YORK MINSTER has applied to City of York Council for a new premises licence to permit regulated entertainment, late-night refreshment, and the sale of alcohol on site seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.
If the application is successful, it will allow the sale of alcohol in the interior of the Minster and areas surrounding it — including pavements and grassed areas on College Green, Dean’s Park, Residence Gardens, and Deanery Garden — until the early hours of the morning.
A City Council spokeswoman said that the application had been received last month. “We can confirm that City of York Council’s licensing team has received an application for a premises licence for York Minster and specific areas of its surrounding exterior,” she said.
“The application is for the provision of regulated entertainment, the sale of alcohol and late-night refreshment, and is currently the subject of a 28-day consultation period. Notices have been put up on and around the Minster.”
The Dean of York, the Very Revd Keith Jones, said that the application had been made to rationalise existing arrangements.
“York Minster is used for a variety of events, and these events require us to apply for temporary-event notices for regulated entertainment taking place on the Minster’s external property or, occasionally, for events held in the Minster itself where alcohol is provided,” he said.
“At present there are occasions when receptions or meals are held in the Chapter House or in Dean’s Park where a glass of wine is served.
“There are also times when Dean’s Park is used for suitable events as part of the cultural life of York. We want the Minster to be part of that and this will make it easier.
“The application for a premises licence will mean that we have a permanent licence for such events and will save time and trouble in the future. The application does not imply any change in the type of events which are held at York Minster.
“The decision to apply for the premises licence has been taken after taking advice and liaising carefully with the City Council.”
A late-night drinks licence would help boost the coffers at the Minster which is currently undergoing a £30-million restoration of its East Front, including the Great East Window.
But some residents have voiced concern about the application. “I’ve got enough problems with drunken students going past my place in the early hours without the God squad adding to it,” said one. “Can you imagine the noise caused by drunken hymn-singing at 1 a.m.?”