CONTROVERSIAL plans for a music and alcohol licence at a new football clubhouse have been approved.

More than 120 residents objected to Holland FC’s application for a licence for its new clubhouse, in Dulwich Road, claiming it would turn the bar into a “nightclub”.

Club chairman Mark Sorrell had applied for the new purpose-built clubhouse to be open until 1.30am, but changed the proposed closing time to 11pm from Sunday to Thursday and to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays after speaking to residents.

The proposed licence went before Tendring Council’s licensing committee on May 24, but committee chairman Mark Cossens deferred the decision, stating the panel needed more time to “quietly reflect” on the debate following a “heated” meeting.

St Paul’s ward councillor Sue Honeywood had said the application would turn the clubhouse into a “nightclub”.

Objectors also raised concerns over existing noise disturbance, particularly from outside events, and said money to support the club could be raised in other ways.

But David Davies, speaking on behalf of Holland FC, said the club has existed in some shape or form for approximately 30 years without any complaints.

He added that the updated application was supported by Holland Residents’ Association and county councillor Colin Sargeant, and that efforts have been made to minimise noise to residents including increasing car parking to reduce the number of cars parked on nearby roads.

The bar would also have experienced bar staff and a Think 25 policy to ensure alcohol was only served to over-18s.

The football club said the facility would allow it to raise funds to support sporting activities

Tendring Council said outside activities at the club will be restricted from 11am to 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 11am to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

Licensing manager Karen Townshend said the hours matched those held by the old clubhouse at the ground and there were no problems reported during the 12 years of the old licence.

The committee ruled that the football club could have a licence, but added a condition forcing it to agree a noise reduction plan with the authority’s environmental control team.