Tranmere Rovers have had controversial plans to expand where the club can sell alcohol approved – despite complaints from neighbours.

The decision was confirmed at a meeting of Wirral Council’s licensing sub-committee and means drinks can now be taken into the directors’ car park until kick-off time.

Initially, Rovers wanted the area licensed until 11pm on matchdays, but suggested this concession in order to gain the committee’s support for the plans.

Ben Harrison, the club’s associate director, said: “We had requested to go till 11pm, but we’ve committed to reign that in significantly in respect of what residents say about late night noise.

"We are willing to work with them to do what’s necessary. It’s important to make income, but also to look after our fans.”

Residents who made representations to the committee argued that granting the license variation would exacerbate the noise and anti-social behaviour issues around the club’s Prenton Park ground.

One resident accused Tranmere Rovers of “slowly and unsubtly taking over the whole area.” Cllr Les Rowlands asked Mr Harrison how the club would deal with residents’ noise concerns.

Mr Harrison said any music played would only be of a “background” volume and that by closing the area at kick-off time any noise disruption would be very limited.

When challenged on whether outdoor music playing until 7:45pm before midweek games is acceptable for parents trying to get their children to sleep, Mr Harrison noted the club had received few complaints about anti-social behaviour on matchdays and said he wanted to work closely with the local community to ensure this remained the case.

Summing up the committee’s decision in favour of the proposal, Cllr Rowlands said he appreciated the club’s commitment to close the director’s car park area at kick-off time.

The proposal still has to be approved by the Safety Advisory Group so it is unlikely any changes will take place until the new year, but Mr Harrison said he was pleased with the decision.