Residents 'scared' by country house hotel's late night booze and music bid

Parkfields lies in a rural spot in the south of Herefordshire (image: Google Street View)
-Credit: (Image: Google)

Neighbours of a country house hotel and functions venue have reacted with alarm to its bid for a late alcohol and music licence. Parkfields near Pontshill, southeast of Ross-on-Wye, which recently reopened under new management, initially sought permission to serve alcohol from its bar until 2am, to serve food and hot drinks till 1am, and to host live music till midnight each night.

The proposal drew 14 objections from residents, plus a further six ruled inadmissible by county licensing officials. "I would be scared (to) live in my own home with all this drinking and music," according to one respondent, their details redacted as with all such licensing submissions.

The alcohol licence period "runs a high risk of disorder, especially the later the licence runs into the night", another local resident wrote. They claimed that despite the venue's apparently secluded location, there are around 50 residents, many retired, living within a quarter-mile.

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One neighbour considered the application "very disrespectful to people living close by", while another claimed that tenants of three nearby cottages would likely quit the properties over the noise and light disturbance.

A potential hazard from guests leaving late at night by the narrow potholed country lanes with no footways was also raised. And several called for an earlier hour for music and drinking to cease.

In response, Parkfields general manager Amy Williams told licensing officials that after discussions with neighbours, she proposed limiting the sale of alcohol to between noon and midnight, and live music to between 6 and 11pm.

It is now for councillors on the county's licensing subcommittee to decide if this is acceptable when they meet today (Friday June 21).

A report for the meeting says licensing officials were "not aware of any complaints" either under the previous owner's venue licence, surrendered in late 2021, or under several more recent temporary event notices.

Other details of the license have been agreed between the venue and trading standards officers. There have been no objections from police or from the council's environmental protection officers, who deal with noise nuisance.