A HEREFORD nightclub has been told that it cannot extend its hours on the Sundays before Bank Holiday Mondays.

Bosses at Play wanted the Blueschool Street venue to stay open an hour longer than its current 3am finish.

But, a Herefordshire Council regulatory committee last week only granted an extension until 3.30am on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve after hearing police would struggle to cope with any increase.

Jim Mooney, police licensing officer for Herefordshire, said that 319 incidents were reported in Blueschool Street last year, with 123 linked to Play.

Of those 319 incidents, he said that 236 were alcohol related, with 179 taking place between midnight and 4am.

“There is nothing in the application which indicates how the extension of hours for licensable activities will reduce the impact on the licensing objectives and within the general area,” said Mr Mooney.

Inspector Nick Semper added that violent crime accounts for 11 per cent of all crimes committed in Herefordshire.

“If granted, this application would set a precedent and open the floodgates for mirror applications from competitors,”

he said.

But Billy Reynolds, who owns Play, said that the venue has successfully traded until at least 4am in the past.

“This decision will not have a landslide effect, it is just a simple business decision,” he said.

“We really care about the customers who come into the venue and we feel we are part of the community.

“We have customers who purchase new clothes and shoes and have their hair done before going out, yet we always seem to be under the cosh.”

Committee members did grant Play Nightclub permission to hold adult entertainment nights as long as there was no full nudity.

Update: Play manager Dan Guerche has since confirmed that the club will continue applying to extend their opening hours until 4am using Temporary Event Notices.