Big expansion on cards for Wigan nightspot

Revolution.
Revolution.

One of Wigan’s most popular nightspots is planning a major expansion that may put the council’s tough booze licence stance to the test.

Documents have been submitted to the town hall for Revolution on King Street to create a first floor bar with a retractable roof.

If the planning application is successful then no doubt an application will follow under the Licensing Act to alter the plans of the premises to reflect this increase in customer numbers

If approved, the expansion may then require a further booze licence meaning it must pass the council’s cumulative impact policy (Cip) stipulations.

Local authority bosses imposed the strict guidelines in a bid to crackdown on nuisance behaviour in the town centre.

And those to have fallen foul of the Cip say they will be watching Revolution’s bid with a keen eye.

Paul Douglas, whose company Douglas Licensing had a bid turned down last year to open a real ale bar in Hallgate, said: “I will follow this matter very carefully.

“If the planning application is successful then no doubt an application will follow under the Licensing Act to alter the plans of the premises to reflect this increase in customer numbers.

“I would find it inconceivable, if Revolution’s is granted, that my application was refused.”

The policy, introduced last year, means the council adopts a default “no” position and puts the onus on applicants to prove their premises will not exacerbate town centre disorder problems.

This means existing licence holders in the town centre impact zone are able to renew but fresh bids are placed under the increased levels of scrutiny.

But it has been criticised for its “one-size-fits-all” approach, stifling bids to change the current cultural offering.

There is no suggestion Revolution and its clientele contribute more so than any other bar in the town centre to the circumstances leading to the Cip being introduced.

But its potential bid for a licence could be seen as a watershed case.

In March last year, an application to open a jazz bar on Wallgate was rejected under the same reasoning as Mr Douglas’s bid, which was for Hophurst Brewery’s Twisted Vine Ale House

The ruling attracted criticism from Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue who called the decision “disappointing”.

Mr Douglas added: “The licensing committee when deciding my application stated that we had not addressed the issues of cumulative impact.

“Make your own mind up, what is going to cause a problem, a maximum of 30 to 40 middle aged real ale drinkers leaving a Hallgate venue at 11pm or more joining the masses on King Street in the early hours of the morning?”

Revolution bars, a national chain, were contacted about their planning bid but the Wigan Post has received no response by the time of going to press.