Fresh plans to convert PART of Sidmouth’s only nightclub

Carinas Nite Club

Carinas Nite Club - Credit: Archant

New plans have been submitted for Sidmouth’s only nightclub that protect the venue, but would see the lesser-used section converted into a bar or restaurant.

Previous proposals to change the use of the whole of Carinas were refused because the town would lose a ‘social gathering facility’ that contributes to its ‘vibrancy and vitality’.

Owners Residential Trust Ltd said there was ‘nothing stopping’ it closing the venue and it would appeal the decision, but now it hopes to diversify the business to secure its future.

The plans say: “The average trade on a good night is less than half the 400 people that the club is licensed for.

“Whilst the business breaks even on paper, there is no residual profit to allow for a further downturn or to cover increases in overheads and to permit maintenance of the building externally.

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“This trend is very unlikely to reverse and the operators want to work with the local authority to achieve a way in which to maintain the financial viability of the premises before the situation reaches the critical point of closure.

“This application proposal is for the change of use of the existing bar and lounge area and associated storage and facilities into A3 (café/restaurant) use or A4 (drinking establishment).

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“Carinas nightclub will be retained in the existing dance floor and bar section accessed from Kings Lane.

“The bar area is the lesser used of the two floor areas. The nightclub can function very well within the reduced space without diluting the experience on offer to the clientele.”

The application says operating the nightclub is a ‘costly exercise’ and requires bar staff for both bar areas, a DJ and qualified door staff, who are difficult to recruit and retain due to the antisocial hours. It says additional day and evening use through the majority of the week will create additional jobs, and the new use could provide an alternative type of social meeting place.

The new restaurant or drinking establishment will be accessed via the main doors in Fore Street.

The nightclub floorspace will be cut from 320 square metres to 180 square metres.

East Devon District Council will decide the fate of the application.

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