A panel of Thurrock councillors has suspended the licence of the Entourage nightclub in Grays for a month following violence there in November.
Chair of the panel, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said that although the police wished the licence revoked, they felt it was “a little too far, but we can assure you it was a very, very close thing”.
The licensing sub-committee reconvened on Monday (30 November) evening after an all-day sitting on Friday to announce their decision.
The one-month suspension was to give the owners of the club a chance to comply with a series of conditions including a review of the premises management, the employment of a new and experienced security company, and the employment of an acoustic engineer to ensure noise nuisance is eliminated.
The panel also agreed that a series of 27 conditions would be imposed on the licence.
These ranged from the removal of an off-licence to the installation of digital CCTV cameras, the fitting of security shuttering or fixtures at all the bars to prevent bottles being removed by customers, and the training of staff in First Aid.
The owners were also ordered to hold regular three-monthly meeting with the police, the council licensing team and Environmental Control Department to review operations.
On Friday the panel had heard from witnesses and watched CCTV coverage of a major brawl. Cllr Gledhill said: “We heard from both the police, your staff and yourself, varying versions of what happened that night and from listening to it all we do believe that the police evidence.
“It is clear that for whatever reason some of your patrons left the premises and started a serious public order incident outside of the club. One of those injured inside the club was eventually escorted to his car but for whatever reason returned where he was subject to violence so severe that he appeared to be dead not only to your wife but an officer on scene.”
He concluded: “In closing we cannot stress how close you came to losing your licence. We look forward to you working a lot more closely with the responsibly authorities, the licensing team, residents and the community as a whole.”