No support for extra hours

PUBLISHED: 11:42 08 July 2014

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beer

Archant

Moves to extend the opening hours of an Exmouth night spot until 4.30am at the weekend have not been backed by the town hall because of concerns about crime and policing.

The owners of Elm Grove night club The Q Club want to extend the licensing hours for all existing licensable activities to 3am on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.

They have also asked for an extra 30 minutes drinking-up time with a closing time 30 minutes later.

Currently the club is open at the weekends to 3.30am, with half an hour extra allowed to clear punters.

The leaseholder says he will install a CCTV camera and provide a street marshall, who will be a trained first aider, to patrol the streets.

But earlier this year Exmouth’s top police officer, Sector Inspector Antonia Weekes, told town hall chiefs she would not want to see the town’s clubs and pubs licensed past 3am.

She said that 3am was ‘about as late as we can sustain [operations]’.

Councillor Lynne Elson said: “As a general rule we have said that 3.30am should be the latest for pubs and clubs. I would not be in favour of this being extended.”

She added: “We should say this is too late, and we are concerned because it could add to the risk of crime and nuisance.”

Councillor Brian Toye said that if you included drinking-up time, 4am ‘effectively meant’ 4.30am.

Cllr Cherry Nicholas said: “They are asking for an extra 30 minutes, which would extend the hours up to 4.30am. How do you police that? It’s getting ridiculous.”

Councillor Richard Turner said: “The danger is, if you agree to this, every other pub and club will want the same thing.”

The final decision will be made by East Devon District Council’s licensing committee.

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