CAMPAIGNERS are battling plans to relax the licensing conditions at a controversial clubhouse used by a Hampshire soccer team.

An application submitted by Bashley FC has resulted in 16 objections and a protest petition signed by more than 60 people.

Critics claim that existing problems caused by the clubhouse will only get worse if the application is approved.

Villagers say they already have to put up with excessive noise and disturbance, drunken revellers shouting in the street and vomiting on the grass verge, plus deliberate damage to their property.

They fear that the proposed changes to the club's alcohol licence could result in 15-hour drinking sessions - with a corresponding increase in rowdy behaviour.

The club says the sale of alcohol should no longer be confined to members of Bashley FC and their guests, members of visiting football teams, referees and other officials and people attending pre-arranged functions.

It also wants to extend the opening hours from 11pm to 1am seven days a week as well as staging five indoor music events a week.

The application has been submitted to the district council's licensing sub-committee - but one of the objectors is the authority's environmental protection manager, Carole Gallagher.

In a letter to the sub-committee she says: “Bashley is considered semi-rural and is particularly quiet during the evening and night.

“Any late (night) activities at Bashley Football Club have the potential to cause a public nuisance to local residents.

“Environmental health is currently investigating a noise complaint regarding amplified music and recent monitoring identified a level of noise that caused unacceptable disturbance.”

New Milton Town Council has also lodged a protest after receiving a catalogue of complaints from people living near the club.

Administrative assistant Claire Lambert says: “This evidence describes the very real disorder and public nuisance that is being caused by the club's operation of the current licence.

“These problems will only worsen should be availability of alcohol and opportunity for events increase.”

Fellow objector James Brenan, of St John's Road, Bashley, says the building used by Bashley FC is “virtually a nightclub” and adds that the “horrific” application will turn the village into an urban nightspot.

“Outdoor music and 15-hour drinking is going to produce conflict,” he says.

Dave and Jill Foot fear any decision to approve the application could result in the club being thrown open to anyone, with drinking and partying going on until the early hours seven days a week.

Ward councillor Neil Tungate adds: “As far as I am aware not one of the football club management team lives in Bashley.

“Residents will have to put up with increased noise, disturbance and other effects of alcohol-fuelled entertainment while the organisers return to the peace of their own homes.”

A Bashley FC spokesman was unavailable for comment.

But its application says the club will erect signs asking people to leave quietly. Any music will be turned down at 11pm, and no alcohol will be served to anyone who appears to be drunk.

The sub-committee is due to debate the application on April 9.