Nightclub expansion set to get go ahead

PLANS to extend a 600-capacity nightclub in an Essex village have been backed by planning chiefs despite residents' fears of increased noise and vandalism.

PLANS to extend a 600-capacity nightclub in an Essex village have been backed by planning chiefs despite residents' fears of increased noise and vandalism.

Kings Nightclub, in Copford, has applied to extend its floorspace by around 140 square metres.

But despite objections from local householders and two parish councils, planning officers in Colchester are recommending councillors give the scheme the go-ahead, subject to conditions.

The club is housed in a Grade 2 listed building in London Road, close to Windmill Court, Allendale Drive and Foundry Lane.


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However, the extension, which will see the building increase its width by just over four metres, is proposed for a modern part of the structure which was built in the 1970s.

The new work would enlarge the floor space of the club,which is licensed until midnight, and sometimes 2am, from 682 square metres to 823.

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A Colchester Borough Council report predicts the club will apply to increase its operating capacity from 600 people to around 720.

It also notes that since the proposal was made, 45 people have made objections to it.

These include fears that property prices could drop locally, the police would be unable cope, existing parking problems would be exacerbated and noise and anti-social behaviour would increase.

Copford with Easthorpe Parish Council wrote to the borough, saying that underlying issues with the club needed to be sorted out before the extension should be allowed.

"Unacceptable problems with noise levels are being experienced by nearby neighbours. Presumably, the proposed extension will allow for an increase of clients and we have concerns that the capacity of the car park will not be sufficient.

Marks Tey Parish Council wrote saying although the design of the extension raised no inherent problems, anti-social behaviour was still a concern.

However, council officers have recommended at a meeting of Colchester's planning committee on Thursday, councillors should back the scheme as long as certain key conditions are met.

These include adequate sound-proofing, shielding of lights, the planting of trees on the site and a requirement that any changes to the club's licensed hours or capacity should be obtained before any building work starts.

Nobody from Kings Nightclub was available for comment yesterday.

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