More outside entertainment allowed at holiday park

The Haven Holiday Resort on Marine Drive, Burnham-on-Sea 

The Haven Holiday Resort on Marine Drive, Burnham-on-Sea - Credit: LDRS

A Somerset holiday park will be able to hold more outside entertainment after councillors voted to approve a change to its licence.

The Haven Holiday Park, on Marine Drive in Burnham-on-Sea, has been welcoming both Somerset residents and tourists from further afield since the mid-1960s.

In February, Bourne Leisure – which owns the Haven brand – secured planning permission to demolish a number of buildings within the park to provide more accommodation, as the demand for ‘staycations’ continues to rise.

The company has now secured permission from Sedgemoor District Council to hold more outside entertainment within the site – despite residents’ fears it could have created a “mini-Glastonbury” on their doorstep.

Bourne Leisure initially applied to erect a new external stage within the outside entertainment area in the middle of the complex, with the licence allowing entertainment between 11am and 11pm daily.

The entertainment being provided would have included live and recorded music along with plays, film screenings, boxing and wrestling matches, dance performances and other similar spectacles.

A new container bar was planned within the outside entertainment area to supply patrons with alcoholic drinks – though there will be no change to the existing hours during which alcohol can be served.

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The council’s licensing and gambling panel met in Bridgwater on April 4 to discuss the proposals, with a large number of local residents turning out to object.

However, the panel did not publish its decision until late on Friday afternoon (April 8) due to the complexity of the case.

The panel heard that, following negotiations with its licensing team and Avon and Somerset Constabulary, a licence to hold boxing and wrestling matches was no longer being sought.

Additionally, the applicant promised that only films would be allowed to air publicly until 11pm, proposing a curfew of 9.30pm for other forms of entertainment – including live music.

The panel concluded that many of the objections raised “were based on mistaken or irrelevant information” (including the recently approved planning application).

A spokesperson said: “Bourne Leisure made clear that the application would not attract non-residents to the premises, the holiday camp and its facilities being restricted to residents only.

“Therefore, issues of crowds of people accessing and leaving the park from the town were irrelevant.”

As a compromise, the panel agreed that the 9.30pm curfew was “insufficient to address the public nuisance concerns of the objectors”, with a new curfew of 8pm being instated for all forms of entertainment.

With this in mind, the licence was approved on the revised terms.

The new licence will be in operation between the Friday falling three weeks before Good Friday and October 31 each year.