Restrictions have been put in place to stop drinkers using the outside space of a church parish hall late at night in Hay-on Wye.

The curb on the hours people can be outside the hall when it’s in use is also to help reduce noise coming from inside the building and disturbing neighbours.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Licensing sub-committee on Wednesday, June 5 councillors discussed an application by St Mary’s Church council to vary the licence for their parish hall on Lion Street.

The hall has a licence that allows the sale of alcohol daily from 9am to 11:30pm, Monday to Sunday.

The changes come in two parts.

Firstly, the applicants want to extend opening hours on New Year’s Eve from 11:30pm to 1am on New Year’s day.

The want to be allowed to sell alcohol until midnight (12am) and to have live music until 12:30am.

The second change is to allow the building’s forecourt to be used “for all licensed activities.”

The council’s environment protection has asked that licensable hours of the outside area of the hall to be restricted to 11pm.

Church warden Stuart Pritchard said: “We made the (original) application some years ago to be able to serve wine at concerts and it all works very well.

“It’s a large and very useful building and we want to see it used to the maximum, it’s also possibly the only place in town of this nature.”

Josh Boyd-Green, who manages the hall on a day to day basis, told the committee that five events had been held over an 11-day period as part of the Hay Festival.

Mr Boyd-Green said: “Usually we don’t have anywhere near that level, we probably do less than one a month.”

He explained that there was no move to open the hall on a daily basis to operate “like a pub.”

Mr Boyd-Green “It’s to make it simpler and more appealing for the people using it - we also need to do some fundraisers as the hall is losing money.”

Mr Pritchard added that the hall could be used to help out in the town on market days when there is “exceptionally bad weather.”

“If we have the licence, we are in a position to have events move in legitimately at short notice,” said Mr Pritchard.

Rosemary Firman had lodged an objection against the application.

Dr Firman explained that she had no problems with the sale of alcohol part of the application but had issues with the use of the forecourt at night.

She believed its use would cause a public nuisance to those living nearby and disturb children’s sleep.

Dr Firman said: “We’re not asking for the rejection of the application but some of the conditions to be modified.

“The main objection is because of noise.

“The hall is not double glazed and people hiring the hall hardly ever close the door.”

Dr Firman wanted the door and windows to be kept shut when music is being played.

She added that a policy of not allowing people to “take drinks outside” would also help.

Councillors retired to deliberate the application.

Committee chairman Cllr Beverley Baynham said the committee had agreed that “live music is restricted to the inside of the premises only after 8pm.

“No alcohol to be sold in the outside area after 8pm.

“No alcohol to be consumed there after 8pm.”

The New Year’s Eve part of the application was agreed in full.

Cllr Baynham added: “We noted the concerns about noise, sound proofing may not be within our remit, but it may be something the committee may wish to address in future.”