New nightspot licence remains

A BID by Suffolk police to prevent Ipswich's former Odeon Cinema re-opening as a huge nightspot this summer has hit the rails after a judge decided against revoking its licence.

A BID by Suffolk police to prevent Ipswich's former Odeon Cinema re-opening as a huge nightspot this summer has hit the rails after a judge decided against revoking its licence.

Police chiefs are concerned that plans to turn the building into a £5million entertainment centre with ten-pin bowling, family restaurants and a nightclub, will lead to an increase in booze-related violence.

The force attempted to block a licence being granted for the venue, due to open this summer, at a council meeting last August but was unsuccessful.

An appeal lodged by police soon after was heard this week by a judge at Ipswich Magistrates' Court who ruled that the licence would not be revoked.


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Inspector Bruce Robinson said the force had concerns about the impact of the venue on crime and disorder.

He said: “We appealed the decision because we thought the licence should not have been granted in its entirety.

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“Last summer we flagged up areas of concern and appealed on the basis that we didn't feel they had been adequately addressed.

“We will work with the managers of the premises to make sure that the potential negative impact is minimised.”

Hertfordshire-based Premier Leisure hopes that work on the revamp will be underway by April and will include a bowling rink, family restaurant and sports bar.

Despite police failing in their bid to have the licence revoked, a number of amendments were made to the conditions he as a result of this week's court hearing.

Once open, alcohol will be sold up until midnight on the ground floor, until 1am on the ground floor and until 2am on the second floor with the building closing by 3am.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings alcohol can be served until 1am at the latest with the building closing by 2am.

Stephen Webb, managing director at Premier Leisure said: “The judge decided that we should sit down with the police so we met with Inspector Robinson and agreed on opening hours and other aspects of the licence.

“It was very amicable between the council, police and us and the judge was very good.

“The idea is that the venue will be available to families during the day with a separate entrance for an over 18s and an over 25s nightclub of an evening.

“We want to bring vitality into that bit of the town centre.”

n. Will the Odeon redevelopment be good for Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK:

www.suffolk.police.uk

www.ipswich.gov.uk

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