A DECISION is set to be made on whether or not a new alcohol and entertainment licence will be granted for Parnham House.

The application included the likes of a 24 hour licence to supply alcohol and led to almost 100 objections being submitted.

The building was ravaged by fire in 2017, and the new owners say the income brought in as a result of this licence will help to re-develop the estate and pay for the refurbishment works.

The application for the grant of a premises license also includes musical and dance performances, recorded music, indoor sports events - including the potential for boxing or wrestling - and plays.

Dorset Council's licensing sub-committee met yesterday to consider whether or not to grant the licence. Due to the sheer volume of residents wanting to raise questions, the meeting will carry through into today, beginning at 10am.

The two representatives in attendance for Parnham House, proposed designated premises supervisor, Nick Caton, and barrister Sarah Le Fevre, fielded questions from residents.

It was stated that, despite the licensing application, Parnham House would not be used for big late-night musical events, but instead for small events for residential guests, weddings and the occasional major event, such as the Dorset Fair.

Member of the licensing sub-committee councillor Les Fry pointed out the concerns over 'disruptive, wild parties' which would disrupt the community of Beaminster and Netherbury.

Mr Caton said: "The last thing we want to do is take a house and estate as beautiful as this and turn it into something nobody likes or appreciates. It would be very small numbers.

"We are trying to sell a quiet, recreational experience in a high-end establishment where like-minded people could share fun and good times without keeping everyone awake at night.

"There is a fear of the unknown from some of the objectors and we need to prove to the public that we will be a great addition to the local area."

Mr Caton said that outside of any major community events, which would potentially occur up to three times a year 130, they do not intend to have more than 130 people on site at any time.

When asked if the site could be used for major music events, Mr Caton responded 'we are absolutely the furthest from that as we could be'.

Several residents expressed concerns of the area which could be covered by the licence, which would extend to the boundaries of the estate. Mr Caton said he would be open to reducing the boundary to everything east of the river.

Mr Caton also welcomed suggestions of a public consultation but said because of the current stage they are in with the planning process he doesn't believe there is enough information to carry a consultation out yet.

The MP for West Dorset, Chris Loder, has expressed his concern and objection to an application from the owners of Parnham House to obtain a 24 hour alcohol and entertainment license.

In a letter to the chairman of the licensing committee at Dorset Council, Mr Loder said: "This is simply not appropriate to have a 24/7 rave venue in the West Dorset countryside. There could be many local residents affected by booming noise pollution all night if this goes ahead as a direct consequence of this licence.”