Beer Au Naturel
With all the negativity surrounding alcohol and licensing in the press, it made a pleasant change to read the recent positive story concerning an alcohol licence application. Step forward the councillors of Birmingham’s licensing committee who are to be congratulated for their liberal and fair-minded attitude when granting a licence.
The issue before them was whether to grant a drinks and live music/dancing licence to the Clover Spa Hotel. What’s the problem there, you may ask. Well the hotel, slogan “Dare to Bare”, is a naturist retreat. Yes, they like their fun in the altogether. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it was bound to lead to a few complaints and eyebrows being raised.
The perceived problem was whether the intake of alcohol would lead to undesirable behaviour and acts of public nudity. Some residents also complained that a licence shouldn’t be granted to a premise so close to family homes and a nursery. However, the owner pointed out he was not trying to instigate a strip club.
In fact nudity is not compulsory at the hotel and members of staff are clothed. The naturist areas are behind locked doors and only available to people attending the hotel. Furthermore, owner Tim Higgs made clear that there was nothing sexual about the nudity and often it was just about relaxing in the sun.
The three members of the committee agreed with his assessment and took only 10 minutes to grant his application. They said that the objectors had not demonstrated “evidential or casual links” for their concerns. After all, the most likely problem is someone nodding off and waking up to some very painful sunburn.
A good result for fair licensing. People should be allowed to enjoy a beer in the buff. As long as it doesn’t become compulsory at CAMRA meetings...