Scarborough's Alpamare water park granted new alcohol licence
Scarborough’s £14million Alpamare Waterpark has been granted a new alcohol licence after its previous one lapsed when the company got into financial difficulties.
The operator of the Burniston Road attraction, Alpamare UK, was issued with a winding-up petition in January over unpaid debts to British Gas and others totalling more than £3 million.
The company reached a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to meet its debt obligations on January 21 to allow it to continue to operate.
One consequence of the CVA was that it invalidated the company’s premises licence with Scarborough Council, which allowed it to hold certain events and to sell alcohol.
Since then the company has used a number of Temporary Event Notices (TENs) to allow it to operate as normal.
It applied for a new premises licence but with Benchmark Leisure replacing Alpamare UK as the applicant.
Today, Scarborough Council’s licensing sub-committee granted the new licence despite objections from two members of the public.
Solicitor Richard Taylor, representing Benchmark, told the committee the loss of the licence was a genuine error he attributed to the accountants handling the CVA process. He added that had the company been aware of the need to switch the licence it could have done so within 28 days from the CVA and avoided the need for a hearing.
The committee heard from objector Matthew France who said he was concerned by the waterpark selling alcohol that could be drunk in the family pool area.
He said: “I may not be an expert but I hope I have common sense and I cannot see why alcohol should be allowed where there are children.
“Why should children be swimming where people are consuming beer and cocktails? It doesn’t make any sense.
“Scarborough is not Benidorm or Ibiza we have health and safety here.”
He added that the concern was less from breakages, as the attraction uses plastic glasses, but more from drinks spilling into the pool.
Mr Taylor said the licence the waterpark had applied for was the same as the one it previously held.
He said: “There is no evidence presented that there have been any issues relating to licensing activities for the two and a half years the waterpark has been operating.
“I remember when the first licence was granted we ran out of chairs [at the hearing] there were so many people objecting, we had 200 people fearing Armageddon was on the way with this waterpark. What do we have now? One objection from a neighbour and a concern from a man who lives 20 miles away.
“To that, I say the park has been operating [with alcohol] in the family pool for two and half years and neither the police or Environmental Health have raised any concerns.”
A neighbour who also objected, but was not present at today’s hearing, had raised concerns about late-night staff parties and people drinking in prohibited pools.
Mr Taylor said that there had been a staff party that had run late in 2017 and the staff had been disciplined. He added that the incident of drinking in the Infinity Pool was down to a rugby club jumping in with drinks and the team had since been barred from the park.
The councillors heard there had been a number of complaints about the waterpark made to the council since it opened but the majority were noise complaints relating to construction on the site.
The committee granted the new licence for the waterpark with chairman Cllr Jane Mortimer saying they had been satisfied that the waterpark had operated for two and half years and that neither of the police or Environmental Health had objected to it continuing as before.