Watford taxi drivers say it will be a "disaster" if Pryzm nightclub is forced to shut.

The future of Watford's nightlife is in doubt after plans to turn the venue into 147 homes were submitted.

Read More: Under threat Pryzm calls on community to 'help save Watford's nightlife'

Watford Hackney Carriage Drivers Association chairman, Zaheer Ahmed, 44, said: “Watford’s nightlife revolves around Pryzm, there is going to be no nightclubs in Watford, it's not just drivers who will be affected but places like takeaway shops too.

“People just aren’t going to come. The whole night-time economy is going to move to London. The surrounding area doesn’t really have the potential, Hemel, St Albans and Harrow don’t have a nightclub as such so the only other place is London.”

Watford taxi drivers are already struggling with fuel price rises - which they say have increased as much as £400 a month - as well as competition with Uber. According to research by Watford Hackney Carriage Drivers Association, the closure of the centrepiece of Watford’s nightlife is estimated to take out as much as 35-40% of remaining business.

Watford Observer:

Independent taxi driver and Liberal Democrat councillor Shafiq Ahmed said: “It will have a devastating effect on the night-time, it’s a disaster now.

“We request all the people to come out and raise their voice to stop this happening. It should be protected like they protect a listed building.

READ MORE: Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark says 'iconic' Pryzm club should not be lost

“Everybody needs to make sure Pryzm remains in Watford for people who come to Watford to have a nice evening. This will make many taxi drivers go out of business. This will be the final nail in the coffin.”

Watford Observer:

In a poll by the Watford Observer 81% of respondents opposed closing Pryzm to build housing.

Another driver, Maqsood, 61, said: “There will be a massive impact, thousands of people come over the weekend. Young people are often using Uber but they have a limited number of cars before the surge prices…you don't want to know about the surge prices! It can be £30-40. That’s when people need taxis.

“Outside London it’s the place to come to. It’s an institution, it really is. Do they have to build the flats there?”

The planning application can be viewed here.

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