CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Club Aquarium launches appeal after losing its licence

Old Street nightclub was forced to close its doors after police reported a string of violent incidents

21 February, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Club Aquarium, which is famed for having a swimming pool, first opened in 1995

THE owners of an Old Street nightclub have appealed the council’s decision to revoke its licence.

Club Aquarium, a three-storey venue famed for having a swimming pool and jacuzzi and for being one of the last venues in London with a 24-hour licence, was forced to close its doors after the police reported a string of violent incidents including alleged stabbings and sexual assaults.

After a tense three-hour Town Hall meeting, councillors on the licensing panel decided to permanently revoke the club’s licence.

But the club’s lawyers have filed an appeal and are set to take the council to court over the decision.

A spokesman for the club said: “The decision made by the licensing committee on January 28 was wholly disproportionate, and manifestly open to challenge.

“It is therefore completely right and proper that it is taken to task via an appeal, and we are confident that a very different outcome will be forthcoming once that has run its course.”

The venue opened in 1995 and it caused uproar in the early 2000s when it was granted a 24-hour licence by the council, with residents voicing fears that Islington was becoming the “next Soho”.

Nearly 20 years on that prediction appears to have fallen flat as representatives of the club spoke at the licensing review about a night-time entertainment market being knocked from all sides by rising rents, rates and strangled by health and safety red tape.

The Night Time Industry Association, which supported Fabric’s case against Islington, is backing Club Aquarium.

The appeal will now be considered at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court where it can be dismissed, substituted for a new decision or sent back to the licensing committee to be reconsidered.

The council was asked to comment but as it is an open appeal a spokeswoman said they cannot do so.

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