Pier club nights to face ‘kiss of death’ because of music restrictions

Tommy Ware Jnr, one of the owners of South Parade Pier.  Picture: Sarah Standing
Tommy Ware Jnr, one of the owners of South Parade Pier. Picture: Sarah Standing
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  • Fears that club nights will not return to South Parade Pier as new licence granted
  • DJs will have to wrap up sets by 12.30am
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CLUB nights at South Parade Pier have been given the ‘kiss of death’ after the owners’ hopes for a late-night pier licence were dashed.

Live and recorded music will only be allowed to be played until 11.30pm and 12.30am on Fridays and Saturdays respectively under the conditions of the new licence.

This is the kiss of death for club nights on the pier. DJs won’t want a 12.30am finish

Nick Courtney, spokesperson for South Parade Pier owners

It was granted by Portsmouth City Council’s sub-licensing committee today following two hours of deliberations and a seven-hour public hearing.

Pier owners Tommy Ware Jnr and Tommy Ware Snr had pushed for a licence to hold live and recorded music until 3am.

But following concerns regarding the structure’s ability to contain noise, councillors decided to implement an earlier finishing time.

Nick Courtney, spokesperson for the owners, told The News: ‘This is the kiss of death for club nights on the pier.

‘The council was told that anything less than a 2am licence would have an impact on the profitability of the pier and they have ignored this for what they have called a compromise.

‘This could have a long-term effect on the pier and, while the licence is good for bands, I do not think club night promoters and DJs are going to be keen on a 12.30am finish.’

In addition to the music, the committee decided to allow the pier to serve alcohol until 12.30am during the week and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, with the pier to close each day by 1.30am.

Originally, the owners had also been looking to serve alcohol until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.

However, this was met by opposition from nearby residents, with more than 100 people writing to the council to object to the application over fears regarding noise and anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Paul Godier sat on the three-man panel.

He said: ‘The decision was not what I wanted, but we had to reach a compromise.

‘I was wanting earlier hours, but we have put calming measures in place to ensure we can hold them to account.

‘I appreciate residents will be unhappy, but this acts as a compromise between residents and the establishment.’

In addition to the licensing hours, the council decided it can conduct reviews of the licence and that noise-cancelling measures must be applied to the function room to prevent noise complaints.

Leon Reis, chairman of South Parade Trust said: ‘I do feel a bit let down by the council over this decision, but I guess it is not as bad as it could have been.

He added: ‘The owners now have the choice to behave themselves or run amok with the licence.

‘Residents will now be watching them like a hawk.’