Music venue bids to increase capacity

A BUSY live music venue in a residential area of Colchester has applied to quadruple its capacity.Plans to increase the number of people allowed into the Twist, one of the town's most well-established live music venues, have received a mixed response from neighbours living close to the site.

A BUSY live music venue in a residential area of Colchester has applied to quadruple its capacity.

Plans to increase the number of people allowed into the Twist, one of the town's most well-established live music venues, have received a mixed response from neighbours living close to the site.

The Military Road pub has applied to Colchester Borough Council to host to 220 customers at a time, a large increase on its current official capacity of 60.

The application, which will be discussed at a meeting of the council's licensing committee on April 5, has received some objections from residents but has not been blocked by the council's environmental or health and safety officers.


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One neighbour, who wished not to be named, said the venue caused residents nothing but trouble.

“I'm not old-fashioned and square. Young people love pubs but this kind of pub has live groups who bring a lot of problems - noise, specifically,” she said.

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She added that the area was mostly populated by pensioners and those hard of hearing were the “only lucky ones”.

“It's not 100% the Twist. Its supposed to be soundproofed but what use is that when they leave the doors open? Also parking - they park right across my drive.”

But Brad Kirkwood, 26, who lives close to the pub, said that there would always be one or two people making trouble but the Twist was well run and did not give neighbours much cause for concern.

He said: “I find it's generally quite quiet. Even when they're closed I still hear people coming up and down this street.

“I got woken up more when I was living on Mersey Road.

“I normally finish work at about 9.30pm - by the time I get home, at about 10pm, I'm never kept awake, and I'm not the heaviest sleeper either.”

The pub, which has had a temporary license allowing 150 people per night for the last six months, lies in the New Town ward and borough councillor Theresa Higgins cautiously welcomed the move.

She said: “We had a lot of problems with the soundproofing and we still have problems with parking.

“But I would need to consider all the facts. It's one of the few places where 16-18-year-olds can go and enjoy themselves.”

She said that although there had been problems with previous management, the proposed changes were being handled properly.

The pub's manager, Simon Wade, said that everything possible was done to avoid causing nuisance to its neighbours and to keep live music alive in the town.

He added: “We've had a number of neighbours giving us nothing but support. Most of the trouble outside the venue is people leaving town at about 2am.

“But because it's outside the Twist, people think it is us, but there's not much we can do about that - it's certainly not our people.”

elliot.furniss@eadt.co.uk

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