Area nightclub will remain shut during the busy Christmas period, after an appeal into the council’s original decision to suspend the venue's licence was overturned today.

Watford Borough Council’s licensing sub committee voted to suspend the night club’s licence for two months, following a 21-day period, at a meeting in October.

However, the nightclub’s owners, Gatecrasher, argued that they had not been aware of the 21-day period, which would mean the venue could not open until the New Year, rather than the middle of December.

At an appeal into the decision at Hertford Magistrates’ Court today, representatives from Gatecrasher, the council and police, argued the appeal decision.

James Rankin, representing Gatecrasher, said the club had been closed for refurbishment and a rebrand, and was set to open under the new name of “Cameo” in the middle of December.

This would mean the original period of two months would be cut to five weeks from the end of the 21-day period, which started after the licensing decision in October.

The police and council however argued that the new club, with 50 per cent new staff and lower prices would present a “significant risk to the safety of individuals in Watford’s night time economy” during the busiest time of the year for the emergency services.

The appeal was initially refused, meaning the two month suspension would start today and run until February 6.

However, the council’s representative Gary Grant cut the suspension to one month and suggested the magistrates “partially allow the appeal on the basis the licence is suspended until January 6”.

The £5,301.60 of taxpayers’ money used to pay the council’s costs during the appeal were passed on to Gatecrasher.

For a full report see the Watford Observer website tomorrow.