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5th Jul, 2022

Stratford nightclub owner ordered to pay £4,000 following appeal loss

A NIGHTCLUB owner has been ordered to pay Stratford District Council £4,000 after losing an appeal against restrictions to its opening hours.

Issues over violence, drugs and noise prompted Stratford District Council to review the licence of Shakespeare Street Cocktail Bar & Night Club off Birmingham Road in August 2019.

A licence suspension was called for while steps were taken to ensure the venue complied with conditions of the licence, including sound-proofing and hi-vis jackets for the door team. Since the business complied with the licensing conditions, the suspension did not take place, but its late night opening hours will be reduced from 2am to 1am from Thursday to Saturday when Covid restrictions allow the club to reopen.

The judge dismissed the appeal at a recent hearing and said having considered everything ‘the restrictions were ‘necessary and proportionate’ and agreed with the Licensing Panel’s ‘reasonable’ decision.

Owner Earl Withers was ordered to pay costs of £4,000.

District councillor Anne Parry said: “This case demonstrates the district council considers licensing issues seriously, as well as public safety and welfare. While we recognise the importance of having a vibrant night time economy, this has to reflect when permitted, that members of the public are entitled to enjoy a night out in a safe environment. It is equally essential that local residents shouldn’t be unduly disturbed by the activities of this licensed venue and reinforces the original decision taken by the district council’s Licencing Panel.”

Prior to the decision to suspend, Mr Withers told the Observer he had already replaced the door team following violence concerns and regularly checked toilets for drug use.

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