Campsite applies for alcohol licence to improve experience for guests and owners

Campsite bosses have insisted they sought an alcohol licence to better control the supply of booze to their holiday lets.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 9:03 pm

The owners of the Gables Pod Camping, in Escomb, near Bishop Auckland, are waiting to find out if their application to sell drinks up to midnight seven days a week has been successful.

But neighbours have raised concerns about disruption and noise from the business if it is granted a licence, which would also allow live music and performances up to 11pm.

“We want the licence to be a control on alcohol,” said Susan Brierley, named in paperwork as the applicant.

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“So if a guest asks for a bottle of champagne on arrival we can do that, as well as other things, but we won’t be selling alcohol to anyone walking past who aren’t resident guests.

“[Currently] there’s nothing to stop wedding guests turning up with a load of alcohol, but if I have a licence I can say no – by having a licence I can control the flow of alcohol.”

She added: “We’re a quiet family, we don’t go to festivals, so we wouldn’t want anything like that on the campsite ourselves.

“We don’t want stress, if I wanted stress I would have stayed in a corporate job.”

Brierley was speaking at a meeting of Durham County Council’s Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.

The licence application for the campsite, in Three Lane Ends, which opened in 2018, has previously revised an original request to allow music and performances up to midnight, suggesting a stop time of 11pm instead.

Concessions have seen the official number of objectors reduce, but four remained when the proposal was put to the committee.

One opponent, named as Mrs Barratt-Atkin in reports, said noise from the site had disturbed her son and animals on her farm.

She added: “We acknowledge 2019 was a lot better in terms of disruption than the previous year.

“But we want to be reassured that we will continue to live peacefully without having people making a lot of noise from consuming alcohol or playing music outside on a summer evening.

“I think a compromise of 9pm would be better for everyone all round.”

After hearing evidence, panel chairman Pauline Crathorne closed the meeting so she and fellow committee members Liz Brown and Joyce Maitland could make a decision.

A ruling on the application is due to be confirmed by the end of the week.

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