BOMBAY Sapphire has moved one step closer to opening its site at Laverstoke Mill after its licensing hours were given the green light.

The gin company was given the go-ahead after it changed the proposed hours for licensed events at the historic mill, which will feature a distillery and visitor centre, following objections from concerned residents.

Jenny Staker, a 71-year-old grandmother-of-four, who lives in Marsden Court, Laverstoke, told the borough council’s licensing meeting: “We moved into the area, which is more expensive, because it was quiet. I can’t help thinking that to have events 317 days of the year will be hard on residents.

“We are going to hear them one after another, and to come home on a Friday evening to start a weekend, this might not be what people want.”

In the original plans, Bombay Sapphire applied for a licence to hold events until 2am, Monday to Sunday. But in a last-minute compromise, the company agreed to put a stop to events held at the Laverstoke Mill site at midnight from Monday to Saturday and settled on hosting no events on Sunday evenings.

The borough council’s licensing committee approved the amended application.

Will Brix, estate manager for the site, told The Gazette: “It was a very important process to go through, and we are very happy with the result.

“The local community is important to us so I think we listened and everyone was happy with what we proposed.

“It is a difficult case as there is no history to look on and it was only natural that there were going to be conversations. We are very excited about moving on to the next stage.”

Details of the management of events were given at the meeting, with the company telling councillors that SIA licensed guards will be on hand 24 hours a day to deal with the aftermath of events, ensuring that visitors leave quietly and keep disturbance to local residents to a minimum.

A noise management plan, which will be agreed with the borough council’s environmental health team, will also be put in place before the first event at the site, which is due to open in the spring.