All of Watford's mayoral candidates have spoken about the wider impact the closure of a nightclub could have on the town centre economy.

At a hustings organised by the Observer last week, the candidates were asked for their thoughts on plans that would see Pryzm shut and replaced by 147 homes.

Laser Planet, Iceland, and Steinbeck & Shaw would also go under the proposal put forward by the owners of the building in The Parade to Watford Borough Council.

The chief executive of Watford Business Improvement District (BID), Maria Manion, has previously said the closure of the club would have a "devastating" impact on Watford.

She pointed towards the taxi drivers and local bars and restaurants that would very likely lose business, as well as the impact on those who work at and visit Pryzm.

See more: Watford BID say losing Pryzm nightclub would be 'devastating'

Watford Observer: Pryzm nightclub in Watford town centre. Credit: Holly CantPryzm nightclub in Watford town centre. Credit: Holly Cant

Conservative candidate Binita Mehta-Parmar said she was "shocked" to hear about the threat to Pryzm.

Speaking at the hustings ahead of the election this Thursday (May 5), she said: "The night-time economy is something that's really important to Watford. I've spoken to people who work at Pryzm and they are shocked and saddened as we all should be.

"We should take Maria’s comments seriously because this would, as she says, have a devastating impact on our town. It is an anchor for our town, it makes us famous in some ways and it is important to make sure that we have those employment opportunities but that also these socialising opportunities remain here in Watford.

"It should not just be another victim of the overdevelopment scandal. There are other ways of ensuring that housing in present in the town centre in a way that is appropriate. It’s not something I agree with it all."

See more: Candidates clash over development at Watford mayoral hustings

Watford Observer: A CGI of the plans to redevelop the Pryzm site. Credit: Dwyer Asset Management LtdA CGI of the plans to redevelop the Pryzm site. Credit: Dwyer Asset Management Ltd

There has been a high-profile clubbing scene in Watford for over 40 years. Previously, the Pryzm site has been known as Oceana, Top Rank, Paradise Lost, Baileys, Kudos, and Destiny.

Labour candidate Cllr Asif Khan said: "I’m from the Kudos generation but we’ve absolutely got to make sure there is enough employment land in Watford.

"The taxi drivers rely on the business of the night-time trade and the footfall. It [closing Pryzm] will have a detrimental impact on the economy and actually that is a planning issue.

"I would be opposed to the closing of Pryzm. This site is an institution in Watford. So for me it’s, let's make sure it is there for future generations."

Watford Observer: The main dancefloor at Pryzm in Watford The main dancefloor at Pryzm in Watford

Liberal Democrat candidate Peter Taylor, who has served as Watford mayor since he was elected in 2018, said: "The first thing to say is the council hasn’t made a decision on this. The landowner is able to bring forward planning applications. That’s the way the system works.

"I know how important Pryzm is to our night-time economy. A few weeks ago, I was shadowing the police and they said it was a quiet night and there were around 1,700 people there. Of course that brings a lot of income to not just Pryzm but also restaurant and pubs and clubs and bars all around the town centre. So I’m acutely aware of how important it is."

Watford Observer: Pryzm Watford. Credit: Stephen DanzigPryzm Watford. Credit: Stephen Danzig

Mr Taylor added: "I think the important thing to say at this stage is that the council hasn’t decided whether or not that will progress or not and they’ll be looking at all of the rules around that. Especially in things like affordable housing – my understanding is there isn’t much affordable housing in it.

"So you know, councillors will make a decision based on the planning application looking at national policies and local rules. But of course I want the town centre to be where everyone enjoys it including those people that want to go clubbing."

Watford Observer: One of the dancefloors at Pryzm in WatfordOne of the dancefloors at Pryzm in Watford

Watford Observer: The mayoral hustings hosted by the Watford Observer on April 27The mayoral hustings hosted by the Watford Observer on April 27

Pryzm manager Dave Vickery previously called on the community to help 'save Watford's nightlife'. The club said people could do this by commenting in the council planning portal on the application.

See more: Under threat Pryzm calls on community to 'help save Watford's nightlife'

The club has also been running a survey which it has been advertising on its social media channels.

Building owners Watford Parade (Gibraltar) Ltd want to turn the area into a "family-friendly neighbourhood" by creating 147 homes and some retail space in a building rising to eight storeys.

See more: Plans to turn Pryzm nightclub and Iceland into flats submitted

Watford Observer: CGI of the plan to redevelop the Pryzm site as seen from the Sainsbury's car park. Credit: Dwyer Asset Management LtdCGI of the plan to redevelop the Pryzm site as seen from the Sainsbury's car park. Credit: Dwyer Asset Management Ltd

The plans can be viewed on the council planning portal by clicking here or by searching reference 22/00506/FULM.

This is where people can say whether they support or object to the application, which is scheduled to be decided this summer.