Nightspot extended opening approved

Miles Jermy A CONTROVERSIAL plan to extend the opening hours of two nightspots at Caister Holiday Park was approved this week.Large numbers of residents living near the park opposed the application to allow Neptunes Palace cabaret club and the Mash and Barrel pub to open until 2am seven days a week.

Miles Jermy

A CONTROVERSIAL plan to extend the opening hours of two nightspots at Caister Holiday Park was approved this week.

Large numbers of residents living near the park opposed the application to allow Neptunes Palace cabaret club and the Mash and Barrel pub to open until 2am seven days a week.

Protesters complained the longer opening hours would add to existing problems with noise and disturbance on the site. However, members of the borough council licensing sub-committee agreed both venues could open later at a meeting on Tuesday.

Permission was granted on condition that owners Haven Leisure hold twice- yearly meetings with residents, provide night-time security patrols on the site throughout the summer and ensure a gate to the holiday park on Branford Road was locked from midnight to 8am.

Pat Mortimer was one more than 70 residents who had objected to the venues having longer opening hours.

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He said: “Holidaymakers go back to their chalets and you can tell they are paralytic with drink, shouting and swearing. The more alcohol they get in them the worse they get.

“Rubbish is thrown over the fence into Branford Road - everything from pizza boxes, beer bottles, cans, pies and rubbish bags. The mess was cleared about a month ago and now

it is all back again.”

Another objector Anthony Smith claimed there were fights and frequent disturbances on the site. “Even with double glazing the noise keeps us awake, it is horrendous and it is difficult getting hold of anyone since the camp changed hands three years ago,” he said.

The holiday park's joint general manager Ralph Woods told the meeting that Neptunes Palace already has a 2am licence from Monday to Saturday and the Mash and Barrel could stay open until midnight throughout the week.

“At the moment we are left with just Neptunes, an entertainment venue with a capacity of 1,100, open after midnight where there are often just a few people hanging around,” he said.

“Mash and Barrel is a smaller family-friendly bar and restaurant in the centre of the park, and I would be surprised if residents could hear noise from there.”

“We rarely open until 2am as the demand is not there, but the later Sunday licence is needed for Neptunes at Easter and bank holiday weekends to provide more flexibility.”

Mr Woods pledged to improve communication with residents and said he was upset he was not aware of more of their complaints.

The only issue he had known about previously was holidaymakers and local youths congregating by the gate on Branford Road. A notice had been put up asking people not to gather there, but the gate had not been kept locked.