December 10 2013 Latest news:
Rosa McMahon and Dominic Bareham
Thursday, September 19, 2013
A Dereham nightclub threatened with closure after a catalogue of alcohol-related crimes has reached an agreement which will allow it to stay open.
Norfolk police’s Licensing Team requested the one-month closure of Splitz nightclub in Quebec Street earlier this year after reports of violence, drunkenness and anti-social behaviour.
Breckland District Council’s Licensing Committee decided in May that the club’s licence should be suspended for a month to allow for 17 conditions to be introduced which included new CCTV cameras, more door staff, better training and an earlier cut off point for re-entry to the club.
But club owner Michelle Menzies appealed against the decision and yesterday an agreement was reached between Breckland Council, the police’s licensing authority and the club.
A hearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday heard Miss Menzies had agreed to accept the majority of the conditions the council wanted to impose on the Quebec Street club’s licence, which related to new CCTV cameras, better training and an earlier cut-off point for re-entry to the club.
An amendment was made to one point where the club will impose a door staff deployment plan.
During the hearing, Miss Menzies said: “I understand what is being proposed and I am content that the appeal be withdrawn.”
Her solicitor, Ian Fisher, told the court: “I can say a great deal of work has been carried out by the police working with the applicant. A number of conditions have been applied and the applicant has been concerned with the impact on the business if it had to close for a month.”
The licensing debates began after nearby residents complain-ed about sexual activity in the local area, vomit and urine having to be pressure-washed away and doors and windows being knocked on in the early hours.
But there was support from local businesses who said they would suffer if the club were shut and people went elsewhere.
The decision to bring the case before the court was criticised by Trevor Freeborn, the chairman of the magistrates, who said the matter could have been dealt with outside of court.
Tony Grover, a licensing officer for Norfolk police, said his team were happy with the agreement, and said officers would continue to monitor the club.
Elizabeth Gould, executive member for housing, planning and public protection at Breckland Council, said: “Licensed premises have a duty to provide a safe environment for their customers. We will work closely with club owner Miss Menzies to monitor progress.”