Preston nightclub’s late licence bid thrown out

Sgt Tony Bushell
Sgt Tony Bushell
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A nightclub boss has failed in a bid to open his new premises until 6am.

Peter Alexander, whose Blitz club moved to the former Frog and Bucket building to make way for the demolition of the Great Shaw Street site, had applied for a late licence for the live music venue.

What we need for our business model to work is the same as the previous venue of 5.30am.

Malcolm Ireland

But police opposed the application for the licence variation in Preston’s “red zone”, and councillors voted to block the plans.

Licensing sergeant Tony Bushell told yesterday’s licensing sub-committee meeting that granting the late licence to the club in Preston’s “cumulative impact policy” area could stretch police resources, and could draw officers away from other areas across the city.

The meeting was shown CCTV footage of large crowds leaving a venue in the centre of the city, which police said were intimidating officers, in the early hours of the morning this month.

Sergeant Bushell said: “I’m not saying that’s the situation at Peter’s venue, but they are customers that potentially could be customers of Peter and the purpose of that is to demonstrate what we potentially have to deal with at 5.30am.”

He said committee members had to make a “fundamental decision” on whether the application would impact on crime and disorder, and said: “We have a real concern if this is granted we are absolutely convinced that other licenced premises would seek to extend their hours within that area.”

Fears were raised that customers leaving Blitz would “traipse” home across the city at 6am, and it could also lead to problems in takeaways.

The application included proposals to extend the sale of alcohol until 5.30am, and open until 6am.

The meeting was told the new venue would be “similar, if not identical” to the former Blitz club which Malcolm Ireland, Mr Alexander’s solicitor, said “did a lot for the live music scene in Preston”.

Mr Ireland said: “The existing licence allows licensable activities no later than 2.30am on Saturday and Sunday.

“What we need for our business model to work is the same as the previous venue of 5.30am.”