Keighley and Worth Valley Railway get bar and events licence for shed at Oxenhope Station - but cannot open late

One of Bradford’s most popular tourist attractions has been granted a licence to host live events and serve alcohol - but not as late as its bosses wanted.

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, the heritage line made famous by The Railway Children, had applied to Bradford Council for licenses that would allow Oxenhope Station, the line’s terminus, to host events through the year.

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The station already hosts some events, such as its annual beer festival, but these are run on a temporary events licence. Such licences can only be used 21 days a year.

Oxenhope Station

The charity had applied for a permanent licence to sell alcohol at the station until 11pm on Thursday and Friday, midnight on Saturday and 10pm on Sunday.

It would also allow “regulated entertainment” such as live music to run the same hours, and to sell “late night refreshment” between 11pm and midnight.

The events would be held in the rail shed at the station.

However, there had been a number of objections to the plans from people living nearby the station, who said the beer festival often led to late night noise, and that a permanent licence could make the area unlivable.

They said the shed building was not built to absorb sound, and music often kept neighbours up until the early hours.

Members of Bradford Council’s District Licensing Panel met to decide on the application at a meeting on Wednesday. Nobody from the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway attended the meeting.

Members were told there had been seven objection letter from residents, three of whom attended the meeting. They said they did not object to the alcohol licence, but did have concerns about the licence to hold events.

Richard Scullion said: “One recent event went on until 2am - I could still hear it with my windows closed.”

Sean Longhorn said: “They aren’t able to manage noise pollution from the events they already hold. When they have an event in the shed building you can hear the music through the entire valley. Oxenhope is a quiet village. This is a heritage railway, not an entertainment venue.”

He said some residents arranged to be on holiday during the beer festival weekend to avoid the noise. He said if the licence was granted for such events to happen regularly “the only solution if we want to avoid music would be leave the area.”

He suggested that if the licence is granted, the only music allowed should be acoustic.

Ernie Lambert said the beer festival was an annual event, but added: “If they are granted the licence this could be every Saturday - the beer festival wouldn’t be the exception to the rule, it would become the rule.

“We’re not trying to curtail the railway, we just want them to allow us to live a normal life. We do understand they need revenue, and it is a good tourist attraction, we just feel residents are being taken for granted.”

The objectors said it would be more acceptable if the licence was only granted until around 10pm.

Members decided to grant a licence, but one with reduced hours compared to what the charity had requested.

They voted to allow the sale of alcohol at the station from 10am until 10pm on Thursday to Sunday, and for entertainment to run from noon to 10pm on Thursday to Sunday.

They refused the application for late night refreshment between 11pm and midnight.