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Police had called for review of Liquid licence

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The nightclub's closure was announced on September 19 - three days after police requested a licence review

NEWBURY police had already demanded a review of town centre nightclub Liquid's licence before it closed last week because they claimed it was encouraging excess drinking and linked to crimes and public disorder.

Last week, the owners of the club, Luminar Leisure, denied that the closure was a result of pressure on its licence, telling Newburytoday.co.uk instead that the cause was ‘difficult trading conditions' in Newbury.

Managers announced the club's closure on September 19 - three days after the police lodged the request for a licence review with West Berkshire Council.

Police say they want the review because of:

- failure by the management to meet the Prevention of Crime and Disorder objective due to the number of incidents and crimes linked to the premises;

- unacceptable high level of incidents relating to intoxication within the premises and incidents of the same outside the premises;

- failure to support the Public Safety objective due to the high level of incidents involving injury likely to cause alarm and distress to passing members of the public;

- failure to meet the public nuisance objective due to the level of anti social behaviour linked to the premises;

- encouraging of the excess consumption of alcohol.

A spokesman for Luminar Leisure, Stephen Lynn, this week denied knowing about the police request, a notice of which had been posted on the club's entrance: “I was not aware of this and the decision to close the club was taken solely on financial grounds. The late night entertainment industry in Newbury has been hit hard in recent times and localised economic and operating challenges have resulted in the business being no longer viable."

The Kennet Centre based club, which opened its doors in 2002, hit the headlines in July when youths evicted from the club fought pitched battles with police in Newbury town centre.

Newbury MP Richard Benyon led the criticism when it emerged that on the night the club had been running an 80p drinks promotion, but said yesterday: “I regret any business closing in Newbury, but I hope that somebody steps forward to operate a safe place for young people to go.”

The review of the premises licence, which relates to the property, not the owner or the specific club, is already in process, so if it is revoked, neither Luminar, nor anyone else would be able to open a new club on the premises without a new licence.

West Berkshire Council, the licensing authority, is due to make a decision on November 7. Interested parties are invited to make representations to the council no later than October 17.

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