Neighbours oppose Wisbech Town FC’s bid to open beyond midnight

NEIGHBOURS slammed Wisbech Town Football Club’s bid to open beyond midnight as a “back door way of opening a night club.”

Part of the agreement for the new clubhouse was that it would close nightly at 10pm but now the ground is built and sponsors found, residents have been warned the club wants a 2am licence on Fridays and Saturdays and to remain open until 12.30am on weekdays.

Edwina Howlett, who led the campaign against the new venue, fears it will become a haven for boozers.

She said: “I totally object to this. This has nothing to do with people playing football. All they want to do is run a bar.”

The Nursery Drive resident added: “A lot of people will be very angry about this. I had my suspicions what their intention was.

“We were told the ground was for football but I feel it is going to be treated like a nightclub because that is the only way they can make money.”

Evelyn Quibell said Wisbech already had a problem over misuse of alcohol and changes to the licence would not be appropriate.

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John Dorrington of Windsor Drive said he was “totally opposed to late night hours” and urged West Norfolk Council to “have a heart and let common sense prevail- no late night functions please”.

Another resident asked West Norfolk Council to balance the club’s “perceived need to raise more money against the loss of amenity”.

And a further resident sent back a letter from West Norfolk Council with the words “I didn’t want it there at all” scrawled all over it.

The application to vary the hours was made by Stephen McGregor, the club’s solicitor, who met with the council’s community safety and neighbourhood nuisance team earlier this week.

He said the club was now proposing to vary closing times to 11.30pm on weekdays with a 1am licence request for Fridays and Saturdays.

“The club wants to be a community facility attractive to families,” he said. “It is most emphatically not going to run a late night club.”

Residents have until August 4 to make their views known to West Norfolk Council.