A TENNIS club was thanked for helping to reduce drug dealing as it reassured neighbours it only plans to sell alcohol at small members-only events.

A combination of automatic lighting and the CCTV operating around Queen’s Park Tennis Club has reduced incidents of drug taking and dealing in the area, Brighton and Hove City councillors have been told.

At a meeting about plans to sell alcohol at the club, councillor Adrian Morris said: “I really thank you for the impact on drug taking. That is amazing.

“There is a huge amount of dealing taking place on the other side of the park. I have witnessed it myself.”

Five people living near Queen’s Park Tennis Club objected to an application to serve alcohol and host live music there until 11pm.

But after the club wrote to them to explain their plans, Rachel and Eddie Myer who live opposite in East Drive withdrew their objections.

The other three objections, from Charlotte Macpherson, Gill Palmer and Peter Durgerian, still stand.

Club director Conrad Brunner repeated the assurances he gave residents to the council’s licensing panel.

He said there would be no more than 36 events during the year with no more than 60 people and added: “Three years ago the council cut funding for park tennis clubs.

“Queen’s Park needs to come up with an extra £10,000 a year to keep up with repairs for the courts which comes to £60,000 over six years.

“We have put up membership fees but income from the club house is a key part of our financial planning to make ends meet.”

The panel, chaired by Councillor Morris with Councillors Lynda Hyde and Lizzie Deane, heard there were no plans to host stag or hen do’s.

Ideas put forward included hosting a string quartet, quiz nights and club dinners. Events would be for club members and their guests only.

The venue has a capacity of 45 seated inside, but if the bar was open during a tournament then up to 60 people could be accommodated using the area outside the pavilion.

A licensing trained member of the committee would always be on site whenever the bar was open. Mr Brunner said the club would be happy to restrict time outside in the summer to 9pm.

The panel retired to make its decision which will be sent to the club within five working days.