What do you think - should Hunstanton Spinney be licensed for public entertainment, or are the police right to object?

Work under way on The Spinney. Police are objecting to proposals for an entertainments licence.

Work under way on The Spinney. Police are objecting to proposals for an entertainments licence. - Credit: Ian Burt

Police are opposing plans to license a new town square for singing and dancing.

Chris Bamfield, West Norfolk council's head of public space, has applied for an entertainments licence for The Spinney, in Hunstanton.

It would allow plays, films, live music and dancing to be performed on the newly-refurbished area on St Edmund's Terrace, between the High Street and the bus station.

Police say the move would pose 'a low risk' of increasing crime or anti-social behaviour. But officers warn the square is adjacent to a road, meaning there is a risk of 'conflict' between vehicles and people attending events.

In his application, to the council's own licensing committee, Mr Bamfield says activities would be 'strictly controlled' by the council and risk assessments would be carried out.

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But in a letter to the council, police licensing officer Tony Grover says: 'The police have serious concerns over the safety of this public open space.

'The police do not consider that enough thought has been given to the safety aspects of providing entertainment to all age groups which could be attracted to this area and could attract hundreds of persons during a performance.'

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Mr Gover adds when officers carried out an informal survey, 'the general consensus' was that staging events on The Spinney would be good for the town.

But he also warns 'remedial actrion is paramount' before a licence can be safely granted.

Neighbouring business Legge's Menswear has also objected in a letter to councillors, saying it has 'grave concerns'.

'Cars have cut across the new area from exiting the High Street and also driving across from Westgate,' it says.

'This area was designed to create a pedestrian-friendly zone, vehicle access should not be allowed.'

Officials said a £250,000 revamp of The Spinney would help to create a vibrant new heart for Hunstanton, although some residents objected to the removal of trees from the site.

West Norfolk council's licensing committee meets to discuss the application on Monday, February 24.

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