‘We don’t want to become a rave venue’: Ackworth Cricket Club premises licence approved
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Councillors were given assurances from club representatives after some residents living nearby objected to the scheme.
The club applied to Wakefield Council for permission to host live music at its ground on Wakefield Road.
The new licence permits the club to hold indoor and outdoor live music events between 7pm and 10pm, Monday to Saturday, 7pm 7pm to 9.30pm on Sundays and until 1am on New Year’s Eve.
The application also allows recorded music indoors and outdoors and for the sale alcohol for consumption on and off the premises from 7am to 11pm daily.
Club licensee Leah Taylor told a licensing sub-committee hearing that she had been advised by council officers to apply for a premises license rather than obtaining temporary licences to hold individual events.
Ms Taylor said the club holds three large events throughout the year.
An annual ‘Pramfest’ event raised over £19,000 for the Prince of Wales Hospice, in Pontefract, when it was held earlier this year.
A beer festival and Bonfire Night event also raises funds for local charities.
Ms Taylor said: “Everything that we do goes back into the community and back into the cricket club.”
Councillors were told the club, which was established in 1890, has multiple male, female and junior teams who use the clubs facilities between April and September.
The licensee added: “There are over 9,000 people in this village and we are a facility that likes to bring communities together.
“The only reason for this application was on advice from the licensing team to prevent having to pay for temporary licences.
“Otherwise, we would have continued as we had been doing.
“The cricket season operates six months of the year. There are matches most nights. No events can actually take place when the cricket is on.
“This is why we are limited as to how many events we can put on.”
Councillors were told the club operates limited opening hours during the winter months.
Ms Taylor added: “We have never been approached by anybody with any concerns.
“Out of 9,000 people in the village we have had one person who has objected.
“If we had had the opportunity to sit down and explain the reason why we put in for a premises licence, then I’m sure we would not be here today.”
Club chairman Nigel Malyon said: “We keep kids of the streets. We have got age groups from nine up to 18. They train two or three times a week.
“The events that we have are to try and support the children.
“We are looking at putting things back in. We are not looking at having 25 wedding receptions a year.
Mr Malyon added: “We don’t want to be a rave venue or anything like that, with music blurting out.
“We just want to be a family club and put a few more events on, in and around cricket, to support the club and local charities.
“We are not a profit-making organisation. Everything goes back into the venue to try to make it better for local people.
“We would not want something that would cause havoc in the village. I have lived in the village all my life.”
Jessica Carrington, councillor for Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton, spoke on behalf of residents opposed to the new licence.
She said: “The objection I have raised is in my capacity as a ward councillor.
“It is made by constituents in my ward.
“Residents and I welcome the facilities for Ackworth. Making the objection doesn’t mean that we want the activity to cease.”
Coun Carrington said the new licence could give the club ‘pub status’ and suggested that conditions be attached to the licence.
She added: “Further outdoor events at the circket club would create more noise for the residents in the surrounding area.
“Events at the cricket club are growing
“Whatever today’s outcome is I will respect the licensing sub-committee’s decision.”