Seafront venue drops plans for late-night parties during Brighton Pride

A seafront venue has dropped its plans to hold clubbing-style parties until 2am on the same weekend as Brighton Pride.

Sussex Police and Brighton and Hove City Council officials lodged formal objections to the proposals for Shelter Hall, opposite the bottom of West Street.

The venue’s leaseholder, Sessions Markets Limited, planned two ticketed events at its premises, in King’s Road Arches, Brighton, on the Friday and Saturday of Pride weekend.

The current licence permits the sale of alcoholic drinks from 8am to 11.30pm – but it also requires the venue to make substantial food available.

At least three of the seven kitchens are required to be serving food until 10.30pm on summer weekends – and at least one kitchen must stay open until at least 11pm.

Sussex Police objected to plans for a DJ to play music until 2am and for customers to be allowed to stand while drinking – something that is not allowed under the current licence.

Sessions Markets had said that all seven kitchens would stay open until 1.30am but this was not enough to win over police and officials.

Inspector Michelle Palmer-Harris, from Sussex Police, said that the venue wanted to host 400 people and create a “night club/dance floor”.

She said that Pride was the single biggest event in Brighton and Hove and was taking place for the first time since 2019 because of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

More than 400,000 people attended the event in 2018 and, she said, even more were expected this year.

She said: “The premises has never been open for business during a Pride event and so has no experience or knowledge of operating during the city-wide festival or how that may look for Shelter Hall as an individual premises.”

The application had been due to go before a licensing panel made up of three councillors tomorrow (Wednesday 29 June) but it was cancelled after the venue dropped its plans.

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