D-Day for Wonderland's later hours bid

First published in News by

THE BOSSES of Basingstoke nightclub Wonderland will today find out if they can extend its opening hours.

The Festival Place venue has applied to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to extend its opening times until 4.30am on Saturdays and Sundays.

The nightclub is also seeking to extend its licensing hours to sell alcohol and play music until 4am on both days.

Currently, the nightclub’s alcohol and music licence extends until 3am on Saturday and 2.30am on Sunday, and the venue closes half-an-hour later on both days.

The application will be decided by councillors Paul Frankum, Colin Regan, and John Barnes who sit on the borough’s licensing sub-committee.

Eastrop borough councillor Gavin James has written to the committee, seeking to block the proposed changes.

He fears that the opening hours extension would fuel crime and disorder, increase town centre disturbance, and be a threat to public safety.

“There is an inextricable link between licensed premises and crime and disorder in the town centre late at night,” he submitted in an email to the council’s licensing officers.

“Allowing this premises to open late at night would stretch police resources between Top of The Town and this location.”

However, the police, who have previously objected to extending opening hours of town centre nightclubs, have not submitted an objection to the nightclub’s plan.

Steve Thomas, director of NoSaints, the firm which runs Wonderland, said the application is designed to let the club compete with late-night bars.

“The reason we are doing this is because everywhere else has a 4am licence,” he said.

“We want to stay on a level playing field with other places. We don’t want to offend anybody, and we want to work with the community.”

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