CONTROVERSIAL plans to begin serving alcohol at a converted chapel in Southampton have been given the green light.

Southampton City Council has confirm that a licence has been granted at Design Chapel in Cemetery Road at Southampton Common which could see the introduction of a business hub.

However a number of restrictions have been put in place following outrage from local residents.

A spokesperson from Southampto City Council said: "The committee granted the licence, but with reduced hours.

"The committee, as with any premises application, was restricted to considering the impact the application would have on any one of the four licensing objectives; Crime and Disorder, Prevention of public nuisance, Public safety and Prevention of children from harm.

"It also advised the applicant to be cautious as to the type and nature of events at the premises so not to cause any nuisance or disturbance within the cemetery. "

Set to be used for business events, breakfast meetings, training and for evening gatherings, the proposals would see alcohol served on site and in the building.

Live music has also been proposed.

More than 50 objections have been received arguing that the area is a “place of calm” adding that people are buried at the site.

One resident said: “I am appalled that such a venture could even be considered appropriate in this venue.”

Another wrote: “I have family members buried in the cemetery and make regular visits to their graves to lay flowers and plans and to have quiet contemplation and memories of my loved ones.

“The thought of the peaceful atmosphere being disturbed by music and by consequences of alcohol consumption, with a further risk of vandalism and bad behaviour, concerns me greatly.”

Other concerns raised included the disturbance of wildlife and car parking as well as noise and litter.

However, 3 Men Squared Limited, the company behind the offices, state it is not a drinking establishment.

The application states: “We are not and will not primarily be about drinking, we are not a drinking establishment, we are looking to gain the necessary license to rent the space for events and allow the consumption of alcohol.

“We have thick stone walls and no ground floor windows resulting in it not being evident that people are in the building."