By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter
A representative of a popular cocktail bar in Nottingham which is looking to expand says it has been asked by Nottinghamshire Police to employ an “absurd” number of door staff as a condition for staying open longer.
Brass Monkey, in High Pavement, has been operating for 23 years and the owner is now seeking permission from Nottingham City Council’s licensing panel to extend the licensable area to the third floor.
The ground floor had been licensed in 1999 and the first floor was licensed in 2000.
There had been no representations from nearby neighbours or businesses, only Nottinghamshire Police.
Nottinghamshire Police had raised concerns that it could become a “nightclub” and requested it employ seven door staff as a condition for the change in its license.
The matter was to be determined during a meeting of the council’s licensing panel on Monday (November 21), but it was adjourned for a later date.
Licensing lawyer Duncan Craig, who was representing Brass Monkey, said: “What we are in dispute over here is in relation to the licensable hours.
“My client proposed in fact the hours be amended slightly. At the moment it is 3am, they are going to propose that is amended to 4.30, not 5am, for all licensable activities.”
Nottinghamshire Police, which was being represented by solicitor Avi Wadhawa during the meeting, had proposed a number of conditions including the need for seven door staff, according to Mr Craig.
Mr Craig argued such numbers “would not be feasible” for such a small venue and conditions should be proportionate.
“The condition that requires seven door staff for a premises of this size is frankly, I have to say, absurd,” he added.
“Whilst Nottinghamshire Police has said there weren’t any pre-application negotiations with them, there were pre-application discussions with them and concerns were raised by Nottinghamshire Police, and the word ‘nightclub’ was used.
“They had concerns around more venues at that time and I felt it was important for you as a sub-committee, and following that I didn’t expect there would be any other objections and there weren’t, for you to understand, first of all the place that this venue has within Nottingham itself, the fact it has been here so long.
“It is not particularly big. What an asset it is to the city.
“It isn’t like other late night venues and in particular one of the things I know from my own experience, and is certainly the case even more so in recent years, is it has become a hive for the local bar and restaurant working community to come after work, I guess in a sense it is a social club for them to enjoy after work.
“I think that is important because it shows it providing a service for people who don’t want to go to a noisy nightclub.”
However after representation from Mr Craig, Ms Wadhawa told the panel she had not received the relevant documents to make an informed decision.
As such the decision on granting or refusing the license was adjourned until a later date.