Norwich City away fan car park bar bid rejected again

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

Plans for an away fan bar in a city centre car park have been rejected once again.

Norwich City Council's licensing committee rejected plans for a temporary alcohol licence in Lower Clarence Road car park, close to the Carrow Road stadium, for the second time on Thursday.

The applicant, Dean Bath, wanted a section of the car park turned into a makeshift fan park where supporters of visiting teams could have a drink as soon as they step off their coaches.

He submitted two applications - for the Watford and Liverpool matches on September 18 and 21.

Councillors spent almost four hours examining evidence from the applicant and police.

"Since the previous hearing a lot of effort has gone into addressing the concerns raised at the subcommittee, unfortunately, on this occasion, the police hasn't taken part in this process," said Gavin Tempest, a former police inspector who runs a licensing company, speaking on behalf of the applicant.

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"My experience and good practice is that responsible authorities try to work with operators to try to make sure licensing objections are met."

Insp Gavin Tempest in Prince of Wales Road back in 2013. PIC: Bill Smith

Insp Gavin Tempest in Prince of Wales Road back in 2013. PIC: Bill Smith - Credit: EDP pics © 2003

Michelle Bartram, the constabulary's licensing officer, apologised for bringing the committee back, saying there would be a "sense of deja vu".

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Ms Bartram said the temporary licences were submitted before any agreement being made with the police and she was unable to respond to Mr Tempest due to "prior commitments".

She said previous objections remained, such as away fans no longer dispersing through the city, with a larger group being harder to police, and a lack of seating leading to rapid drinking.

Mr Tempest argued the Watford game on Saturday would be perfect for a trial run, as they expected fewer coach fans for the match.

While Ms Bartram accepted there were likely to be fewer coach fans, she said they could still see people turning up by train using the site.

An objection submitted by the council's pubic protection officer over concerns of public urination was removed after hearing there would be more urinals and temporary toilets.

Ian Stutely, the chair of the committee, said some concerns had been addressed but they found the application unacceptable due to possible rapid drinking and contribution to crime and disorder.

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