DORSET Council has granted proposals for a Weymouth bar and adjoining nightclub to operate under one licence, despite previous objections.

The Closet Bar and Nightclub and adjoining Somewhere Else Bar, on the corner of Maiden Street and St Edmund Street, has been given permission to be transformed into one larger venue and will now operate under one licence.

The Closet has now taken out the partition walls to make a double walkway through the building connecting the two internally - with a bar on one side and a nightclub on the other. The new licence also enables the business to operate with one entrance and exit instead of two, giving door staff more control of people entering and leaving the premises.

Environmental Health, Weymouth Town Council and Respect Weymouth had previously objected to the application, voicing their concerns about the potential impacts of having one licence instead of two - including noise levels from the premises and anti-social behaviour in nearby streets.

Owner of The Closet, Jamie Crage, said that he believed that trading as one business, as it used to do in the past, would result in the area being quieter and would also result in a reduction of around 150 in overall capacity which, together with a change in music policy, would also help reduce noise.

The building variation application was granted but Dorset Council has given the expanded bar and nightclub new additional conditions it must operate under.

The new conditions aim to prevent any crime or disorder and includes the requirement for the bar to have an additional CCTV camera installed towards Mitchell Street and to follow a Noise Management Plan whereby the bar will need to adopt a ‘cooling down’ period where music volume is reduced at 2am to background music only and the area closed at 3am.

Mr Crage said: “Because of some of the alterations we’ve had to make to soundproof the building it has reduced the capacity as it was if they were two separate bars, but on a whole I think we’ll be able to offer a better experience at The Closet now. Sometimes less is a bit more.

“I’m happy that it’s been approved. We took on the concerns of neighbours and tried to make things better for everyone. We’re opening on the 17th May with table service in both spaces of the bar. There’s lots of things planned, lots of entertainment booked some drag queens and cabaret, etc.

"We’ve been shut seven months so we’re looking forward to opening back up again.

“I think it’s a much needed space in Weymouth and it’s good to promote the diversity of Weymouth as well.”