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Party venue will ruin my life, says Steve
A DISABLED man fears he could have his peaceful life ruined after plans for a new party venue were given the thumbs up.
The licensing committee at Basildon Council granted a music and alcohol licence for the Old Rectory, in Church Road, Bowers Gifford, last week despite opposition.
Steve Bates, 46, bought his house next door to the Old Rectory 12 years ago when it was an architect’s office.
He was left wheelchair-bound after a motorbike accident in 1986 and struggled to get out and about because of problems with his spine.
Mr Bates said: “The reason we were looking for a property like we have was because of the peace and quiet of the garden.
“We find it hard to go on holiday, so instead we have friends and extended family stay, and in the summer, we spend a lot of time in the garden.
“Now music is going to be played until the early hours every Friday and Saturday. We have family who have toddlers, and they won’t be able to stay anymore because of the disruption.
“It is such a beautiful building we don’t want to see it knocked down, but this just doesn’t seem like the right use.
“People congregate in my garden, that is whatmy life revolves around, but we won’t be able to do that anymore. This is going to ruin my life.”
The licence means events can take place in the grounds of the Old Rectory from 5.30pm until midnight on Saturday and Sunday.
Entertainment and the sale of alcohol is permitted inside the building from 9am until 7pm in the week and 9am until midnight on weekends.
Barking-based JA Phillips Holdings, bought the building last year. It just needs to secure further planning permission to use the building for weddings and corporate events.
It will be decided within the next fewweeks.
The Old Rectory also shares a boundary with Basildon Crematorium and Cemetery.
Mr Bates is set to join forces with Westerleigh Group, which runs the crematorium, to launch an appeal against the licensing decision.
The proposals to hold celebrations next to graves and memorials have been labelled “insensitive”.
Alan Jose, manager of Basildon Crematorium, said: “We really didn’t think the licence would be passed, so it was a great surprise when Basildon Council granted the licence.
“We have a lot of major concerns, so we will clearly be appealing.”
The owners of the Old Rectory have agreed a string of conditions with Basildon Council and Essex Police.
A bouncer will be on the doors from 9pm on weekends and CCTV cameras will be put up in and around the venue.
Council environmental health officers have also requested a noise limiter is installed in a bid to minimise noise disruption.
JA Phillips Holdings wanted a licence until 1am at weekends, but this was reduced by an hour.
Revellers will be able to stay inside the venue for 30 minutes after the music stops and the bar closes.
Notices advising party-goers not to make a nuisance when they leave will be put up, and only people attending events will be able to buy alcohol.
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