Upminster residents force licence change to controversial plans

People living near Upminster Court have forced owners who applied to change it to a music and drinking venue to change their plans.

Cromwell Manor Functions Ltd submitted a licence application to play music and sell alcohol until 2am seven-days-a-week at the Grade 2 listed building, in Hall Lane.

There were 160 residents’ written objections and one from the fire and rescue service with concerns about a steep step leading from one of the fire exits, and another leading to a path with a pit off it that was not well lit.

After three residents spoke at the licensing sub-committee meeting at the town hall today the owners amended the application and reduced the license hours.

Richard Moorey, of River Drive, said: “It is quite inappropriate for a business to be allowed to serve alcohol, to play live and recorded music, amplified music and the performance of dance in a property that is in the heart of a residential area.”

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Cllr Clarence Barrett (Res Assoc, Cranham) spoke on behalf of some residents.

He said: “Late night music and the sale of alcohol until 2 o’clock in the morning every day of the year is not conducive to peace and harmony and more likely to engender anti-social behaviour and disorder.”

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Paul Stone, from the company admitted they had added extra hours unnecessarily in the application because they wanted to account for when people on the courses stayed at the venue and wanted drinks and music.

He said: “On face value it reads like a nightclub, but we are far from doing that. It is a training venue… an office environment and the place I go to work.”

After an adjournment he added: “We revised the application so it is acceptable for residents.”

They amended the licence hours from 12pm to 11pm seven-days-a-week; for residents only from 11pm to 2am from Sunday to Thursday; and for six non-standard meetings throughout the year, with 10 working days’ notice.

The sub-committee approved the application with conditions that noise fitters are in every room where music will be played and the license can not be used until the fire service is satisfied with the safety changes made.

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