DUP councillor still opposed to under age venue on Dublin Road

A merry dance over teen disco

By Paul Ainsworth

AN ONGOING row over a teenage disco in a busy South Belfast nightspot saw the local Area Commander clash with DPP member and councillor Chris Stalford.

During last week’s meeting, Mr Stalford, who has been a vocal opponent of the planned under 18s disco on the Dublin Road, said bringing potentially hundreds of teenagers into the area late at night was a “recipe for disaster”. His comments came despite police insisting all measures had been taken to ensure the safety of young people attending the Factory disco. CI Moran referred to a previous local teen disco, just yards from the new club, which was successfully policed.

After months in limbo, the council’s licencing committee finally granted the entertainments licence last month.

“This area is bad enough with the number of pubs and clubs around. To add hundreds of teens into this mix is a recipe for disaster,” Mr Stalford said.

A number of attendees agreed with the DUP man’s stance, with one local stating he believed the club owners had “ticked all the boxes” in terms of safety inside the venue, but warned that upon leaving the venue, youths could be placed at risk.

Mr Stalford added: “I’m convinced that this is a decision that will come back to bite us. I really hope it doesn’t, but I’m certain it will be.”

However, CI Moran insisted the force had experience in the area, referring to the former disco, named The Venue, which was based just around the corner from The Factory.

“The Venue operated for many years and the measures taken by the new disco owners are far in excess of what The Venue had in place,” he said.

“It should be a successful business that will generate cash for the community, but if it becomes a cause for concern, then we will have it brought back to council where the licence could be amended or revoked.”

 

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