Crookham residents lodge review application against Pinchington Hall premises licence
An application has been lodged by residents of Crookham to review the current premises licence in force at Pinchington Hall.
The application has been made by residents of Wellingtonia Drive and other residents living close to the hall, under section 51 of The Licensing Act.
The review is being sought on the grounds of the “undermining of the licensing objectives” of the following key issues: The prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.
Councillor Simon Pike (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) said: “They are applying to council to discharge the licence.”
The venue was denied change of use action a month ago (September 2) from residential to a wedding venue.
The refusal, from West Berkshire Council, was on the basis that the hall is not “compatible” with the location, as the building is neighbour to multiple residential properties.
Mr Pike added: “One of the complexities about this is it’s an alcohol premises licence and some of the disturbance have taken place at times when it has been alleged that the alcohol was not being sold.
“It was being provided without charge to the participants, for example in a wedding, so the legal issue is complicated.”
He said: “We can say the grounds for review are very similar to the grounds for the objections that were made before the licence was granted.
“So, in fact, it’s a prediction come true unfortunately.”
Councillor Richard Foster (Lib Dem, Thatcham Colthrop & Crookham) has been following the application “since the beginning” and says the neighbouring houses are now “gradually becoming occupied.”
He said: “The earliest occupants have been appalled at what they have found happening at Pinchington Hall, so I really do urge this working party to support this application on behalf of not just those residents but actually the other residents who have been there a lot longer locally as well because it has shown itself to be a real nuisance."
Mr Foster added: “It is worth councillors realising that Wellingtonia Drive is a new development, it’s about 13 houses and the first one was not occupied until earlier this year.
“They are not just in the proximity of Pinchington Hall they are right bang up next to it.
“So, if you went into one of the upper rooms of Pinchington Hall that overlooks these properties, as it does, you could literally throw a stone it could bounce off.”
There have been complaints made, in the past, over the level of noise emitted from the building, which residents have believed was caused by on-site drinking at weddings and other events.
Owners of the building, Phoenix Apartments has responded to the complaints in the past, saying that, so far, they had not yet “held any licensable events but do operate strict house rules.”