Battle over Milton Keynes club’s booze licence postponed after attack of “tech gremlins”

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A controversial plan to turn a members’ only former Royal British Legion club into a venue more like a pub is facing objections from neighbours.

The issue was meant to have been decided at a Milton Keynes Council meeting last night (Thursday) but the technology failed and the chairman saw no option but to postpone proceedings.

Sue Greenwood and James Campbell have applied for a premises licence to be able to serve alcohol and organise live music events at Ousebank House, in Ousebank Street, Newport Pagnell.

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Local residents had lodged objections, saying that there had been problems with antisocial behaviour, and smoking, which they blamed on the former Royal British Legion Club.

One objector said customers had been urinating on their fence and produced a picture of a wet patch a part of their opposition.

The premises have list of complaints over the last 11 years, with most of them concluded as “no breaches” or “not verified” by licensing officers.

But noise complaints were found to have taken place in February 2012 and August 2015.

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And in November 2016 numerous young people were seen in Halloween costumes and the club was found to have broken late night entertainment rules.

Ousebank House in Newport PagnellOusebank House in Newport Pagnell
Ousebank House in Newport Pagnell

But the applicants have created a community interest company to get the lease for Ousebank House and continue at the building. The relationship with the Royal British Legion is coming to an end.

Even though the applicants are proposing to open for fewer hours overall, objectors are maintaining opposition.

One opponent said: “It is imperative to us that any licence granted is on the basis that Ousebank House remains a member’s club with the requirement to maintain records of membership and guests into the premises.”

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The applicants have agreed to a host of conditions in response to some of the concerns, including from the council’s own licensing department.

Cllr Mick Legg chaired the committeeCllr Mick Legg chaired the committee
Cllr Mick Legg chaired the committee

But they have not been able to reconcile the objections.

A meeting of the MK Council licensing sub-committee was called so that a panel of three councillors could decide the matter.

But licensing officer Adam Ward, who was working at home, had a series of problems at the virtual meeting.

First his connection kept breaking, then he tried to reconnect but had no luck.

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As a final option he rang in to the council’s offices and attempted to speak, but other participants complained that they could not hear him clearly.

Sub-committee chairman, Cllr Mick Legg (Lab, Bletchley West) admitted defeat and postponed the meeting.

“I am really sorry but the tech gremlins have got the better of us,” he said.