Car park bar plan for away fans sparks disorder fears

Lower Clarence Road car park could become an away fans bar

Part of the car park on Lower Clarence Road could be used as a bar for away fans - Credit: Google

Plans to set up an open-air bar to greet away supporters to Norwich have sparked fears from police and council bosses.

Norwich City Council has received a licensing bid to place a bar on the car park in Lower Clarence Road, close to Norwich City's Carrow Road stadium and the train station.

If approved, it would allow travelling supporters of opposing teams to be served drinks as soon as their coaches arrive in the car park, effectively turning part of the plot into a fan park.

The home fans make good use of the free Santa hats provided before the Premier League match at the K

Leicester City fans could be the first to sample a car park bar for travelling fans near Carrow Road - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Councillors will decide on Tuesday whether to give the plan the go-ahead in time for Saturday's visit of FA Cup holders Leicester City - with a previous bid to pilot the scheme against Liverpool withdrawn.

However, the proposals are facing fierce opposition from both Norfolk Constabulary and the council's own environmental health team, with a wide range of fears over anti-social behaviour raised ahead of the meeting.

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In papers submitted with the bid, applicant Dean Bath argued that the area would be secured and customers would not be able to take their drinks outside of the fenced-in area.

But police and councillor officers say they have serious concerns about the operation and whether it can be carried out safely.

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In a written objection, Norfolk Constabulary's licensing officer Michelle Bartram said: "It is our fear this will only encourage the quick consumption of alcohol before they move on to head to the stadium or another pub elsewhere, which would slow this usual alcohol consumption process down.

"Norfolk Constabulary is of the view the setting up of a temporary bar serving alcohol is not appropriate or suitable."

The force also highlighted fears that supporters may use it as a "pit stop" to have quick drinks between pubs and the ground and that the car park's stones may be used as weapons against other fans and police.

Likewise, Norwich City Council's environmental health team has objected to the proposals.

Richard Divey, public protection officer at City Hall, wrote: "The use of the site with inadequate or no toilet facilities will result in the site itself and possibly off-site areas being used as emergency toilet use."

Currently, the Waterfront on King Street serves as the city's main away fans venue.

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