Licensing Panel to review Sydenham Barn drive-in cinema plan

PLANS for a temporary drive-in outdoor cinema at a venue on the edge of Bridgwater are in jeopardy over licensing issues. The owners of Sydenham Barn in Horsey, Bridgwater, submitted a Temporary Event Notice last month stating they intend to host the drive-in cinema over four nights on the August Bank Holiday weekend. The proposed screenings would run between 6.30pm and 11.30pm from Friday, August 28 through to Monday, August 31, with the aim of having up to 300 people in attendance.

Sydenham Barn also propose selling alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages during the screenings. However, as the proposal has been met with an objection from Avon and Somerset Police, the matter is now set to go before Sedgemoor District Council's licensing panel at a meeting on Tuesday, July 14. Writing on behalf of the constabulary, licensing officer Nicola Cooper states that an Event Management Plan has not been submitted by the applicant, and says there is limited detail on the Temporary Event Notice (TEN) regarding the logistics of the cinema plan.

Mrs Cooper writes: "The TEN does not enclose any plan of the exact location within the premises although I understand the event will be held on private land somewhere opposite Willowdown School. "We would require a plan of the site indicating exactly where the event will be held and how capacities have been calculated, showing sizes and entrance/exits as well as toilets, bars, food outlets etc. "There is a significant lack of detail contained with the notice given the nature and size of the event."

The main concerns raised by the police include the location being close to the M5, and whether the cinema screen could be distracting to drivers, the provision of security and emergency procedures in place, how traffic will be handled, and information about the films being shown.

The report which will go before the licensing panel on Tuesday also emphasises that the existing premises licence regarding live and recorded music being performed and played at the Sydenham Barn venue is 'not yet operational', as a condition regarding measures in the Noise Assessment Report 'being fully implemented to the satisfaction of Environmental Health and Licensing Officers' has not yet been met.

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