A BID to merge two town centre nightspots into a “superclub” has been approved by Bournemouth's licensing committee.

V Club, which operates in the former St Andrew's Church in Exeter Road, will join with the Viper Lounge behind it to become one venue.

Operators are booking big name DJs and music acts to appear at the venue, in the hope of reinvigorating the night-time economy.

Dorset Police and environmental health had objected to the original application but worked with the applicants Vee Assets Ltd to agree a long list of conditions.

These include a requirement to have a welfare officer based in the nightclub to assist any vulnerable party-goers.

Local nightclub entrepreneur Richard Carr is a consultant for the two venues. A newly created walkway through an existing alley will link them up. 

The site is in the heart of Bournemouth’s “cumulative impact area”, which means councillors have to refuse new applications unless the applicants can demonstrate they will not cause additional problems.

Speaking before the bid was approved, town centre ward councillor David Smith said: “The last thing the town needs is any more large super-nightclubs.”

In a letter to the town’s licensing board, Gail Wade of Dorset Police stated the conditions currently offered by the applicants were “wholly inadequate.”

She added that, currently, 60 per cent of all alcohol related crime and 62 per cent of all non-domestic assaults in Bournemouth occur within the cumulative impact area.”

Lynn Barr, of Bournemouth Trading Standards, said they had concerns that merging the two premises could cause noise problems for nearby residents.

Resident Rachel Young wrote an objection, saying: “I have attended V on several occasions and I am very alarmed at the amount of drunk people on the streets outside the venue.

“I have witnessed many fights as well as people who are vulnerable and ill because of their considerable consumption of alcohol.”

Oliver Jones, the former club promoter and owner of Dusk Till Dawn, said: “There was a time when Bournemouth was rated as one of the top destinations for clubbing in the UK. If V can bring the big, exciting names they are talking about getting, it would draw the students and be exciting.

Restaurant entrepreneur Andy Price, owner of West Beach and The Print Room, said decisions made on clubs like this would determine Bournemouth’s future.

He said: “I have mixed feelings. It will bring potentially an Ibiza style feeling. I think we should aspire more to being the English Riviera.”

You have your say

Alice Cadman, 18, from Broadstone, said: “I go to V and I think it’s quite good. If it gets bigger it would be better. I always think of it as younger people whereas around Walkabout is for people in their 20s.”

Lucia Charlton, 31, a retail worker from the town centre, said: “We hear screaming and shouting until 3am or 4am.

“I understand a superclub will be for the younger people but I think the council and police need to be prepared for it.”

Scott Charlton, 34, a restaurant manager from the town centre, said: “I think it will be ok and hopefully will bring more business to the town centre. Everyone gets hungry and wants to eat and trade dies off after 9pm.”

Graham Smith, 69, a retired MD from Ferndown, said: “We don’t come into the town centre much at night. If you come to a panto with the grandchildren there’s swearing and trouble as you leave. I think a superclub might add to that atmosphere.”

Full updated story and reaction to follow