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Council grants 2am licence to Stortford nightclub so Stansted Airport cabin crew can party

Bacchus, Bishops Stortford. Pic: Vikki Lince
Bacchus, Bishops Stortford. Pic: Vikki Lince

The weekend begins on Monday for cabin crew at Stansted Airport, thanks to East Herts Council's licensing sub-committee.

At a meeting this week, members agreed to grant a late-night extension to Bacchus bar and nightclub in Anchor Street, despite concerns from two fellow district councillors who represent the town.

Both the mayor, Cllr George Cutting, and Cllr Norma Symonds were concerned that the change from a 12.30am curfew to 2am would cause disturbance for nearby residents and both pointed to problems associated with Club 7 nearby in Station Road, which was licensed until 3am and previously hosted the airline staff until it closed in March.

On behalf of Breeze Bars which owns Bacchus, David Clifton, of licensing consultants Clifton Davies, explained that after they were approached by the workers, his clients had used temporary event licences to trial the Monday night extension for the past nine weeks without incident or complaint.

Mr Clifton said Club 7, which was opened in a blaze of publicity by TOWIE reality TV star James Lock in early 2017, was the cause of previous noise – not Bacchus.

“With Club 7, part of their problem was they left their doors and windows open – we do not have any windows.”

He said that unlike the former Falcon pub, as part of the Anchor Street leisure complex Bacchus had been purpose-designed as a nightclub with suitable sound-insulation and double doors to prevent “noise escape”.

He said: “The was not the case with Club 7 or the Fountain before it.”

Backed up by manager Chris Allen, he argued that Bacchus had a good record of both consulting with nearby flats residents about any issues and liaising with police to clamp down on potential troublemakers before violence flared. They told the committee police had only been called three times in two years to minor disturbances.

Mr Clifton pointed out that Bacchus was open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays and its six door staff were able to maintain order despite a younger clientele at the weekends than the Monday night drinkers.

Mr Clifton said: “The reason that this is something airport staff are looking for is that for people working at the airport, shift patterns mean their Monday night is like Friday night for the remainder of the population.”

He said Bacchus would continue to host a Monday night gathering, between 7pm and 9pm for people with special educational needs because owners Jane Fraser, husband Brian and their daughter Lara were anxious to contribute to the community.

The family is getting ready to re-open the Anchor Street bowling alley after investing more than £1m in its revamp.

He concluded: “As Jane said ‘It’s not in our interest to be careless as we have a good reputation to maintain’.”


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