LICENSING bosses have granted a premises licence for a County Durham social club – but knocked back a bid for 9am alcohol hours.

Bosses behind the Consett Station Club & Institute had applied to Durham County Council for a premises licence to run alongside their existing club licence.

The club’s premises certificate allows the provision of alcohol and regulated entertainment to the club’s members and their guests from 11am until midnight.

However, the new premises licence application aimed to extend these hours.

This included 9am-12.30am for the supply of alcohol, 10am to 12.30am for regulated entertainment and 11pm-12.30am for late night refreshment.

During consultation, seven objections were received from neighbours over the changes, with two withdrawn following discussions with club bosses.

Due to the remaining objections, the application was called before the council’s Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee on Thursday (July 30).

At the meeting, which was held via videolink and broadcast on YouTube, arguments were made for and against the plans for the East Parade venue.

Objector Tracy Martin, representing residents, raised parking concerns and said she was worried about the “type of people” 9am alcohol hours would attract.

Club secretary, Paul Lawson, said the change of hours aimed to cater for events where people attend the venue at earlier times.

This included club trips away to allow members to have a drink before being picked up and for people attending funeral wakes at the venue.

Mr Lawson added the extended hours would cover these ‘one-off’ events and aimed to cover “everything the club does outside of its normal opening hours” – instead of applying for temporary event notices.

In response to concerns from objectors, the club secretary added there was no intention to move away from standard opening hours.

“Being the club we are and the type of people that come to our club, we don’t want to be ‘the 9am opening’ where they’re queuing outside to get a drink, that’s never going to happen, not as long as I’m here,” he said.

“We just want to be open our minimum hours for our members and that’s it, I can’t speak for 10 or 15 years down the line, I might not be the secretary in that time. I have every plan to be, I live here.

“But I can only speak for now and I can’t speak for the future. I imagine if something like that happened and there were problems that could be addressed then.”

After considering evidence, the council’s Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee granted the premises licence bid but amended the hours.

Supply of alcohol and regulated entertainment will be limited between 11am-midnight, Sunday to Thursday, 11am-12.30am, Friday to Saturday and 11am-1.30am on New Year’s Eve.

Late night refreshment hours also include 11pm-midnight, Sunday to Thursday, 11pm-12.30am on Friday and Saturday and 11pm-1.30am on New Year’s Eve.