TWO prominent Bournemouth nightspots have been refused new licences after police claimed the town was safer with the venues closed.

A "clerical oversight" meant the 24-hour licences for the former Plush and Puressence venues in St Peter's Road were lost when the previous occupiers went into administration in 2014.

The property owners wanted to renew the licences to make them more attractive to potential new operators.

But after being presented with crime statistics and hearing from both Dorset Police and applicant Morgan Management Ltd, members of Bournemouth council's licensing committee decided to refuse the application.

Central ward councillor David Smith said he was "absolutely delighted" with the decision. "Since the venues closed, that area of town has become fairly quiet as far as disturbances go," he said. "I supported the police in their objection and I'm really pleased with the decision."

The venues have a relatively long history in Bournemouth and were best known as Bliss and Toko, which then became Chilli White. They closed in January 2013 and then re-opened briefly as Plush and Puressence between March and May 2014.

Cllr David Kelsey, who chaired the meeting, said: "Crime and disorder had fallen to such an extent that the area where those premises are is no longer considered a crime and disorder hotspot.

"One of our fears was that allowing them to open again could see problems escalate again.

"Plus, the application was not for any specific nightclub. There was no detail in the application, it was purely to get the places licensed again so they could market them as licensed premises.

"To me, that's not good enough. We want to know what's going to go in there, what type of nightclub it's going to be.

"They hadn't given us anything to say they were not going to cause any more problems in the area so we decided it was right to refuse them."

The applications also sparked one objection from a local resident who complained the buildings were not soundproofed and that residents suffered problems with excess noise.

Cllr Kelsey said: "This was a factor for us, we were mindful of the fact there is a lot more accommodation in that area now."

Morgan Management Ltd did not want to comment on the decision, which they could now choose to appeal through the magistrates' courts.