RESIDENTS have defeated a plan to expand drinking outside a village pub.

The Woodman Inn at Thunderbridge asked Kirklees Council to allow tables to be set up in the car park opposite the pub.

But yesterday the council’s Licensing Panel refused permission – and asked officers to investigate why people were already drinking in the car park.

Drinking on the benches directly outside the pub will continue to be allowed.

Several residents attended the panel meeting and told councillors that pub-goers were already drinking in the car park opposite the pub.

Christine Rogers said: “People are using the stream as a toilet and sitting on our wall. Glasses are thrown over the wall and people are sick over it.

“We have to listen to their foul mouths and breathe in their smoke.

“The Woodman doesn’t have anyone to control these people. I just can’t describe how horrendous it is living next to the pub.”

But Martin Stafford, who spoke on behalf of the Woodman, said that allowing a drinking area in the car park would be better.

He said: “We propose to use an area at the foot of the car park where people have historically congregated. Supervision would be quite strict and the area would close at 11pm.”

But the Licensing Panel refused the request on the grounds of public nuisance, public safety and protection of children.

Chairman Clr Christine Iredale said: “The level of complaints persuades us that extending the outdoor drinking area would be detrimental to residents.”

She added that she was worried about drinkers crossing the road between the pub and the car park.

Clr Iredale said: “We are concerned that the car park is already being used for drinking and recommend that licensing officers monitor that situation.”

Speaking after the meeting, one of the objectors, Dr David Ilsley, said he was pleased with the decision.

He said: “I think common sense has prevailed and it’s good to see local democracy working.”

Jane Erlank, who also lives nearby, spoke up for the pub.

Although she agrees with the Licensing Panel’s decision not to allow drinking in the car park, Ms Erlank doesn’t believe the Woodman causes problems in the village.

She said: “There are ten cottages in the vicinity of the pub, and seven of the households don’t have any problem with it.

“The Woodman is a very well-run establishment. It’s a quiet country pub which is at the heart of the village.

“My dogs make more noise than the pub-goers.”