Licensing officials have objected to Soho House’s bid to open until 2am at its new Brighton venue.
The exclusive member’s club has applied to sell alcohol from 7am-1.45am and serve food and drink from 11pm-2am daily at The Terraces in Madeira Drive, Brighton.
The new venue, first proposed in 2014 at the Grade II Aquarium Terraces site, would have three licences covering separate areas, with midnight alcohol sales at The Kiosk restaurant and the Soho Work and events space.
The 2am licence would be for the members’ club only.
Sussex Police and Brighton and Hove City Council licensing department, and three residents have objected to the application, which has also received six letters of support.
A panel of three Brighton and Hove city councillors will decide on the licences during a virtual licensing panel hearing on Monday, 14 March.
Madeira Drive is in the city’s cumulative impact zone (CIZ), where there are restrictions on new licences as the area is “saturated” with businesses selling alcohol.
In her letter to the council licensing department Sussex Police licensing officer for the Brighton and Hove division, Inspector Michelle Palmer-Harris stated the CIZ policy allows for restaurants with licences until midnight.
To comply with policy a member’s club would have a capacity of no more than 100 and open until 11pm and workspaces with a licence should close at 10pm.
Soho House’s member’s club has a capacity of 500 and the work/event space for 300.
Inspector Palmer-Harris is concerned the potential 2am closing time would impact the emergency services.
She said: “We see the negative effect that alcohol has, particularly in areas where there are a high number of licensed premises.
“Along the small stretch of Madeira Drive (Brighton Palace Pier to Dukes Mound), there are at least 12 premises licences.
“With high numbers of people descending on the city Sussex Police operate a standalone night-time operation each weekend and at other various peak times throughout the year.
“This involves dedicated police resources patrolling the main night-time economy area.
“Having a visible police presence in the area goes some way to assist in reducing criminal incidents occurring, but unfortunately does not stop them in their entirety.”
Inspector Palmer-Haris raised concerns about seasonal variations to allow for extra hours on New Year’s Eve to opening time on New Year’s Day and for the live broadcast of the Oscars for an hour before and after the event.
Following discussions with Sussex Police, Soho House offered new conditions, which included a requirement for a meal with alcohol in the restaurant and from 8-10am in the member’s club.
Brighton and Hove City Council’s licensing department opposed the late opening hours on policy grounds.
Letters of objection with details removed on the council’s website raised concerns about the 7am opening time and late closing, adding to the noise created by customers leaving existing nightclubs in the area.
Two objectors also raised concerns about alcohol service to an outdoor area causing a public nuisance.
One of the letters of support came from a Soho House member who had previously objected to the company’s plans for a venue in Ludlow Street, New York.
The supporter, whose details were redacted on the council website but confirmed they are a British resident, said: “I do believe that having the extended hours will support such desperately needed in-person social interaction with economic growth from both domestic and international visitors who will come to Brighton just because the house exists.
“The extended hours for service will increase the odds of success for the venue and ensure a stable economic engine for all.
“With regards to Soho House Ludlow Street, we never saw a negative impact in the way that we had experienced with other new bars or restaurants.”
A Brighton resident who wrote to support the application said: “The proposed site location was in much need of rejuvenation to improve the city.
“Since the arrival of Soho House, the location has seen much improved works to the terraces, buildings, pavements, the lighting etc.
“I work within the music and film industry. Soho House is a great creative hub for networking and meeting like-minded people.
“The strict criteria for members attracts the best and skilled people in the industry. It’s the place to be and to be seen.”
Soho House was approached for comment.
The virtual licensing panel hearing is due to be webcast from 10am on Monday, 14 March on the city council website.