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Controversial Walthamstow nightclub bid rejected
A stockbroker's controversial bid to re-open a nighclub which police warned was previously used by criminal gangs has been blocked.
Nicholas Sams puchased the former Enigma Bar in Forest Road, Walthamstow, and planned to transform it into a 400-capacity venue, open until 3am at weekends.
Dozens of residents objected to his licence application, citing previous anti-social behaviour, and police believed it would lead to an increase in crime in the area.
Representing Mr Sams at a licensing commiteee hearing at Waltham Forest Town Hall today, Nick Walton said metal detectors and retina scanners would be installed to identify potential troublemakers.
He also said venue staff would ensure customers were dispersed from surrounding streets and music woulld be turned down towards the end of the night.
Mr Walton said: “If you believe that gun and knife crime cannot be prevented then we will never move any further forward.
“The management have determined how the premises will operate. It will be used as a highly successful community based facility. It will not be a threat to the protection of children.
“People will not be allowed in without ID and there will be an ID scanner. There is no way that the management will not know who is inside.”
He added there was a plan to open the venue for community use during the day.
However, police licensing officer Donna Wilcox criticised Mr Sams, who failed to meet with her before the committee meeting.
Rupert Taylor, a resident of nearby Borwick Avenue, said there had been trouble with the venue in the past.
He added: “Last year in May I was woken up by a woman screaming, I thought it was under my window.
“I went outside and there was a large group shouting and making threats.
"My wife is a nurse if she had been there and had been woken up at 2.30am she would have had to go to work at 7am with no sleep.
“This is the wrong place for this kind of venue. The community does not want it.”
A joint letter from 12 households was read out, which cited urinating in gardens, litter, anti-social behaviour and an increase in cars with their engines on in the street causing disturbance.
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