Row erupts as Romford and Gidea Park Rugby Club seeks events’ licence

17:51 28 May 2012

tributes at scene of crash in Crow Lane, Romford

tributes at scene of crash in Crow Lane, Romford

Archant

Police are warning that a new event licence for Romford and Gidea Park Rugby Club could result in rising crime and disorder.

The club has applied for a premises licence allowing it to show films, stage boxing and wrestling, play live and recorded music and sell alcohol until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Up to 4,999 people would be able to attend an event in the grounds.

In a formal objection, Havering Police licensing officer David Fern wrote: “I would anticipate an increase in thefts, assaults, disorderly conduct and anti-social behaviour within the vicinity.

“This would also increase alcohol fuelled violence at the premises after the event.

“Police could not support such a vague application and genuinely feel holding all of these events will have a negative impact on the area and the licensing objectives.”

The letter went on to lay out conditions to be followed if the application is granted.

Rugby club treasurer Bill Dowton said the application is being blown out of proportion.

He said: “This is about putting a couple of low-key events on a year to help us raise funds.

“The evidence is that concerts are attended by people who want to just listen to music, it’s not Romford town centre.

“We are very happy to work with the police in anything we do, we have learnt lessons.”

Concerns about club events were raised after 2010’s fireworks display caused traffic chaos.

And last year burglars stole £12,000 in takings from the club after the bonfire night celebrations.

Local residents have reported drunken brawls, abuse, noise and unattended children at club events.

Cliff Pedder wrote one of 83 letters of objection to Havering Council against the new licence.

He said noise and disorder from the club can be heard in nearby Crow Lane Cemetery, where he visits his parents’ graves.

He said: “This will cause nothing but further distress to already grief-stricken families.

“The cemetery is a place of peace and reflection, not somewhere to listen to loud music and fighting to park.”

Environmental Health called noise levels “unacceptable”.

The application will be considered at a licensing sub-committee meeting on June 6.

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