RESIDENTS of a busy Winchester street are demanding the council ‘do their job’.
Three months after it re-opened the controversial Vodka Bar and Nightclub on Upper Brook Street has residents riled again, after alleged anti-social behaviour has driven them to breaking point.
Although there have been no arrests in connection to the club, Winchester City Council has received two complaints, one in January and one this month, both in relation to noise, anti-social behaviour, the licensing arrangements and the possibility of CCTV cameras along the residential section of the street.
Chairman of the Parchment Brooks residents association, Michael Coker-Davies, said it is time for the council to act.
He said: “Now it is time for the council to do its job. Against local opposition the Vodka Bar was opened and ever since the council has wrung its hands or more usually sat on them regarding the increasing problems emanating as a result of their decision.
“People may say that this is a city and we should expect noise, but there’s that, and then there is living with a nightclub 50 yards away from the homes of elderly people and families with young children. It’s lunacy.
“The residents of Winchester demand change.”
The club, which main club nights are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, offers shots of alcohol from as cheap as £1.50 on a Friday evening, tempting revellers with the slogan “party at the weekend on a student budget”.
Last Friday (March 14) a sandbag was thrown on top of a resident’s car, and it is thought the culprit was on their way home from the club.
Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It’s a vomatorium. People just go down there and get slaughtered and then come down here throwing bottles and being sick everywhere. It’s clearly a bunch of kiddiwinks who can’t handle their booze.
“It was bliss when that place was closed and they said they would open it for an older clientele – well we knew that was baloney. So we want to get a coach load of eighty year olds and ruin its street cred. We want to stage a silver protest!”
The club opens until 2am from Monday to Wednesday, and 3am from Thursday to Saturday, and the owners say they are doing their best to maintain good relationships with residents.
Kalvin Collymore, co-owner, said: “Just prior to opening in December we held a meeting with police, the council and residents so that they could raise any issues they had. Only three people turned up, and the rest said they didn’t have any issues.
“The place is soundproofed, we can’t turn the bass up any louder because it has a limiter, and we have done everything we can to make sure the noise doesn’t disturb people. The council are happy with it.
“We always make sure at the end of the night that we go and bleach the alleyway outside, and the bouncers don’t go home until everybody else has gone.
“We have given residents our phone numbers so that if there any problems they can call us and we can sort it out there and then.”
Hampshire Constabulary has also said they haven’t had any issues with the club.
A spokesperson said: “If residents are having issues with any anti social behaviour, they need to make sure they report it to us because we cannot act on what we don’t know.”
The Hampshire Chronicle asked Winchester City Council if they would consider changing the clubs licensing agreement to cater to both clubbers, and local residents.
Martin O’Neill, head of corporate communications at the council, said “We investigate to determine the nature and extent of the issue. We liaise with the complainants as necessary and, depending on the outcome of our investigations we approach the premises management to find a solution.”