RESIDENTS near a beachfront restaurant and café are concerned over a potential extension to its opening hours, after experiencing ‘crazy’ noise during events last year.

Rockwater in Branksome has applied to BCP Council to vary its planning conditions, which state that it must close at 11pm each day.

But residents are worried over the noise from the site, after music events that saw ‘intolerable’ noise levels, Lakeside Road resident Philip Lawrence said.

The application would see the venue’s planning conditions changed to allow it to open until midnight on Thursdays to Saturdays, bringing it in line with its licence with the council.

It has received nearly 50 objections from residents and groups, including the Society for Poole and the Branksome Park and Canford Cliffs Residents Association.

Bournemouth Echo: Rockwater from the garden where Philip Lawrence lives.

Philip said residents think Rockwater has done a ‘really good job’ with the refurbishment of the building and the café and restaurant.

He added that they ‘love’ seeing the building ‘absolutely jammed’ in the summer, but they are concerned over noise at night should the planning condition variation go ahead.

Last year, the venue hosted Fatboy Slim and Philip said the noise was ‘crazy’ from their living room overlooking Rockwater.

He is concerned that more events like this will take place in the future and will go on later in the night, should the planning variation application be approved.

Bournemouth Echo: Rockwater is in Branksome.

“We feel it's getting away from the idea that it's going to be a restaurant, coffee shop, meeting place, that it's just going to be a nightclub,” he said.

“We feel that this is not the correct setting for that, that it would be better if they move their operation up towards the pier, where you would expect nightclubs, discos.”

However, chief executive of Rockwater, Luke Davis, said this was not the case.

“We have a good relationship with BCP Council’s licensing team and have experienced zero prosecution or enforcement complaints relating to noise and trading hours,” he said.

“I can say with absolute certainty that Rockwater will never be a nightclub. What we will provide is a location for everyone in the community to use as they wish, whether that’s for fitness, entertainment, or simply a stimulating social space.”

The venue breached its planning conditions on New Year’s Eve, staying open for an event past midnight, but this was not a breach of its licence.

It is understood Rockwater has been sent a formal letter of warning to ensure it operates within its permitted opening hours by the council.

Cllr Kieron Wilson, portfolio holder for housing and regulatory services said: “Rockwater Branksome’s premises licence included the allowance for Non Standard Timings to the sale of alcohol on New Years Eve, meaning there was no breach of licencing conditions.

“A condition of the original planning application does state that “the café/restaurant shall not operate to customers otherwise than between 07:00 and 23:00 on Mondays to Sunday inclusive.

“We have written to the business to remind them of this condition. An application was made in November 2023 to vary this condition, and this remains a live application awaiting determination.”