London nightclub Boujis has fought off efforts to change the terms of its licence and reduce its opening hours thanks to strong support from local residents.
As part of a licensing review by Kensington and Chelsea council’s licensing subcommittee this week, 56 residents made representations of which only three were opposing the club.
Many of their responses cited the efforts of the club to address anti-social activities in the area, often not coming from Boujis patrons. They also mentioned the professionalism of the club and the courteous way in which staff behaved both inside and outside the venue.
The South Kensington club, part of Ignite Group, has been favoured by Prince Harry and is a regular haunt of celebrities. Kensington & Chelsea Council’s licensing sub-committee considered an application of a review of its licence after an incident outside the club in October.
The review included a call for the club to be forced to close earlier at 2am rather than the current 3am. The committee cited the efforts that the club had undertaken to deal with any anti-social behaviour outside the club by employing security guards to patrol the streets outside the club as one of the reasons to reject any changes to the club’s opening times.
Ignite Group’s chief executive Matt Hermer said: “I am pleased that the club will be able to continue opening at the same hours without any major changes to the conditions. We have operated for over 12 years and we pride ourselves on being considerate neighbours and an active part of the community.
“The fact that many of our closest neighbours came in support of us continuing as a late-night venue is heartening and a reflection of the steps that we have taken to respond to concerns.
“We are always open to suggestions for improvements and we will increase our dialogue with all the relevant authorities as well as our valued neighbours.”
Strong resident support for the club is in contrast to concerns that resident opposition is leading to a dramatic fall in the number of nightclubs nationwide. The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), the trade body for the late-night economy, has warned that members were being “clubbed to death” by limits on opening hours and other licensing restrictions.
The strong support from neighbours in South Kensington for Boujis shows that well managed and responsible clubs can be good neighbours and valued local assets even in one of the country’s most well healed areas.