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Concerns over "challenging" drive-in cinema

A temporary drive-in cinema proposed at Cheltenham Town Football Club next month would bring “a significant drain” on police resources, Gloucestershire Constabulary said.

Break Films Ltd says it wants to showcase its new film, called Break, and three other films over an August weekend in the car park of the Robins’ Whaddon Road.

The firm has applied to Cheltenham Borough Council for a temporary events notice, but Gloucestershire Constabulary is against the proposal on the grounds of public nuisance and safety.

The plan would see an expected 250 cars per film showing across August 15 and 16, with a large screen erected in the club’s car park.

According to a council report, the force’s licensing officer said the management of single events with 250 cars in area has “previously been challenging”, adding that it would be “unrealistic to expect or hope that local officers would be able to assist”.

Security would be hired for the event, signs will be on the road directing people towards the entrance and the majority of sound will “be transmitted via FM directly to car radio stereos”, the company’s events management plan said.

However the licensing officer said the “cost in terms of our resources” have not been considered.

They said: “As single events the management of 250 cars in that area has previously been challenging. To try and repeat this four times a day is not something that can be easily addressed.

“The impact for the local community in terms of noise and additional traffic disruption would be significant.

“It would be unrealistic to expect or hope that local officers would be able to assist. I can foresee, with the current suggested plan, that our attendance would be inevitable. This would be a significant drain on our resources and we could and would not guarantee attendance.

“We also have concerns about the noise pollution for residents, the traffic issues on local and passing traffic and lack of detail are grounds to oppose this this application.

“The cost in terms of our resources to support or address issues that do not appear to have been considered would be detrimental to the delivery of local policing.”

The borough council’s licensing sub-committee will determine the application on July 21, from 10.30am.

A council officer said in the report: “In relation to the objection, the committee can issue a counter notice if you are satisfied that any licensable activities proposed by the TEN is likely to adversely affect the promotion of the licensing objectives.

“The effect of the counter notice is that the event cannot go ahead under the TEN.

“In coming to a determination, the committee must have regard to the statutory guidance, the authority’s statement of licensing policy and the objection of the police.”

By Leigh Boobyer, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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