Sudbury: Nightclub in danger of losing its licence

POLICE have initiated proceedings that could result in a Sudbury nightclub being stripped of its licence.

“Serious concerns” raised about the way Easterns Station Lounge in Great Eastern Road is being run, are scheduled to be discussed at a review hearing by Babergh District Council’s licensing sub-committee on December 17.

Senior officer Inspector Paul Crick, who made the application to the council, confirmed police were seeking to revoke the nightclub’s licence before Christmas, which he described as a “major” and “very unusual” step.

Insp Crick said at this early stage, he was unable to discuss the details of the case, which are due to be outlined in a council report expected to be published early next week.

The owner of Easterns Station Lounge, David Pratt, told the East Anglian Daily Times he could not comment on the case for legal reasons, but he strenuously denied the allegations made by police and confirmed the club would be fighting the move.

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A representative of Dadds Licensing Solicitors – who are acting on Mr Pratt’s behalf – declined to comment but said they were intending to challenge the application.

A Babergh District Council spokesman said an application had been received asking for a review of the premises’ licence, which is held for alcohol, regulated entertainment and indoor sporting events.

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In September, Babergh’s licensing sub-committee granted Easterns an alteration to its licence to enable youngsters from the Sudbury Boxing Club to stage fundraising fights at the venue between Sundays and Thursdays, without having to apply for a temporary events licence.

Easterns has been praised by local councillors for allowing the boxing club to use the venue free of charge.

Although police asked for the current review process to be accelerated because of the severity of the concerns raised, the Babergh spokesman said: “A sub-committee of Babergh’s Licensing and Appeals Committee met to decide whether any interim steps were necessary in respect of the licence, pending the full review.

“In this instance, and having expressed serious concern at the issues raised, the sub-committee decided to not take any interim steps and allow for the full and fair examination of all parties’ submissions and evidence at the forthcoming hearing.”

The review will consider licensing objectives such as public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm.

Potential outcomes of the review could include altering conditions, removing activities, removing the premises supervisor, and suspension or revocation of the licence.

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