A nightclub’s bid to extend its opening hours has been refused by councillors.
Blisters nightclub, in Bargoed, wanted to stay open for an extra half hour until 4.30am, with permission sought for live music to be played until 4.15am.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s licensing and gambling subcommittee turned down the application after meeting last month.
Members were told that while there were no plans to keep the bar open past 3.30am, concerns had been raised that longer opening hours could add to existing alcohol-related disorder issues in the Hanbury Road area.
But club owners Enterbizz Ltd argued the move would give staff more time to effectively filter people out on busy nights and avoid a “mass exodus”.
PC Dan Allen, of Gwent Police, told the licensing hearing on April 29 that an all-inclusive offer on selected drinks allows customers to “drink as much as they want” before 1.30am, after which they can continue to buy alcohol until 3.30am.
If the club plays music later and allows people to stay for longer, said PC Allen, it could encourage people to purchase more drinks in the last half hour before the bar closes.
Gareth Murray, who runs Blisters alongside his brother Sean, disputed claims that people would stockpile drinks, saying: “There’s very little demand for alcohol at this time as people have usually had enough.
Those who wish to smoke after the closure of the smoking area at 3.30am would have to smoke outside the venue and would not be allowed back in, added Mr Murray.
A “cooling down period” between last orders and the doors closing has also been proposed if there are more than 80 customers in the venue between 4am and 4.30am.
“We’re trying to avoid a mass exodus and putting large numbers on the high street at once,” said Mr Murray.
But Caerphilly County Borough Council’s assistant licensing manager, Annette Dicks, said this would be difficult to monitor and enforce.
Concerns were also raised that there would be a lack of private or public transport to take customers away from the area and avoid possible disputes.
Figures from Gwent Police show that 25 out of 100 police call-outs to Hanbury Road between April 2018 and March 2019 were linked to Blisters.