Moors Valley Country Park applies for late drinks licence

Objections to a request for a drinks licence at Moors Valley Country Park at Ashley Heath will be tested at a public hearing.

Dorset Council and Forestry England, which jointly run the 800-acre site, is asking for a premises on-licence to sell drinks until 10.55pm each day and to have occasional films, indoor and outdoor, up to 11pm.

Sixteen objections have been received in response to the proposal – with support for the idea from Verwood Town Council.

The others, who all object, claim the drinks licence could add to a range of problems in the area including increased traffic, drink driving and accidents along the road, increased noise from the film events, effects on the wildlife, light pollution, not enough toilets, potential public disorder, and the incompatibility of children with events where alcohol is sold, in addition to the risk of fires and extra rubbish.

Forestry England and Dorset Council say their experience team at the attraction, said to be the 30th most popular visitor attraction in the UK, are well used to managing crowds of people with the drink sales unlikely to present any difficulties.

The site already sells drinks, but only with meals in the restaurant.

Among the objectors is the Horton Road Action Group which claims 140-plus members and says that extra traffic in the evenings for cinema shows is not something they could support.

“Horton Road is regularly used as a race track past our houses and Moor Valley entrance, so the thought of up to 4,999 visitors in an evening, being served alcohol isn’t going down well amongst residents., and understandably too,” said their objection.

The licence application will be heard at a meeting of a Dorset Council licensing sub committee at County Hall, Dorchester next Wednesday, June 5th, with objectors invited to make their comments in person.

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