THE University of Winchester has applied to hold outdoor events late at night at its West Down Centre, sparking opposition from neighbours.

The university applied to Winchester City Council for a new premises license for the centre on Romsey Road.

But people living nearby are unhappy about the potential for disturbance into the night.

The original application sought to provide permission to host events such as plays, films and sporting events both in- and outdoors from 11am to midnight, as well as late night and supply of alcohol for consumption on and off from 11am to midnight.

The application has since been changed to seek permission to hold events indoors only from 11am to 11pm and for the supply of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises from 11am to 11pm.

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The application has received several objections, with concern raised about the level of noise coming from the site, as well as the impact the hours will have on neighbours.

Matt Barker, of Cornes Close, said: “I have become aware of this application and wish to strongly oppose the proposed idea. The West Downs Campus is nestled within a residential area, and I believe that extending the permissible hours for outdoor activities, particularly in the evening, poses significant challenges for the community.

Hampshire Chronicle: The West Downs CampusThe West Downs Campus (Image: University of Winchester)

“I appreciate the university's commitment to providing a vibrant student life, but I believe it is crucial to strike a balance that respects the tranquillity and well-being of the surrounding community. I kindly urge you to reconsider the proposed licensing application and explore alternatives that minimize disruption to the residents.”

Kate Bickford, also of Cornes Close, said she “vehemently objects” to the application.

She said: “Despite assurances from the University in the past, we have on a number of occasions had to complain about the noise on the West Downs Campus. This application will only exacerbate this problem.”

Margaret and Martin Gregory, of West Hill Park, said: “We feel that granting a Premises Licence would impact our sleep and privacy very much.

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"At certain times, particularly in the summer and at weekends, we have to ring up security to complain about the noise levels coming from the student accommodation.

"Not only do we have to put up with loud music, talking, shouting and screaming, but also the very disgusting smell of dope being smoked on-site which wafts into our bedroom at night.

“We feel that granting a Premises Licence will encourage the students to play even more loud music once they go back to their accommodation after a late night and also to be quite rowdy on their way back to their student houses.”

A University of Winchester spokesperson said: “The university has always intended to use the building fully for conferencing and events, this formed part of the original planning application and consultation. The university has held conferences and events for the community since the building opened using temporary licences where appropriate.

"The university wishes to formalise the licencing of the facility with a permanent licence which is seen as appropriate at this time. The University does not intend for the facility to be operated as a bar for students.”

The application will be heard by Winchester City Council’s licensing sub-committee on Monday, February 19 at 10am.