New away fans bar leads to urination and rock attack concerns

The Liverpool fans celebrating at Carrow Road, Norwich last month. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd 

The Liverpool fans celebrating at Carrow Road, Norwich last month. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Plans for an away supporters bar in a coach park have once again led to fears from council bosses and the police.

Norwich City Council has received plans for two temporary licences to serve alcohol in the car park in Lower Clarence Road, close to Norwich City's Carrow Road stadium.

If approved, it would allow supporters of opposing teams to be served drinks as soon as their coaches arrive in the car park, effectively turning part of the plot into a fan park.

This is the second time applicant Dean Bath, of Dudley Bars, has applied to the council, with the last one rejected in August due to council fears it would lead to a "mob mentality".

Mr Bath's application, for the Watford and Liverpool matches on September 18 and 21, has been amended to include further security measures and moving the location of the bar to discourage walk-in punters.

Lower Clarence Road car park could become an away fans bar

Part of the car park on Lower Clarence Road could be used as a bar for away fans - Credit: Google

Speaking to the local democracy reporting service, Mr Bath said: "It's not a place to stop off and get ready, it just makes away fans feel welcome - a lot of places turn away away fans.

"I'm trying to work together with the police and everybody to make it work.

"I'm not trying to invite everyone and their mothers, I'm not aiming for cars, I don't want people walking up, it's just for the coaches."

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Michelle Bartram, licensing officer at Norfolk Constabulary, said they still have "serious concerns", that the coach park bar could lead to quick drinking in an area with traffic.

She said: "It should be noted this is a public car park which is also used by home fans who park their vehicle at the location.

"As such, there is the inherent risk of potential disorder between home and away fans either on this site or on the route to the football ground."

Adding: "The car park is full of loose materials, such as rocks, which can be used as potential weapons against fans or police."

Richard Divey, public protection officer at Norwich City Council objected on public nuisance grounds, arguing that without more toilets it could lead to public urination.

Currently, the Waterfront on King Street serves as the city's main away fans venue.

Councillors will make a decision on the plans on Thursday, September 16.

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