Attempt to end club closing time chaos

Attempt to end club closing time chaos

Francis Batt

Attempt to end club closing time chaos

A new attempt is being made to ease the chaos surrounding club closing times in the Royal Borough.

But the council's lead member for planning, Cllr Michael John Saunders (Con, Bisham and Cookham), admits current laws makes the task a difficult one.

Borough cabinet members are expected to agree tonight that their planning and licensing departments should work closer together.

At the moment some clubs are allowed later opening hours under their licensing conditions than they are under planning restrictions imposed years ago.

Cllr Saunders explained licensing officers had much more power than their planning colleagues.

The licensing department can take immediate action if a club breaches its rules - while a club in breach of a planning curfew need only keep putting in new planning applications to freeze any enforcement action.

The two departments work to different criteria under the law, meaning they have little or no contact with each other.

But Cllr Saunders said: "We want to ensure that licensing enforcement teams will be given added training and awareness so they give 'due regard' to existing planning restrictions as well.

"We want to draw the two pieces together as much as possible, although the law makes it difficult."

The meeting is set to take place at Maidenhead Town Hall.

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