Felsted School is granted more extensive premises licence despite concerns

Felsted School has been granted permission for a premises lisence which will cover six buildings. Pi

Felsted School has been granted permission for a premises lisence which will cover six buildings. Picture: SaffronPhoto - Credit: Archant

Felsted School will be able to increase the number of buildings which can host evening and night time events after councillors approved plans, despite a parish council claiming the proposals are “more akin to a nightclub”.

At a licensing and environmental health committee meeting at Uttlesford District Council (UDC) on Monday, the school's application for a premises license which would cover six campus buildings, including two which already have separate licences, was given the green light.

Ahead of the meeting, Heather Read, assistant clerk at Felsted Parish Council wrote in a letter to UDC: "This application is more akin to a nightclub than a school. The parish council strongly believes that events of this nature are not in keeping with a school and village environment."

Whilst granting the application, the committee imposed two additional conditions on the licence, prohibiting outdoor events at Lord Riche Hall, the swimming pool and arts centre and limiting the number of outdoor events that will be held "at the venue in any one calendar year to ten per annum".

Speaking at the meeting, the school's general services manager, Rose Walker, said: "We would like to consolidate and give ourselves flexibility rather than only have two venues which we can use for licensed events."

She explained that the school currently seeks temporary event notices for licensable activities held in other buildings, but this limits the number of people attending to 500, and there are a few events, such as the leaver's ball and a charity rugby tournament where they would like to go beyond this number.

She added the school only holds two events that continue past midnight, and there were no plans to increase that amount.

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Ms Walker went on: "The number of events we do per year which are licensable are quite small but the ones we do run could be quite restricted on a temporary event notice because of attendance. The main reason is give us flexibility to run these events a little bit better and consolidate our current licences."

Reading out the committee's decision, chairman councillor Patrick Lavelle, said: "This application has been years in the preparation, and this is a responsible applicant."