Village rugby club granted alcohol licence

Location of Winscombe rugby club

Winscombe Rugby Club alcohol licence granted. - Credit: Google

The growing Winscombe Rugby Club has scored an alcohol licence as it seeks ways to bring in extra income. 

President Chris Marsh said it is performing well for a village club but the coronavirus pandemic has hit its revenue streams and it needs £20,000 a year to maintain its facilities. 

Its bid for an alcohol licence was slightly curtailed after neighbours raised concerns about noise, litter and hygiene. 

Speaking at North Somerset Council’s licensing sub-committee meeting on January 12, objector Larry Van Haaren said: “I live very close to the rugby field. Our concerns are of noise and intrusion from drinking outside in the evening in what’s an open space." 

The club’s facilities are two container units that were approved retrospectively through a planning application. One will be used as a cafe, the other as a bar. 

The club applied to sell alcohol from 5 to 11pm on weekdays and from noon to 11pm on Saturdays and Sundays, closing 30 minutes later each day. 

Mr Marsh told the meeting: “During these times, unfortunately we’ve lost a number of our revenue streams, some due to the coronavirus, but also for events that we supply people for and get paid for. 

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“We have three different areas we have to maintain, which come at a cost of £15-20,000 a year. 

“We’re looking at ways we can pay for all our eventualities. When we’ve gone to other clubs people are able to charge an entrance fee, they’re charging for programmes and they supply alcoholic beverages while people are watching.”

He said the club would bring in portable toilets that would be emptied weekly and fitted with hand sanitising stations. 

Cllr Caroline Cherry said: “I’m concerned about the lack of hot water. I’m really concerned about the covid risks. I’d have thought hot water is absolutely key.”

Environmental Health did not make any representations on hygiene issues and the club confirmed it could fit hot water taps 'quite easily'.

The subcommittee granted the application but with modifications.

The sale of alcohol Monday to Saturday was limited to 5 to 10pm, closing 30 minutes later.

On Sunday alcohol drinks can only be served until 8pm, closing at 8.30pm. 

A bin must be placed outside the premises and emptied regularly.

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