BINGLEY Town Council has strongly objected to a licence application to reopen the former Bijou nightclub in the town.

The cocktail bar and nightclub in Chapel Lane was the scene of an incident which led to James Etherington receiving ultimately fatal injuries.

Ciaran Spencer, of Green Head Drive, Utley, Keighley, has pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing Mr Etherington, who died in Leeds General Infirmary ten days after being injured on November 25 last year.

Now the town council have blasted the application for alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment at Delilah’s Gin and Cocktail Bar in Unit 11b, Five Rise Shopping Centre, by SH Bars Ltd.

The opening times being sought are Sunday to Wednesday 11am to 11.30pm, Thursday 11am to 2am and Friday and Saturday 11am to 4am.

Bijou nightclub was closed in December last year following the death of Mr Etherington and its licence was later revoked by Bradford Council's licensing panel.

A town council statement says the timing of the bid is particularly insensitive “as the anniversary of the tragic and unfortunate passing of James Etherington outside Bijou approaches”.

The statement adds: “The town council is in disbelief that such an application has been made. This disbelief is surpassed by dismay that amongst the directors of the company making the application is the director of the company responsible for Bijou. The town council believes that the application has been made with disregard for both the family of James Etherington and the wider Bingley community.”

The council says its first objection is that anti-social behaviour, nuisances and noise disturbances were caused by the previous late-hour licensed premises.

The council says businesses and residents on Chapel Lane and in the community have raised concern about any application for late-hours premises fearing anti-social behaviour.

According to the council statement, anti-social behaviour on Chapel Lane had not occurred prior to a late-hours premises opening in 2014 and has not occurred since the closure of the last late-hours premises in 2018.

It also cites a West Yorkshire Police report from the licence hearing for Bijou which says: “A temporal analysis from the beginning of 2017 shows that 65% of offences attributable to the premises have taken place between 00.00hrs and 03.00hrs. Other offences in the immediate vicinity which we cannot directly link to the premises have occurred at 01.20hrs and 04.20hrs. It would suggest that the late opening hours of Bijou contributes to offences being committed.”

The council statement adds: “It is Bingley Town Council’s belief that such evidence should likewise be taken into consideration in this determination. Subsequently, no premises licence on Chapel Lane, Bingley should be granted for applications seeking to operate between the hours of 00.30 and 08.00. Such a restriction to any licence applications would merely put a licensed premises in parity with the existing licensed premises on Chapel Lane, Bingley.”

The council says the second reason for its objection is that one of the directors of the company making the new application for a premises licence, Rory Proctor, was the director of the company whose premises licence for Bijou Cocktail Bar was revoked in January 2018.

The statement says: “It is Bingley Town Council’s belief that the liquidation of one company and the formation of a new one should not serve to disguise the reality that one of the directors of the company has a history of running licensed premises that have undermined the four licensing objectives.

“The town council believes that, given the history of this particular director, substantial concerns should be raised about a potential return to the harmful and concerning conditions created by their former licensed premises.”

Representations for and against the application must be received by Bradford Council’s licensing department by November 8.