CONCERNS have been raised that allowing a restaurant in Poole Park to extend its licence

Under an existing agreement, The Kitchen can only serve alcohol on the ground floor and in its outside areas but it is now hoping to include the upper level.

However, more than a dozen people have objected to the application, describing it as “a pub in the park by the back door”.

The restaurant has a licence to sell alcohol on its lower floor until 11pm every day but it has now applied to BCP Council to extend this to the whole building.

Its application form says the licence for the building is believed to have originally covered the first floor but that this was removed at some point.

Opening hours under the new proposals would remain the same with the only change covering the area of the building which falls under the agreement.

Sixteen people have submitted objections to the application due to fears that the change could cause issues for people living nearby to the park.

Among them was Judith Vegh who, in a letter, said: “To provide this level of noisy activity, combined with the sale of alcohol would change the nature of the restaurant into that of a public house.

“Poole Park is a beautiful nature reserve and was donate to the people of Poole for their quiet enjoyment.

“An establishment with activities such as that proposed by The Kitchen would destroy the character of the park and possibly create a risky environment for the public in general.”

A letter signed by a number of objectors says the new licence, should it be approved, would create "a noisy, chattering, music-blaring and congested" area in the middle of the "dearly-loved" park.

The application says CCTV would be available and that a maximum of 200 people would be allowed in at any one time.

"Notices will be prominently displayed at entrances to external areas advising customers that only plastic glasses may be taken onto the grassed areas," it adds.

"Persons leaving the premises will be advised to leave the area quietly and without causing disturbance to the neighbourhood."

The Kitchen opened in July 2015 following a £500,000 investment to extend and refurbish the waterside building which had previously been run as the loss-making Sevens Boatshed.

Members of the BCP Council licensing sub-committee will consider the application at their meeting on Tuesday.