While I understand the temptation to generate extra interest in a news item, with respect, your story on the recent application for an alcohol and entertainment licence for Parnham House does not represent an entirely accurate picture of the proceedings and final outcome.

It is reassuring that the owner of Parnham, James Perkins, has confirmed the assurances given by his representatives at the hearing (his barrister and events manager, Nick Caton), as the impression is that he was at least partly responsible for the headlines and rumours initially generated, as far as I am aware, last February.

The story suggested that he was looking towards a “Batman inspired theme park” or similar, and, given his history in the entertainments industry, it was hardly surprising that concern was raised by many people nearby, as to exactly what was intended, and why nearly 100 objections, including my own, were registered.

No attempt was made, so far as I am aware, to reassure the local community that there was no truth in these stories prior to the hearing before Dorset Council’s Licensing Sub-committee on September 7.

I was therefore completely taken aback, as I am sure were many others, when Mr Perkins’ representatives were at pains to state that they were envisaging something along the lines of an upmarket hotel, or a private members club, with strict limits on numbers of guests, and the types of entertainment, rather than a theme park or a site for music festivals and raves. A lot of concern and worry might have been avoided if this had been made clear earlier!

It should also be made clear that there is nothing unusual about a 24-hour licence, which is quite normal for such an establishment, but a number of strict conditions were imposed to limit possible nuisance, particularly noise, to neighbours and the surrounding country and community. Mr Caton was also extremely helpful in conceding that the boundary for the operation of the licence could be reduced considerably, thus limiting the areas in Parnham Park where alcohol can be served and music played.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, as the saying goes, and while I am sure those who were concerned will not become complacent, there are already encouraging signs that Mr Caton is reaching out to the community, and wants to engage and co-operate as the programme of refurbishment and development progresses.