Residents fear bad behaviour

Residents fear that “unspeakable” anti-social behaviour will increase after a town council's application for a licence allowing late night music and dancing at the local recreation ground was approved.

By PETER WILLIAMSON

Residents fear that “unspeakable” anti-social behaviour will increase after a town council's application for a licence allowing late night music and dancing at the local recreation ground was approved.

One retired couple, who did not wish to be named, moved near to the area in Haspall's Road, Swaffham, three years ago and hoped to settle permanently in the area.

But now they have decided to put their home on the market and move on.

“It's no good - we can't carry on living here,” they said. “There are times when the behaviour is unspeakable. We've even had teenagers jump into our garden and urinate against the windows, which was revolting.”

Deputy town clerk Michelle Meyrick said application for the licence had to be made to allow existing events - like the annual family fun day and classic car cavalcade organised by the Friends of Swaffham Museum - to continue.

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Mrs Meyrick explained: “New regulations meant that the fun day would not have been able to go on without this licence.

“It would also affect other events like visiting circuses and the carnival, if the organisers ever decide they want to go back to the recreation ground.

“Because it was necessary to put only one application in, we thought we might as well allow for anything and everything that could take place there.”

The town council has a long-term plan for major improvements to the rec that could attract grants and funding of up to £500,000 and is a scheme which has received strong support from people in other parts of the town.

The proposals include better play areas for children of all ages, lighting and CCTV coverage to counter vandalism problems, a garden area with benches, better seating, a dog-walking area and more rubbish and dog-mess bins.

Mrs Meyrick said: “If we get the money and it goes ahead, there will be more organised events but we will have the residents totally in our minds.

“For example, if there is going to be loud music, it will be only at certain times. We will be very considerate.”

Neighbours living nearby have already said they have little objection to the popular regular events taking place because they occur during “reasonable” hours and are properly organised.

They say the main problems are caused by youngsters drinking and misbehaving mainly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, often into the early hours of the morning.

And they fear that late-night entertainment with live or recorded music will make these problems worse.