AN ENTREPRENEUR was this week refused permission to sell alcohol until 3am at his Lowestoft nightspot after police said they feared it could fuel criminal and anti-social behaviour.

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David Pickess had applied for permission to allow his Winelodge bar and club on Bridge Road, Oulton Broad, to stay open an hour longer on Fridays and Saturdays to ease problems caused by customers leaving in the early hours.

But Waveney district councillors threw out his application after being told that police were concerned that extending the drinking hours could create more noise nuisance to neighbours as people left the building later.

Members of the council’s licensing premises panel heard that when revellers left the Winelodge at its current closing time of 2am, some were shouting, fighting, vomiting and urinating near homes – and one woman said she had been forced to close her bed and breakfast business as a result.

But after his licence extension was turned down, Mr Pickess said his request to open until 3am was actually an attempt to tackle anti-social and criminal behaviour.

If the application had been approved, he said, it would have enabled the Winelodge to stagger the times people left its three separate sections from 1am to 3am to make it easier for them to get taxis and make their way home.

“Our problem is we are too big and popular so when we close at 2am you get a lot of people leaving at the same time,” he said. “We wanted to help the situation.”

Inspector Andy Howlett told the meeting: “This will undoubtedly have an impact on residents’ lives. It will have a negative impact on the quality of lives of local residents.”

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