THE owners of Kemble Railway Station café say they are delighted after their application for a new premises licence to sell alcohol, was accepted by Cotswold District Council (CDC).

Nicholas and Deirdre Clarke, from Rodmarton, have owned Off the Rails for 15 years and said they sought permission to serve alcohol, to be consumed on and off-site, due to public demand.

Speaking at a licensing sub-committee meeting on Monday, Nicholas said they had “finally relented to public pressure”.

“Our idea is really, on the off-licence side, for people to pre-order and pick their bottle up on the way home.

“Otherwise you get off the train and have the disaster of thinking there’s no wine at home.

“It means a drive to Tetbury or Cirencester,” he said.

Nicholas, who has worked in the licence trade since he was 18, said customers can have a drink onsite “while they wait for their lift” after getting off the train.

He said he would only expect four or five people at a time to be drinking on site, using the chairs and tables provided outside the café, around 15 metres from the platform.

This would be mostly aimed at commuters arriving from London, with the last train from the capital getting in at 8.10pm.

“It’s just a service for the community, we’re not going to have people flooding in,” said Nicholas.

“We won’t have any beer on draught, we don’t have the facilities. It’s not a drinking venue, more a convenient stop on the way home.”

During the CDC meeting to discuss the licence, Roger Pettit, chairman of Kemble and Ewen Parish Council, said his council “strongly object to the proposal”, in regards to the on-licence.

Cllr Pettit said customers would have to “move onto the unrestricted and unsupervised” platform and concourse to drink their alcohol, which he felt was “not suitable”.

But Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, sub-committee chairman, said: “We have to give weight to the fact that the statutory authorities have no objections.

“There aren’t suitable places to buy wines or spirits in the immediate vicinity and I can see that it is an interesting way of doing it.

“Part of our role is encouraging growth of business.”