Residents living in a Corby conservation area say they feel let down after the council has decided against reducing the early morning opening hours of a nightclub.
People living near to The Village in Lloyds Road say their weekends are being blighted by public sex, anti-social behaviour and fighting by customers who are falling out onto the streets in the early hours.
The residents association’s bid to have the weekend partying hours cut back from 4am went before Corby Council’s licensing panel this morning, but after hearing from both sides the authority decided to keep the hours as they are and allow the popular pub to keep serving alcohol until 3.30am.
Instead, the licensing panel tightened up current conditions and imposed a number of new ones including not allowing customers back into the venue after 2am, making sure doormen supervise the smoking area after 11pm and insisting the pub does a clean up of litter in the mornings.
Speaking at the meeting, chair of Corby Old Village Residents Association Beverley Blackburn said at the weekends the conservation area turned into a ‘party area’.
She said: “They stagger around, they urinate wherever they see, they have sex, they sniff drugs off the walls. This happens 52 weekends of the year.
“Life can be very hard at weekends and many who live there do not enjoy them.
“We understand the council has to support local businesses but it also has an obligation to residents and we are being failed.”
Mrs Blackburn, who sleeps with earphones in to block out the early morning noise, said the residents were not carrying out a vendetta and were not asking for the pub to close, just for its opening hours to be changed to 2am. Some homes are just ten yards away from the pub.
The Village had its opening hours extended by the council last August to 3.30am. Since then the residents have compiled a photographic dossier of anti-social behaviour carried out in the early hours.
Speaking on behalf of the owner Simon Green, solicitor Colin Hobbs said if the council decided to reduce the hours it would be a ‘catastrophe’.
He said it would cause more problems for residents as all drinkers from the various licensed premises in the area would be spilling out into the town at once. He also said The Village could not be held responsible for people who go through the area in the early hours of the morning.
The decision was read out by one of the councils legal officers and none of the three councillors on the panel – deputy leader Jean Addison, Bob Eyles or Ray Beeby – made any explanation to the residents.
Mr Green declined to speak after the hearing.
After the meeting, Mrs Blackburn said: “I am disappointed. We feel let down as the council is not listening to residents’ concerns. Why should we have to put up with it?”
The residents have 21 days to appeal against the decision to the Magistrates’ court. However, there will be a cost of several hundred pounds to appeal.