BOSSES at The Only Way Is Essex nightspot Sugar Hut this week vowed that their extended opening hours will not create a major disturbance in Brentwood.
The club is now allowed to stay open until 3.30am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, to give guests – some of whom have flown thousands of miles to Brentwood – "more time to experience the venue", made famous through TV show The Only Way Is Essex.
The new licence for the High Street venue, which will allow the sale of alcohol on these three days until 3am, was granted after a three-hour hearing of Brentwood Borough Council's licensing/appeals sub-committee on Thursday.
The committee did, however, not allow a later opening on Sunday until 2am, as part of the new licence.
Closing time on this day, instead increases by just half an hour to 1am.
The nightspot, a favourite of Brentwood pop star Pixie Lott, is owned by Michael Norcross, one of the stars of The Only Way Is Essex, who has told the Gazette he is very happy with the extension.
Speaking to the Gazette while on a family holiday in Florida, Mr Norcross said: "The reason behind the application was to give our guests, particularly those travelling to Brentwood who have travelled by plane, bus, train and car, more time to experience the town and Sugar Hut and, of course, improve the local economy of Brentwood still further.
"We are always conscious of the residents around us and they did have the opportunity to make valid representations within the consultation period, but these were in fact negligible.
"The licensing sub-committee obviously felt the measures we undertake to ensure minimal disturbance to residents were of a high enough standard to appease any concerns and the same controlled measures will of course apply to the extended hours."
Sugar Hut manager Ronnie Banks reiterated the pledge to ensure there was no major disturbance or late-night trouble in the town.
He also insisted that the extended hours would just allow people to enjoy a longer Sugar Hut experience, rather than bring more revellers into the town later at night.
Ahead of the club's busy Saturday night, he said: "Our own control measures are good all night.
"We adopt the same policies and professionalism at 3am in the morning as we do at 2am in the morning and as we do at 10pm at night. It is as simple as that."
He added: "I do not believe we will bring 'late night' people into the area even later, it just gives people the opportunity to stay later, particularly people travelling a long way."
During the meeting, the committee heard concerns and assurances made over any disturbance that would be caused to residents, from various representatives.
There were also conditions added to the licence relating to the noise coming from the club.
Summing up, borough solicitor Steve Boyle confirmed that the only real variation to the hours requested by the Sugar Hut related to Sunday, where the committee had only allowed the club to stay open until 1am.
He said: "The reason for this is to take account of the beginning of the working week on Mondays."