THE police have decided to apply for a review of the Brunel Rooms’ licence after seeing an expected rise in violence and public disorder since it opened last year.
The licence of the town centre club, which was taken back under the control of management last week, is due to go to review at the licensing committee on February 18 or 19 after Wiltshire Police raised concerns about safety in the club.
There is the potential for civil action to be taken against the council if they were found not to have practiced due diligence in granting the initial licence.
Objections were lodged by Wiltshire Police last year after their investigations showed the likelihood of a spike in disorder with the granting of a late licence, and the inexperience or unsuitability of the three directors.
The grounds for the review include the failure to meet the licensing objective of the prevention of crime and disorder due to a number of incidents of crime and disorder linked to the premises, and the failure to meet the licensing objective of the protection of public safety due to incidents involving injury.
Concerns were raised at the time of the application on July 24 last year regarding disorder in Havelock Square.
In 2009, 84 incidents of violence, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage were recorded, at peak times of between 3am and 4am, when the 1,700-capacity club was operating.
Following the closure of Liquid And Envy in 2011, that number dropped to just one incident in 2013.
Since the original licence was granted, the condition stipulating drinks must be sold in safe containers was changed to allow glasses in The Gold Lounge area.
In a statement at the time, police licensing officer Sian Kalynka said: “There are a number of concerns about the suitability of Jason Ranford in his role as assistant manager and director.
“It is a matter of public record that Jason Ranford has convictions which make him unsuitable to work in such a position.”
The licensing panel took into account the comments made by Wiltshire Police, with the exception of those against Jason, as they were not in a position to remove him from his directorship.
Jason said he hopes for a positive result at the hearing, and the club is due to return on February 14.
“We have been speaking with our legal team, who say we are in a strong position,” he said. “If the decision goes against us, we will have three weeks still to trade, during which time we are able to appeal.
“We might have to adhere to some stronger conditions, but if the worst does happen we will have some time to remain open.”