10:15AM, Tuesday 12 August 2014
People living near Liquid Nightclub have lost the fight against plans to allow boxing and wrestling at the William Street venue, which is licensed until 4am.
Councillors on the Royal Borough's licensing panel sub-committee decided yesterday they had no grounds for refusing plans by its owners the Luminar Group to run sports events, that could even include mixed martial arts cage fighting.
They agreed to vary the club's existing seven days a week 4am license to allow this, despite nearby residents' pleas.
Loren Slater who owns Slater's Newsagents in Alexandra Road said the road suffered enough after ordinary nightclub nights, when customers hung around to buy kebabs.
She said: "There is urinating in gardens, hammering on my shop window, disruption the length of the road."
Fellow resident Graham Woodward said: "We are almost invariably woken between 3am and 4am Friday and Saturday. There are altercations, fighting, it is not a pretty picture. That sort of behaviour makes the quality of our life worse."
They clearly were not convinced by the argument of Mark Moulton, regional director for Luminar. Three quarters of its clubs stage sports nights and Mr Moulton said: "They attract an older demographic and we don't have issues with these events."
Jon Taylor, general manager at Liquid said that the sports nights would start early and probably be finished soon after midnight, with only 20 per cent of people staying on.
The managers indicated that the sports nights would probably happen on weekends, when the club opens now. But they were unable to reassure neighbours that they would never be held on weekdays when the club is currently closed.
Thames Valley Police and the Royal Borough's Environmental Protection officers had raised no objection to the license being varied to allow the sports nights.
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