Entertainment and alcohol licence for old air base hotel

The Bentwaters Parks site

The Bentwaters Parks site - Credit: Archant

Developers of a new hotel next to a Suffolk business park have been given permission to stage entertainment and serve late night refreshments and alcohol.

Planning consent was granted two years ago for Woodbridge firm DCC Investments Ltd to create the 17-bedroom Park Hotel in the old military police headquarters at Bentwaters Parks.

This week, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s licensing and health sub-committee agreed to allow the sale of alcohol and late night refreshments until 12.30am from Sunday to Thursday, and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Regulated entertainment can also be staged until midnight – or until 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The committee considered four objections from, or on behalf of other businesses or land-owners associated with the former USAF airbase site near Woodbridge.

The council said it had “paid close attention” to their comments, which included concerns about public nuisance, crime and disorder, safety, and the protection of children from harm.

But licensing chiefs felt it would neither be fair nor proportionate to refuse permission based on objections they concluded were “not without foundation” but must be seen as “speculative to a degree”.

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DCC Investments, represented at a hearing by agent Jeremy Hancock, had told the council that signs would advise guests not to venture into industrial areas on foot, and to consider their general behaviour when on the hotel site.

The company said that, following advice from police, a number of measures would be sought to advise and direct customers when on the premises, and that CCTV would be installed inside the building and covering a 33-space car parking area outside.

In its decision notice, the district council acknowledged concerns that the staging of events and sale of alcohol to non-residents would bring people, some under the influence of alcohol or otherwise inclined to misbehaviour, to what had previously been an isolated site.

But, said the council, police had not lodged any objection to the licensing application – although a number of conditions had been requested as a means of reducing the risk of crime and disorder.

If any problems do arise, the council can call a review of the licence.

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