Acting in support of a police request, district councillors have moved swiftly to suspend the licence of a local nightclub. Epping Forest District councillors met within 48 hours of a request for an Expedited Summary Review of the licence conditions applied to the Villa nightclub in Cottis Lane Epping. The review followed serious public order incidents at the weekend which left three people in hospital.
Members of the Council's Licensing Committee suspended the Licence pending a further full review of the premises licence which must take place by 31 March.
Committee Chairman Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens said: "The police have gathered clear and compelling evidence of a serious breakdown of law and order on Saturday night. No one wants to close down local businesses but the safety and security of our residents outweighs every other priority. Further evidence and statutory consultations will be gathered over the next few weeks after which we will review the position again."
Epping Forest District Council's Safer Communities Team are also co-operating with Essex Police on the investigation. High-quality pictures from the Council's CCTV cameras have been provided to the police as they work to identify those involved.
Councillor Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council said: "There is no place for the kind of behaviour we witnessed last Saturday on the streets of our district. I am very grateful to the police and the members of the Licensing Committee for the their very swift response."
Chief Inspector Denise Morrissey said: “The disorder in Epping High Street last Sunday was totally unacceptable and we have taken immediate action to address that in partnership with the council. Three people needed hospital treatment for injuries and our investigation into those assaults is continuing. We will continue to work with the council and others to make the streets of Epping as safe as possible for people who just want to enjoy a good night out.”
The Licensee of The Villa nightclub has been informed of the council decision and will have an opportunity to make representations as part of the further review process.