A cafe at a popular beauty spot has been granted permission to sell alcohol after managers convinced a panel the idea was safe.
The Lakeside Cafe at Hemsworth Water Park is now allowed to serve alcohol, after a licensing committee decided those in charge had taken sufficient steps to protect visitors.
Some locals had objected to the cafe’s application for an alcohol licence, citing fears drunken punters may drown in the adjacent lake.
But representatives from Hemsworth Town Council, which runs the venue, told a hearing that a six foot wire fence has been put up between the cafe’s outdoor seating area and the water. Security staff will also patrol the area.
Town council clerk Alan Draper told the panel: “The town council’s main objective is that the water park should remain family orientated. We’re mindful of the fact that lots of local families can’t afford to take their children on holiday to the seaside, so the water park with its beach is ideal for them.”
Mr Draper said that alcohol would be priced “reasonably”, but “not cheaply”.
Independent councillor Jean Eccles, who also attended the meeting, said that feedback from customers about the idea had been positive.
She said: “For some people a day out at the water park is like a holiday for them. They want a drink with their lunch and a bit of background music.
“It’s not a town pub. We’re just a cafe bar trying to attract more families to come down and enjoy it.
“If anyone does come in having been drinking in other places, and they are visibly drunk, they will not be served.”
The hearing was told that the only deaths at the water park in recent decades were not connected to alcohol, as some objectors had suggested.
Coun Eccles said that the cafe had previously been a pub, and it had operated without any problems for a number of years.
A separate application for the venue to play live and recorded music was also granted.