'Horror movie script' - Waterfront lounge bar plans rejected again

Regatta Quay

The former Anytime Fitness site on Regatta Quay on the Waterfront. - Credit: David Vincent

An Ipswich bar owner has had his Waterfront application for a cafe lounge rejected for a second time. 

Ipswich Borough Council rejected a revised application for a drinks and entertainment license application to open Oasis Lounge, at the former Anytime Fitness Centre in Key Street.

Owner Amr Eissa has faced widespread opposition from residents living at The Waterfront and concerns from the police but has pledged to open it as a cafe without alcohol after the ruling.

Speaking at the licensing meeting on Tuesday, Andy Rudd, of the Winerack Residents Association, said it was "very disappointing to take time off at work" for this again after Mr Eissa's previous application was refused in June.

He said: "It reads like a horror movie script to me and I know [environment health and police] again made an objection."

He said he did not "trust" Mr Eissa after his previous bar, Makani Cafe Bar and Lounge in Tacket Street received three warnings by Suffolk Constabulary

He said it was affecting residents' "mental health" and the area is already "frightening" due to ASB and late-night drinking. 

Mr Eissa spoke at the meeting and said he meet police terms for the license.

He told the meeting: "I ran Tacket Street three years with help from management. 

"When we had a noise complaint I fired all the staff and I run it at the moment and everything is done by the book.

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"We have never had any issues since.

"Just give us a chance and we'll run a successful business with a beautiful venue."

He was grilled by the committee over his security company, noise levels and whether he filled out his application with enough specific detail. 

And environmental officer Michael John said he felt there was no assurance that there would not be noise, affecting nearby residents. 

He said: "Whatever happens at the ground floor you can hear two floors up."

He said Mr Eissa was paying £1,500 for a noise report for the building but said he should have waited for that before going before the licensing committee. 

"He's rehashed the same application without any thought," he added and said there was no guarantee a  tenant would not have loud music on the premise. 

Suffolk Constabulary's Sharon Betts-Palmer said the force was not sure how noise disruption could be stopped as the metal columns reverberate inside the building. 

She said it would have a "detrimental" effect on the life and quality of people. 

And Ms Betts-Palmer said the applicant "has not provided any evidence" on dealing with noise, ASB and dispersing the public at night. 

She added she was "not totally convinced" by his other bar in Tacket Street and put several conditions on that license, which Mr Eissa broke. 

"He was breaching community of license, persons drinking with alcohol and food.

"It did not have CCTV, another breaching of license."

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