‘No immediate plans’ to convert Sidmouth’s only nightclub, says owner, as eatery plan is backed

Plans are in to convert Carinas into a cafe or restaurant

Plans are in to convert Carinas into a cafe or restaurant - Credit: Archant

Councillors have expressed ‘great sadness’ for Sidmouth’s youngsters over plans that could see town’s only nightclub could become an eatery.

Residential Trust Ltd, which owns Carinas, submitted proposals last week to convert the venue into a café or restaurant – but director George Eccles told the Herald there are no immediate plans to close the venue or change its trading style.

Sidmouth Town Council’s planning committee this week supported the initial application, which did not specify the type of business the premises could become or the opening hours.

Councillor Kelvin Dent said: “It’s one more bit of ammunition for youngsters to say there’s nothing for them to do. I would deprecate the loss of a nightclub, whatever problems it might cause.”

Cllr Dawn Manley added: “It will be a great loss to the youngsters and even people of my age who might want to stay out after 11pm.

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“It’s with great sadness we would see Carinas go.”

Members agreed that it would be a loss for the town, but saw no planning reason not to support the proposals before them.

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Cllr Marc Kilsbie said: “We have an awful lot of cafes, but not a lot of restaurants that aren’t pubs. I have no reservations about the change of use.”

Under the proposals, staffing levels would increase from one to six full-time roles and the number working part-time would go up from two to eight.

The ground-floor of the premises currently operates as a nightclub, with associated storage and toilets in the basement. The three storeys above have a residential use.

Mr Eccles said: “Although the club continues to trade successfully, trends in the leisure industry are changing and we are exploring other future opportunities. There are no immediate plans to close the club or change its trading style and we do not have a timescale in mind for implementation, if approved. At this stage, no external changes have been applied for. We would like to thank our customers for their continuing support and we will obviously keep them fully advised of any future plans.”

The fate of the application will be decided by East Devon District Council.

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