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St Caths Hospice It's A Knockout event. 'Foam raider - one of the Scarborough Building Society team girls on one of the foamy games.    0736107b'in News    9/9/07   pic by Andrew Higgins
St Caths Hospice It's A Knockout event. 'Foam raider - one of the Scarborough Building Society team girls on one of the foamy games. 0736107b'in News 9/9/07 pic by Andrew Higgins

THE success of an outstanding Scarborough venue could be undermined by protests, it is claimed.

The new Silver Royd rugby club would be “strangled” if plans for an amplified sound licence for announcements and jingles are rejected, say officials.

Even a visit by the RAF Red Devils parachute display team – which is due to perform at a rugby festival being held bettween April 14 and 15 – would have to drop thousands of feet from the sky without the aid of their normal commentary.

The club could also lose prestige money-spinning county games and nationwide junior rugby festivals if the licence is blocked.

Scarborough Council chiefs are set to make a decision on the application next month.

However, that could come after the big Bill Beaumont Cup clash between Roses rivals Yorkshire and Lancashire on May 12, which the new England boss Stuart Lancaster is set to attend. The club’s original application for a licence to play amplified music, tannoy announcements and jingles at functions and match days, was turned down last year after fears over noise pollution from 129 local residents.

However, Graeme Young, chief executive of Scarborough Rugby Club, said any decision to turn down the provision would be a huge blow.

He revealed the club had already spent £20,000 to fight its battle for the licence.

He said: “This could strangle the life out of the club.

“However, we remain confident out latest application, with full consultation from Environmental Health, will be successful.

“Unfortunately, it will not be held in time for the Mini Festival, which last year brought more than £130,000 to Scarborough’s local economy.

“The consequence of this is that the number of participants has now reduced over concerns about safety, due to no personal address system and 2,000 people at the event.

“Without that system, this will certainly be the last festival of its type in Scarborough.

“Other local clubs, including Driffield, Malton and Bridlington, are all able to take over hosting the event and take the 2,000 beds for three nights which go hand in hand with the tournament.

“No other club in Yorkshire faces the same restrictions as Scarborough and the day Stuart Lancaster is appointed he made reference to the Mini Rugby Festival.

“How ironic is could be last.

Objections to the proposals also cited major worries over noise emanating from the clubhouse on a night.

However, Mr Young, said plans were in place to appease the situation.

He said: “With the full support and input from Environmental Health, we have proposed a measurable sound level on our boundary during night time hours of 40db.

“In layman’s terms, 40db is classed as a whisper.

“Rugby is not a licensing activity and any music which is incidental to rugby is not classes as regulated entertainment.

“All music in connection with rugby activities is incidental, in the same way fun fairs such as the one in William Street car park.”

Mr Young said the club had a good relationship with Scarborough Council but was disappointed it was being slightly tainted over this matter.

He added: “Scarborough Council Environmental Health officers have confirmed on numerous occasions that the club has never caused a public or statutory nuisance.

“The vast majority of Scarborough Council officials and councillors are hugely supportive of the club and we are appreciative of that.

“However, why would the council unanimously grant planning permission for Scarborough’s largest sporting stadium fully aware of our intentions to significantly develop sport and host major events, only then for a single council department to systematically strangle the life out of the club?”

Speaking after the original application was turned down, residents Peter and Margaret Afford, who live next door to the club, welcomed the decision.

Mr Afford added: “We are absolutely delighted that we have stopped them making more noise but we still have the ongoing problem of music at night.”