Late twist in Hartlepool club's bid to open beer garden until 10pm

A club’s plan for a permanent beer garden in its car park has been given the go-ahead.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 7:33 pm

The club is one of many venues which has temporary permission to serve drinks outdoors as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

However the application will see the beer garden be made permanent and outlines the details for how it can be used once the temporary licensing laws are removed.

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The beer garden in the car park at Hartlepool United Supporters Club. Picture by Frank Reid

Councillors approved licensing the beer garden to operate Mondays-Sundays from 11am-7pm – three hours fewer than the 11am-10pm applied for.

There will also be a limit of 40 people allowed in the beer garden.

The hearing was held after nine residents, along with Hartlepool Borough Council’s environmental health team, raised concerns over potential noise issues.

However, speaking to the licensing sub-committee, Tony Moore, from the supporters club, said they would work to ensure there were no problems.

He stressed only club members and invited guests can drink at the premises, with the beer garden offering an outdoor space which would benefit them on warm days.

He said: “The supporters club premises are used by its members whose average age is 45+ comprising civil servants, teachers, tradesmen, solicitors, company managers and owners, therefore responsible members.

“We know everybody who uses the club, I can even tell you the names of people who use the club on certain days, that’s how small of a club it is.

“As a club we and the committee manage our premises to a high standard, and respect our neighbours, which is something we would continue to do.”

He added that nine car-parking spaces would remain, including two disabled spaces, which is “more than adequate” for the site.

He said: “The car park historically is underused. On an evening, I’ve never seen it full since I’ve been a member.”

He added no music would be played outside and that club committee members would be able to police who attends with a fob being needed to enter the building.

Club representatives said historically they have had no issues with vandalism or anti-social behaviour and added that this has continued since the beer garden opened on April 12.

However Zoe Craig, from the council environmental protection team, said one noise complaint had been received in “the last week” regarding people in the beer garden.

She said: “There is nothing in place to protect the residents from the noise that would come with a beer garden being allowed to be situated here.”

Three nearby residents also spoke at the virtual meeting to state that they still had parking worries.

One resident, who is also a member at the club, said: “Everything that’s been said really doesn’t give me any reassurance that the beer garden is not going to have a detrimental effect on us.

“I’m almost 100% certain you wouldn’t want it outside of your front door.”

The hours will come into effect once the Government has removed temporary licensing laws in place as part of the Covid-19 recovery roadmap.

This means for the time being members will be able to drink outside the club later than the 7pm agreed as part of the application.

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