New Eastbourne nightclub seeking late-night licence

A panel of Eastbourne councillors are set to consider a bid to open a new nightclub at a meeting next week. 

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 9:48 am

On Tuesday (December 17), a panel of Eastbourne Borough councillors are to consider an application for a late-night alcohol licence at the Three Monkeys Bar and Kitchen in Langney Road.

While the premises has yet to open, it has an existing licence (under the name of Morey’s) to serve alcohol and late night refreshments until 11.30pm each night. However, this licence has not been in operation since being granted in 2017.

The application, put forward by DJ and events company owner Dene Sonnessa, seeks to vary the original licence, allowing the bar to serve alcohol and food until 2.30am and play amplified music until 3am. 

According to documents in the application, the premises would be a restaurant during the day and begin to trade as a late night bar and club from 9pm. 

However, the application is opposed by Sussex Police due to concerns around its position within the Cumulative Impact Area (CIA) of Eastbourne town centre. In brief, the policy means licensing applications consider all of the premises in the area in combination, rather than just the individual alone.

Sussex Police argued Mr Sonnessa had not properly considered this cumulative impact in his application and had not offered any additional conditions to address their concerns.

In a letter to the committee, Sussex Police licensing officer Inspector Rob Lovell said: “The night time economy within Eastbourne can at times be very challenging for all the emergency services and the CIA has been shown to be a hot spot location within Eastbourne for crime and violent offences. 

“There are already a high number of late night licensed venues, all of which are in very close proximity to this new proposed venue. Yet another late night vertical drinking establishment is likely to negatively add to the cumulative impact.

“In light of the above, together with recent data showing an increase in sexual assault within the cumulative area, Sussex Police are not satisfied that this application presents an exceptional case to override the presumption of rebuttal for new applications within the CIA.

“We invite the licensing authority to seriously consider refusing this application.”

Concerns had also been raised by the council’s own environmental health team, over fears noise from the bar would cause a public nuisance.

Both Sussex Police and the environmental health team called for a series of additional conditions to be put in place should the application be approved, however.

Conditions include the installation of CCTV, staff training on alcohol sales and hiring SIA-registered door staff. At least some of these conditions had already been agreed in principle by Mr Sonnessa, police said.

The application and the representations are set to be considered in more detail by councillors at a meeting on Tuesday, December 17.