Efforts to tackle Brighton’s boozy night life and the problems that go with it were given a boost yesterday, according to a concerned councillor.
Jason Kitcat, one of the Green Party councillors for Regency on Brighton and Hove City Council, applauded the decision to refuse a licence to Latin Lounge.
The decision – rejecting a proposed late venue towards the bottom of West Street – was taken at a Licensing Panel meeting at Brighton Town Hall.
There were concerns that the venue’s operator wanted to serve food until midnight and drinks until as late as 4am. It also wanted a space set aside for dancing.
Sussex Police raised objections and held mediation talks with the applicant.
The licence application was amended, requesting a 2am closing time, with food being available to order until 1.30pm.
But the panel – made up of councillors – still turned down a licence for the venue which would have been in the Travelodge building.
It would have occupied the former Henry J Bean’s premises and would have been run by a company called Funky Bars and Restaurants.
Cllr Kitcat broke the news of the decision on his Twitter feed.
Speaking to Brighton and Hove News, he emphasised that he was not present at the licensing panel meeting and was speaking in his capacity as a ward councillor.
He said: “It would appear the panel didn’t feel the application did enough to meet its concerns.
“I think residents will welcome the decision.”
He said that night-time problems related to drink and disorder had led the council to create a “cumulative impact area” in which the number of licensed premises could be restricted.
He said: “It is a concentrated area of licensed premises. There are alcohol abuse and public order issues and we have to draw a line.
“As a city, we are doing badly on alcohol-related health issues.”
He cited liver problems and other long-term alcohol-related conditions, not just the more visible effects such as violence or drunkenness.
He added: “This costs us money as taxpayers.
“There needs to be a balance. We want businesses in Regency ward – and innovation – although not necessarily bang in the middle of West Street.”
The application was made by a businessman called Ian Minor, of Funky Bars and Restaurants.
He may submit a revised application or appeal against the licensing panel’s decision in the magistrates’ court.
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