Road.

The hub, formerly the Whiteholme Community Centre, opened last month following a £22,000 investment by the club, which is leasing the premises from the council.

But more than 30 letters of objection to the plans to sell alcohol have been received by the council, which is holding a licensing hearing on May 14.

Residents of All Saints Road say they fear the move will attract anti-social behaviour.

The council’s environmental protection team has also raised concerns about possible noise nuisance.

Environmental protection officer Steve Flint said in his report to the panel “the existing building appears to be of a lightweight construction”, and he doubts this “would be sufficient to prevent noise from regulated entertainment causing a statutory nuisance to the nearby residential accommodation”.

Mr Flint is proposing a number of conditions are attached to the licence if the council decides to approve it.

In his submission to the hearing, BJFF president Nick Hewitson says the hub is a valued community asset.

He says: “Making this application we acknowledge the extremely tight controls that need to be implemented, to maintain good relations with our local neighbours.

“These include ensuring noise levels are kept to acceptable levels, windows and doors are closed for all events, no smoking outside the front of the building, no drinking outside and a premises supervisor responsible and accountable for each event.”

Mr Hewitson added the licence would support fund-raising events held by the club, as well as helping to generate revenue to invest back into the facilities. The hub boasts a cafe, meeting and conference facilities.

BJFF was founded in 1969, and has more than 500 playing members – aged three to 18 – making it one of the largest clubs of its kind in Lancashire.