Objectors say Felsted School’s plan to extend licence is ‘akin to a nightclub’

PUBLISHED: 08:17 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:17 26 September 2019

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

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

SaffronPhoto 2016

A parish council has accused Felsted School of putting forward proposals “more akin to a nightclub”, which, if given the green light, would allow the school to increase the number of buildings which can host evening and night time events.

Felsted School wants to extend its premises licence. Picture: SaffronPhotoFelsted School wants to extend its premises licence. Picture: SaffronPhoto

The school already has separate premises licences for two buildings but has now applied to Uttlesford District Council (UDC) for a licence which would cover those buildings and four additional ones.

According to the proposals, which will be discussed at a licensing and environmental health committee meeting on Monday, the school intends to hold indoor and outdoor film screenings, live music and play recorded music as well as supply alcohol and provide late night refreshments in these buildings.

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However, writing to UDC, Heather Read, assistant clerk at Felsted Parish Council, said: "The school is in the conservation zone, surrounded by residential dwellings. 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 and as such event licences need to be applied for on a case by case basis."

Live music would finish by 12am between Thursday and Sunday and 11pm during the rest of the week. Recorded music would be turned off by 2am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but would finish by 11pm between Monday and Wednesday, and 12am on Thursdays. The application submitted by the school says that the events with live or recorded music will be held sporadically.

In consultation with UDC, Susan Matthews, a Felsted resident, said: "This summer the loud speaker system at Felsted School for sports events was so loud that I could hear it inside my house with doors and windows shut. This has not happened in previous years but I view is as a sign of what may happen if this application is approved."

A spokesman for the school said: "The school is aware of four objections to the new site-wide premises licence. The school has applied for a new site-wide licence to replace its current existing building specific licences. This has been done to simplify matters and to provide an element of flexibility in where events can be held; the school is not intending to increase its commercial activities on the back of this new licence nor change the number of school events."

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