Booze bans eased in Felixstowe

OPEN-air drinking bans in Old Felixstowe are to be removed.Council officials have decided the regulations - brought in to deal with the impact of alcohol-fuelled behaviour - are unnecessary in some places.

OPEN-air drinking bans in Old Felixstowe are to be removed.

Council officials have decided the regulations - brought in to deal with the impact of alcohol-fuelled behaviour - are unnecessary in some places.

They are now proposing to remove the bans at Dellwood sports ground, the open space in Gosford Way, the clifftop greensward, prom and seafront at Brackenbury, Golf Road and The Dip, except for Jacob's Ladder.

An order covering Adastral Close at the other end of the resort will also be repealed.

The majority of the original 16 booze bans, including the beach and seafront gardens, Hamilton Road, Undercliff Road West and Ordnance roundabout, The Grove, Allenby Park, Langer Park, Ranelagh and Manor Terrace car parks, cemetery, and High Road West and Walton, will stay.

Members of the public are being invited to give their views and have until March 7 to respond.

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In the designated areas police have the power to require someone whose behaviour is deemed to be anti-social to stop drinking the alcohol in their possession and if requested hand over the drink. Failure to comply can lead to an arrest and charge with a potential fine of up to £500.

There has been some confusion because initially people enjoying picnics on the beach and prom outside huts were told they would be able to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer as long as they behave. It is understood police officers are using their discretion to apply the rules.

In a report on the proposed changes, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Sherrie Green said: “There is no intention that the provisions should lead to a comprehensive ban on drinking in the open air.

“Local authorities can designate areas for this purpose only where they are satisfied that nuisance or annoyance to the public or disorder has been associated with public drinking in that place. Where there have been no such problems, a designation order would not be appropriate.”

Should Old Felixstowe be excluded from the drinks ban areas? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk