PARTIES have been allowed to continue late into the night at a 16th century manor, after a controversial drinks licence was approved by councillors.
Residents living nearby were left in shock, and some in tears, after Basildon Council’s licensing sub-committee ignored advice from a senior environmental health officer and approved the application for Nevendon Manor, in Borwick Lane, Wickford .
Gwen Moss, who lives closest to the property, left the hearing in tears asking committee chairman David Abrahall: “How could you do this?”
Applicant Jane Aprile-Smith is famed for throwing lavish Halloween parties and fireworks events at the £1million property, she is rumoured to have bought.
The TK Maxx buyer applied for a licence to sell alcohol at the manor, from 8am until midnight seven days a week, with live music, dance, recorded music, films and indoor sport events, including boxing and wrestling.
She said she only planned to hold children’s “fairy” parties, occasional wedding receptions in a marquee, Halloween and Bonfire Night events and a Santa’s grotto, but residents fear having to put up with more parties.
Brian Simpson, 77, from nearby Bromfords Close, said: “I’m disgusted it went through.”
Graham Bannister, the council’s environmental health officer, suggested music at any time would be a nuisance. He also rubbished equipment Mrs Aprile-Smith said she may use to limit noise as “defying the laws of physics”.
David Hook, representing the Borwick Lane Residents Association, set up to fight the application, said it was not even clear where the marquee would go, Mr Abrahall accepted noise was the main issue, but said it was approved providing events were from 8am to 10pm each day.
He allowed 12 events a year to run until midnight and a 2am closing time on New Year’s Eve.