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Priest's drink licence withdrawn

PUBLISHED: 11:22 12 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:19 25 August 2010

A PRIEST has had a drink s licence for a church hall taken off him after neighbours complained about noise and anti-social behaviour.

A PRIEST has had a drink's licence for a church hall taken off him after neighbours complained about noise and anti-social behaviour.

Father John Ryan said he is hoping to appeal the decision last Wednesday evening to revoke his licence for St Mary's Church Hall in Old Road, Crayford.

Even though the majority of the complaints, dating back from July 2007, were when Leo Cooper was the licence holder, the council said Father Ryan "had the ability to influence the running of the premises, but chose not to do so, even after complaints had been made."

The hall had a noise abatement notice served on it in March, after partygoers were playing 'very loud music' and groups were drinking, shouting and smoking outside the entrance.

The condition of the licence stated only club members and their guests should use the venue. But at a party in March, with approximately 90 guests, the hall was hired out to a woman using a home address of 'C/O Homebase'. A spokesperson for the council said: "The disturbance was so severe that it affected the health of some local residents."

The council said poor management resulted in loud music and hall users creating a loud and prolonged disturbance to residents late into the night.

Father Ryan, who has been the priest at the church for four years, said: "The decision was taken by reasonable people who have been in their job for a long time. Hopefully we can appeal the decision."

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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