Exeter nightclub EX4 wins bid to stay open until 4am

Exeter nightclub EX4 has bagged permission to stay open until 4am.

The venue in Fore Street was given the go-ahead by the city council’s licensing sub-committee this week.

The club is currently permitted to stay open until 1am on Mondays and Tuesdays, 2am on Wednesdays and Sundays, and 3.30am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

An amendment to the licence will now see the licensable hours extended to 2.30am on Mondays and Tuesdays, 3am on Wednesdays, and 4am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Closing time would remain at 2am on Sundays.

Last entry to new patrons on Thursday, Friday and Saturday would be at 3am, and last alcohol sales would be 30 minutes before closing time on all seven nights of the week.

Conditions applied by the committee to the new application include having a clearly marked smoking area at the front of the premises which, after midnight, will be under the control of staff and limited to 20 patrons.

Dianne Scullion, the designated premises supervisor, said people were going out later these days.

She added: “We don’t get many customers before 11.30pm and people are going out later and later.

“Vaults have a 4.30am licence, so I thought it was only fair I went for it. I spoke to the police and they said they have had no problems and trouble late at night.

“Having a 4am closing time spreads it out with people leaving.

“Instead of leaving in big groups, people are spread out more and there will be less hassle and trouble in the town.”

The nightclub currently opens Wednesday to Saturday.

The committee heard there were no plans for opening on Sunday to Tuesday – but members had to consider the application under the possibility that it would as the EX4 has a licence to do so.

Local residents  raised fears over the additional opening hours.

Sandra Semple said: “The area is much more residential than it previously was.

“I am inconvenienced at 2am – they fight, urinate, and I even saw one couple have sex against the wall. It is part of living in the city but it is not right that we could be kept up until 4/5am.

“The balance is tipping away from residents to all-night economy. A night-time economy is fine, but an all-night economy is creeping up on us and that would be wrong.”

A spokesman for Phoenix Development (Exeter) Ltd, which owns the flats opposite the nightclub, said it was objecting over concerns that current noise levels from the premises would be exacerbated by the increased hours.

After nearly an hour of debate,  the committee granted the variation of the premises licence to enable the opening hours of EX4 to be extended.

The new conditions of the licence take effect immediately.

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