Monday 22 July 2024
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Decision pending on new license for Kelham Hall

A decision is expected this week on whether the historic Kelham Hall near Newark will be given a new license six months after its previous operator went bust.

A licensing hearing took place at Newark and Sherwood District Council on Monday (December 6), with applicant The Renaissance at Kelham Hall looking to give new life to the historic, listed building.

If approved, the license would allow The Renaissance to host plays, boxing, live music and other performances from 11am until 2am, Thursday to Saturday, with this limited to midnight for the remainder of the week.

The premises could also serve alcohol and late-night refreshments until the same time on the respective days.

The application comes after the previous licensee, Kelham Hall Ltd, went into liquidation in June 2021. Once a license holder goes bust, the new operator must apply for their own license.

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Monday’s panel heard from James McGregor, The Renaissance’s operations manager, who outlined plans for the venue.

He said: “The business is undergoing rebranding, restructuring, and we’re looking to attract a higher clientele to the venue.

“Moving forward we want to work with and support residents, and in essence, this license will support the business.

“Kelham Hall is a magnificent venue that’s been around for many years, it’s very much liked and loved by residents, and from what we understand, they want to see it thrive.”

However, the meeting also heard from two residents on nearby Home Farm Close who raised objections to certain elements of the application.

One resident was Nathan Morrell who told the panel that, whilst wanting Kelham Hall to be a success, he has concerns with proposed operating hours.

He said residents have previously experienced anti-social behaviour and loud noises until 2am or 3am, with guests at the hall “throwing glass bottles” into his garden, parking across his drive or using the street as a “taxi rank”.

He added: “The license until 2am and people being kicked out at 2.30am is just too late, and I don’t understand why it has to go on until that time in the morning.

“We also want some sort of limit on the numbers. If you can have 2,250 paying guests then, as a business, you’ll want to maximise that number. We just think it’s too many people.”

Andy Fereday, another resident on the same street, also raised concerns with the capacity, noise issues and traffic from vehicles leaving the venue.

In response, Mr McGregor told the panel the 2,250 maximum capacity was provided following a fire risk assessment request, and this number of people would not routinely attend an event.

He adds events would also not regularly run beyond midnight, stating the license is a continuation from the previous agreement rather than an extension of operating hours.

He told the panel: “We’re committed to working with residents to promote a positive working relationship.

“The steps we’re taking will help to mitigate many issues raised, I don’t disagree or have an objection to a limit on numbers as they are more about clarity than wanting to put that many people into the venue.

“We are not the previous owner, manager or licensee. We take our responsibility seriously and we’re aware of the impact we have.”

To mitigate concerns, Mr McGregor said many of the events would be pre-planned, meaning staff would know how many people would attend the venue.

The hall has 250 free-to-use parking spaces available and can utilise a large field to provide extra spaces for big events.

There would also be space in the grounds for a taxi rank, taking traffic away from streets like Home Farm Close, while Mr McGregor plans to implement traffic calming measures when larger events take place.

The panel adjourned to decide the license at about 11am, but the applicant told the Local Democracy Reporting Service they had not been told the outcome at 5pm.

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