Concerns raised over nightclub plan for iconic Kettering hotel

The Royal Hotel.
The Royal Hotel.

A bid to turn Kettering’s Royal Hotel into a nightclub and lounge has attracted heavy criticism.

A licensing hearing has been called for Tuesday (August 15) to decide on an application to sell alcohol at Emporio Nightclub and Emporio Lounge, with sales going on until 5am on Fridays and Saturdays.

But representations citing concerns have been received from Northamptonshire Police, Environmental Protection and a number of residents from surrounding streets.

Northamptonshire Police’s licensing officer, PC David Bryan, said they have concerns over safety and trading in the early hours.

In his representations, he said: “Northamptonshire Police have experience that licensed premises that trade to the early hours are more at risk of undermining the licensing objectives unless a robust operating schedule which is adhered

to is in place, which in Northamptonshire Police’s opinion is not.

“Northamptonshire Police have concerns in relation to how the capacity of both premises will be maintained, a system whereby patrons to the basement club can gain access from the upstairs bar but also patrons can gain access from the street.

“This would seriously put at risk capacity limit monitoring.

“I have concerns that at any time it would be difficult to ascertain the correct capacity for each bar posing a risk not only to crime and disorder but also to public safety.

“Northamptonshire Police hold the honest held belief that for safety reasons the entrance to both premises requires to be kept separate from each other. This way capacities for both venues can be monitored correctly.

“A proper queuing system will be required to be put in place outside the Emporio Nightclub which has residential properties in the vicinity. This may cause public nuisance issues.”

Kettering Council’s environmental protection team leader Rachel Field expressed concerns that noise from the nightclub will affect nearby properties.

She said: “There is no music volume control equipment proposed at either venue and music is likely to be audible in the street and in nearby residential properties, especially late into the night in the warmer weather when residents have their windows open.

“The lounge has single glazed windows that will not reduce music noise significantly.

“Whilst the nightclub is in a basement, the low frequency bass beat of music travels through building structures and therefore needs controlling in a residential area.”

One resident of West Street said such a licence would be ‘inappropriate’ for the Market Place and that previous incarnations of the Royal Hotel had a reputation for noise, drugs and drinking.

Another resident of nearby Hazelwood Court said it will cause disruption and affect everyone in the vicinity.

A decision will be made at the meeting on Tuesday, which starts at 2pm.

The meeting will be held in the council chamber in Bowling Green Road.