Plans for a Lancashire garden centre to sell alcohol have been approved.
Unhappy neighbours have complained that the Warbreck Garden Centre in Lathom selling beer and wine would result in drunk revellers staggering around the village.
But a licensing committee has approved the application, allowing owner Richard Allison to sell alcohol from 9am to 11pm, seven days a week, as he believes garden centres are no longer just about plants reports the Visiter.
Mr Allison told the Vister: “I think the first thing to say is that we respect our neighbours. We want to be able to serve alcohol to accompany food and during events. We are not a nightclub.”
A resident of Dickets Lane said: “I am shocked and appalled that Warbreck have put in for an out of hours licence.
“This is a complete change of useage of the garden centre and is not in keeping with its rural location.
“Over the last 10 years the garden centre has aggressively expanded their business and this is already causing an impact with light and noise pollution, but this is just a step too far.
“Our main concerns are revellers partying until the early hours and the nuisance caused by drunken revellers leaving the premises. there will be noise and disturbance from taxis and cars leaving the premises all evening long and the overspill of people walking home down dark country lanes.
“I and my family and like many others in the area moved to our current home over 13 years ago to get away from such noise and light pollution which we experienced in our local town, for a quieter life.
“There will be severe and negative impact to property values in the area with a noisy entertainment venue within earshot.”
Mr Allison said: “It was decided that our only chance of survival was to have one final throw of the dice and we made a significant family investment into the new Plantation Restaurant which opened its doors at Easter last year.
“I’m relieved to say that it has had a positive impact on footfall and the business will this year will make its first profit in many years. This business is my livelihood and I’m determined to make it work.
“My vision for the centre is to create a thoroughly pleasant and inspiring environment that our local community can be proud to have on their doorstep.
“Now were not fighting for survival, I hope to have the opportunity to start engaging with our neighbours and local community more. If people understand our ethos and vision I’m sure this application would have been met with less suspicion and concern. “