MOORS Valley Country Park has been given permission for drink sales at future events – the first likely to be at Halloween.

The consent has been given by Dorset councillors despite local objectors who complained the extra events would increase the traffic chaos near their homes, add to night-time disturbance from noise and lights,  and was not necessary.

One complained that Forestry England ought to know better - reminding the organisation it was a forest they were running not a theme-park for bored humans. Others said that wildlife was likely to be disturbed by the night-time activities although a ecology report said the effects would be minimal.

The council licensing panel decided the grounds for objection were not sufficient and have granted a Premises Licence for drink sale up until 10.55pm every day and to show films until 11pm. The capacity has been set at 5,000.

The park said it may consider showing films, such as The Gruffalow, in the future, although at this stage there is nothing confirmed.

The licensing hearing in Dorchester was told that the park plans to have kiosks selling alcohol, together with street food stalls, at the start/finish and half-way round a mile-long trail for the Halloween event, with staggered admissions to the park in 15-minute slots, only bookable in advance. The event will be repeated over ten days, with admissions starting at 4pm, the last at 9pm.

Sixteen objections were received in response to the licensing proposal – with the only support for the idea from Verwood Town Council.

The site already sells alcoholic drinks, but only with meals in the restaurant.

Forestry England and Dorset Council say their experienced team at the park, said to be the 30th most popular visitor attraction in the UK, are used to managing crowds of people with the drink sales unlikely to present any difficulties.