A Lancaster nightclub will be allowed to open until 6am despite objections from business owners and residents.
The Dalton Rooms, in Dalton Square, was the subject of a licence variation hearing at Lancaster Town Hall on Wednesday September 27.
Members of the Licensing Act Sub-Committee heard from members of the public who had objected to the proposed variation.
Victoria Brett from Adactus Housing, spoke on behalf of Nick Moule, who had objected via letter to the city council.
She said: “The reasons for his objection are because of the risk of increased anti-social behaviour and public nuisance, mostly due to noise, including nuisance to those who live in the surrounding area.” Nick Moule said: “It is accepted that living in the city centre will involve some disturbance as well as having its advantages. However, it is still a regular occurrence that in the early hours of the mornings there are gatherings of people in Dalton Square some of which certainly originate from the Glow Rooms which can involve a lot of shouting and other anti-social behaviour.”
Local businessman and interior designer James Mackie, who spoke at the meeting, and lives in Dalton Square with actress wife Christine Mackie, who plays Dr Gaddas in Coronation Street, said: “Every single person I have spoken to thinks it is a bad idea.
“Our own city centre is not a place we want to be. It’s a shame. I have faith this guy (the owner) might turn around some of the problems he has inherited I had 13 signed statements from businesses and residents and these people would have objected and I was disappointed when these were dismissed out of hand. The system by which the notifications of the variation in the licence goes through is inadequate.There was a notice in the paper and a notice in the premises but no-one saw it. “
Councillor Nick Wilkinson, also chairman of Lancaster City Centre Residents Association, said: “In a way I’m disappointed. The issue is how it is managed and how it is managed going forward.
“It’s how The Dalton Rooms goes forwards working with local residents in keeping these issues to a minimum.
“There is also the pressure on the police and the health service when you are stringing out opening hours .”
Owner Paul Roberts, of Lancaster Nightlife Ltd, said: “We have made a massive investment in the property and we take pride in what we do. If neighbours come to me with any problems we will sort them out.We will work with neighbours. We are here to do our best. “
Garry Lee, representing The Dalton Rooms, said: “All we are asking is to extend opening hours in line with other licensed premises in the city.
“There is no evidence to suggest we extend drunkenness if we extend the licence.There won’t be a sudden deluge of people on the streets at 6am and there is no evidence to suggest it will extend noise or nuisance levels.” Councillor Mel Guilding told the committee that no representations had been received from Environmental Health in relation to the application.
The decision to allow two hours extra extension will mean regulated entertainment can continue until 6am every day and the sale of alcohol until 5.45am every day.
The Dalton Rooms had stringent conditions placed on its licence in November 2015 following complaints about noise and late night rowdy behaviour.
Licensee at the time Grant Stringer said he had spent thousands of pounds on addressing the issues, including sound proofing interior walls, “echo barriers” outside the front door, and moving smokers to the back of his premises.
Other measures included shutting off the front doors of the venue between 2am and close of business and door supervisors to monitor queues.