“We’re not having raves”: Social club gets alcohol licence despite objections

An east Leeds social club has been given permission to sell booze next to its sports pitches, despite efforts from neighbours to block the move.

Swillington Miners Welfare Club has been given an alcohol licence by Leeds City Council for its pavilion building, located around 150m from nearby houses.

The club said the move was necessary to raise funds to maintain its sports teams and facilities.

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But neighbours insisted they were already subject to excessive noise from events hosted by the club, with one stating they had “no escape”.

A view of the club\'s pavilion building, from Park View in SwillingtonA view of the club\'s pavilion building, from Park View in Swillington
A view of the club\'s pavilion building, from Park View in Swillington

Representing the club at a licensing hearing on Tuesday, Mark Turnbull said: “We maybe make 25p on a cup of tea and 10p for a chocolate bar. We can’t raise funds on chocolate bars and teas and coffees (alone).

“This is all about raising funds to keep these facilities going for so many people. All revenue goes back into the club to invest in teams, kits and trophies at the end of the year.

“Unless we get more revenue, we’ll have to cut back.”

The pavilion will be covered by an alcohol licence until 9.30pm every day of the week. But Mr Turnbull insisted that in practice, the bar would only be open when sports and events were taking place on the surrounding fields.

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“The extra money we can get from selling alcohol at certain times – not all the times listed in there – can only benefit the whole community,” he added.

“We’re not having raves or parties, it’s just a service to raise extra funds.”

The move comes a year after the council rejected a similar application from the club, although on that occasion the venue had requested the pavilion be licensed until midnight.

Its clubhouse, on Wakefield Road, is already allowed to sell alcohol and is unaffected by this application.

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But Andrew Nowell, one of six objectors to the application, said residents were already fed up with excessive noise from the likes of floodlights, PA systems and bouncy castles when activities take place on the fields.

He suggested an alcohol licence would make the situation worse, but failed in his pleas to a panel of two councillors for the application to be rejected.

“We have to keep the windows shut and the curtains drawn whether we like it or not,” Mr Nowell told the hearing.

“Our gardens are often uncomfortably out of bounds. We’re the only ones obliged to attend every single event. We have no escape.

“We are happy to live with sport on these fields. But we don’t accept they need this particular part of their premises to be licenced.”