Club must wait to find out if hours extension can go ahead

RESIDENTS are to get two opportunities over the next month to challenge a bid by Wisbech Town FC to extend their clubhouse opening times.

West Norfolk Council has decided that both its development control board and its licensing committee will debate the issue.

The bid to sell alcohol into the small hours first goes to the licensing committee next Wednesday.

On September 6 the development control board will decide if the club can alter the terms and conditions of its approval for the club house and ground.

When the club won approval for the new Lynn Road ground they agreed to a 10pm closure but since work started they applied for a 2am licence.

More than 70 people signed a petition in the dying moments of a council consultation after it transpired the club’s legal advisers only advertised their plans in the Lynn News and Advertiser and on a single lamppost.

Edwina Howlett, of Nursery Drive, Wisbech, led the campaign against the venue on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border.

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As the club tries to extend opening hours to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays and until 12.30am on weekdays, Mrs Howlett said: “The noise from car doors and late night revellers will be unbearable.

“The plans to change opening hours confirm my suspicions of the clubhouse being used as a nightclub.”

The council has been inundated with objections to the proposals. One Lynn Road resident said: “Our lives and our house prices have been damaged enough without this proposed extension.”

Southfields Close resident Eraldo Buffa said: “I object to the sale of alcohol in connection with a sport facility, football or anything else. It is incongruous and socially unacceptable.”

Trevor and Jaimie Rice said late-night noise disturbance would have a “serious negative effect on the quality of our rest and sleep”.