Residents dub second Waterfront lounge application 'farcical'

Ipswich Waterfront 24-hour gym Anytime Fitness closed on Saturday August 31, 2019 Picture: DAVID VIN

The future of the former Anytime Fitness unit will be debated next week - Credit: Archant

Revised plans for a new Waterfront cafe and lounge have faced further rejection from residents of surrounding properties ahead of discussions next week. 

Representations have been made by 23 residents of the apartment buildings that line the marina, who say they are "horrified" and "disappointed" the application for the Oasis Lounge is once again up for debate. 

Amr Eissa, who runs the Makani Café Bar and Lounge, in Tacket Street, submitted a drinks and entertainment licence application to open Oasis Lounge at the former Anytime Fitness Centre in Key Street in April of this year.  

It was refused in June, after 53 objections from members of the public, but a new application was submitted at the end of August. 

Mr Eissa has made changes to his plans, including closing at 11pm - an hour and a half earlier than in the original application which will be discussed on October 26. 

He also hasn't applied for the provision of live and recorded music, although the police have confirmed a premises licence is not required for this purpose between 8am and 11pm. 

Mr Eissa has been approached for comment, but at June's meeting, Terrence Kemmann-Lane said on his behalf the applicant wanted to run a business "that protects the public interest". 

But residents at the Winerack, the Shamrock and the Cambria have contacted the licensing committee with their strong objections to the latest application. 

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Andy Rudd, chairman of the Winerack Residents Association, said it was "farcical that residents need to keep writing into the council to raise objections to this application and others". 

The Waterfront in Ipswich is part of a cumulative impact zone, where a policy of expected refusal is in operation - unless the applicant can demonstrate that the premises will not add to any existing impact. 

In its submission to the committee, Suffolk Constabulary wrote: "These premises are in the cumulative impact zone, there is no indication on how the level of noise made by customers will be contained, the dispersal of customers leaving the premises, how the litter caused by customers will be cleared, how they will manage the off sales of alcohol, how they will deal with customers who cause issues both inside and outside the premises, no details in regards to the searching of customers in the evening onwards." 

Also raised were issues concerning breaches of conditions at Mr Eissa's other premises. 

More than 30 recommended conditions have been given by police, should the licensing committee approve the application, including the need for comprehensive CCTV, a written search policy agreed with Suffolk police and notices asking customers to use the mezzanine and outdoor areas quietly. 

The application will be the subject at a licensing and regulatory sub-committee meeting on October 26.

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