VOTE: Nightclub is forced to stay shut after appeal

A WORTHING nightclub with a troubled past will not reopen, after magistrates said the decision to grant it a new licence was “wrong”.

Angelik nightclub, on Worthing pier, was granted a premises licence in June this year by the sub-committee of Worthing Borough Council, after presenting an application that included holding day-time fitness classes, a synthetic ice rink, and working with Northbrook College.

But the decision was appealed against by Sussex Police weeks later on the grounds the sub-committee was wrong to grant a licence to the club because it is based within a “cumulative impact zone” – an area “saturated” with late-night premises where the council deems there is too much crime and disorder.

At Worthing Magistrates’ Court, last Wednesday, the police’s appeal was successful after magistrates concluded the granting of Angelik’s licence was in breach of cumulative impact zone policy.

Chairman of the bench Ian Matthews said the issue for the magistrates to consider was not whether the club would be well-run, but whether, as a club in a cumulative impact zone, it would contribute to crime and disorder.

He said: “The issue for the magistrates was whether the new club would have a negative impact on crime and disorder. “The magistrates took a contrary view to the licensing sub-committee.

“Although it’s clear that the licensing managers have a well thought-out and impressive plan, there cannot be a doubt that on three days there will be a significant number of people entering into town.

“While we cannot be sure if these people will be new customers, the magistrates believe this will inevitably contribute to negative cumulative impact. “As a result, the magistrates conclude the sub-committee was wrong and we grant the appeal against the application of the licence.”

Following the hearing, Angelik manager Steve Stevens offered no comment on whether he would appeal against the decision.

Jean Irving, head of licensing at Sussex Police, welcomed the decision. She said: “We think it was a very fair decision, which we are really pleased with. “We were concerned about the negative effect that the club would have had and are pleased the magistrates understood our concern and backed our view.”

Previously, The Pier nightclub, which occupied the site before Angelik, had been ordered to close for three months in June, 2010, for persistent cases of crime and under-age drinking.

The licence for the club lapsed after previous owners, Worthing Bars Ltd, went into administration, after which the club became Angelik in October, that year, under new ownership.

Do you think it is fair the license was not granted? Cast your vote in the panel to the right of the screen and leave your comments below.