WISBECH: Police and local residents raise objections to turn former WI hall into cinema and wine bar

PUBLISHED: 16:55 25 November 2008 | UPDATED: 08:45 02 June 2010

WI centre in Alexander Road Wisbech soon to be a cinema

WI centre in Alexander Road Wisbech soon to be a cinema

POLICE and local residents are objecting to a proposal to turn the WI Hall in Wisbech into a late night arts cinema and wine bar. Insp Robin Sissons is worried that an application for a licence until 2.30am is an indication that a night club could be esta

POLICE and local residents are objecting to a proposal to turn the WI Hall in Wisbech into a late night arts cinema and wine bar.

Insp Robin Sissons is worried that an application for a licence until 2.30am is an indication that a night club could be established at the Alexandra Road premises - to be known as The Luxe Cinema.

At present, the Women's Institute Hall has a licence for music, dancing, and entertainment until midnight.

But applicant Burleigh Ibbott of South Brink, Wisbech, wants the licence to allow for films, plays, music, dance, late night refreshments and alcohol sales until 2.30am every day of the week, with doors closing at 3.00am. He says normal opening hours would be from 10am until 11.30pm every day

A planning application says the building would be used as a single screen arts cinema to seat 80 people, along with a conference hall, bar and the provision of bar snacks. The cinema would show standard classification films, with no adult entertainment or services being permitted.

Seven residents have sent in objections, alongside the National Farmers' Union, Wisbech and District Chamber of Commerce, and the Angles Theatre. Councillor Simon King is supporting local residents. Objectors have voiced concerns about possible crime and disorder, noise, public drinking, litter, rowdy behaviour and vandalism.

In a letter of objection, Insp Sissons told Fenland District Council: "It appears unclear as to the usage of the premises."

Providing a list of suggested conditions, including the use of door supervisors and CCTV, he writes: "I need to ensure that if the building is going to be used for any other service, such as a nightclub, then the following conditions must be adhered to."

Insp Sissons suggests that the cinema's licence should end at 1am, closing at 2am; and a night club licence should finish at 2am, with doors closing at 2.30am.

The council's licensing committee is due to decided the application on December 3.

n Tell us what you think? Email your views to john.elworthy@archant.co.uk


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