St Peter’s Church in Brandon faces criticism over application for alcohol licence
A church hall in Brandon is facing criticism after applying for a licence to sell alcohol.
If approved, the application made by the Rev Canon Sharron Coburn, from St Peter’s Church Institute, would see the hall able to sell alcohol during its events, wakes, and funeral parties between 10 am and 11 pm.
However, the application has seen some criticism, with some letters of representation in objection to the licence submitted during the consultation period.
Cllr Jools Savage, of Brandon Central, said she had received ‘numerous comments and complaints’ from nearby residents.
She added: “It somewhat surprises myself and others that the local vicar is encouraging the consumption of alcohol on church premises, and indeed those who move in elevated circles are condoning this.
“It beggars the question of conscience regarding making a profit from the sale of alcohol and potentially encouraging drunk driving.”
Concerns were also raised over public safety by Philip Wittam, a resident, who thinks the application is ‘wholly unacceptable’.
Mr Wittam wrote believes the church hall could ‘become the target for burglary due to alcohol being stored within it’, and no appropriate measures were outlined to prevent this.
In the application, Canon Coburn outlined the use of CCTV as sufficient to prevent crime and disorder, pointing out the cameras had been used in the past to ‘secure a conviction of two men committing theft’.
Concerns were also raised over the public nuisance the sale of alcohol within the church hall would cause, with some residents living ‘only a matter of a few metres’ from the site, including families with young children, and elderly.
The application says this would be mitigated by having customers ‘asked to leave quietly and be mindful’ of neighbours, with signage in place reinforcing the message.
The application will be heard by West Suffolk’s licensing and regulatory sub-committee on Wednesday.