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Club bid rejected

PUBLISHED: 15:50 12 May 2010 | UPDATED: 11:41 23 August 2010

THROWN OUT: Plans for derelict Gala Bingo will not do ahead.

THROWN OUT: Plans for derelict Gala Bingo will not do ahead.

A DECISION to throw out controversial plans for a new nightclub in the town centre has been welcomed by council bosses. Mike Snelling, leader of Gravesham Borough Council, spoke against the proposal to convert the former Gala Bingo, New Road, Gravesend,

A DECISION to throw out controversial plans for a new nightclub in the town centre has been welcomed by council bosses.

Mike Snelling, leader of Gravesham Borough Council, spoke against the proposal to convert the former Gala Bingo, New Road, Gravesend, into a nightclub at a regulatory board meeting in November.

He welcomed a decision, announced at the end of April, by an independent planning inspector, which upheld the council's decision to not grant planning permission.

He said: "I am pleased because I always questioned the sense of having huge numbers of people coming out into that area at 3am.

"It didn't agree with what I think is best for Gravesend and for the site."

The property is owned by Da Vinci Properties, who had hoped to turn it into an open space that could be used as a function room, for hire for events such as wedding receptions, comedy nights and also as a nightclub.

Members of the regulatory Board meeting agreed the site needed to be used, but were concerned by a damning police report about the number of call outs to the area, and believed more people drinking would worsen the problem.

The Secretary of State's inspector acknowledged the arguments put forward by officers that the size of the premises and inability of the proprietors to control large numbers of people who would hit the streets and the taxi rank in the early morning was unacceptable and that members and police fears of a consequent increase in crime and disorder was justified.

Mr Snelling added: "I am hoping Da Vinci Properties will now turn in a plan much more in keeping with what the town centre should have for evening entertainment.

"This decision just shows we can actually have a say in what comes to the town if we take a stand."

A new application for a venue for banqueting, a possible comedy club and exhibitions has been agreed by the council's regulatory board.

Da Vinci Properties were not available for comment.

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