Fears over Lowestoft club’s late opening bid

A CONTENTIOUS plan by one of Lowestoft's most popular nightspots to open an extra hour at the weekends is due to be discussed today.

Hush Hush, on the town's seafront, wants to stay open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays – sparking fears it will lead to more rowdy and criminal behaviour after people leave the club.

Today the application by Hush Hush, which is on the Esplanade, is due to discussed by Waveney District Council's licensing premises panel which will decide whether or not grant the extension.

Hush Hush submitted its plans in October and a consultation period has seen 23 letters sent into the council from neighbours and businesses by the club which voice concerns over the extension to the hours, which could also see the nightclub stay open until 2am on Sundays on public holiday weekends.

The letters mention how people outside the club shout, swear and urinate in public late at night.

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The police have also contacted the council over their fears about what the later hours will mean as people leave the premises.

In a letter to the council, the police say that between November 2010 and September there were '66 incidents leading to crime and disorder directly linked to this premises.

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'It seems logical to surmise that if the premises is permitted to open on a Friday and Saturday until 0400 that there will be an increase in the number of such incidents and that the incidents will carry on further.'

The police letter also says the venue adheres to its current licence, it fully co-operates with officers and the incidents reported are not a criticism of how the club is run.

One of the letters of objection from a neighbour says: 'The noise and bad behaviour already causes disturbances and extending the licence would only add to the prospect of restless evenings and sleepless nights.'

Another letter says: 'We have trouble with people leaving the nightclub and sitting on our steps drinking, swearing peeing etc.'

The Lowestoft Tourism Group has also contacted the council with its concerns about the plans for Hush Hush.

It says: 'Although the establishment is very well run, unfortunately the behaviour of its clientele at closing time does have a highly negative impact on many accommodation providers and their guests.'

No one from the club was available for comment.

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