Popular nightclub Halo has been criticised for plans to expand the venue, with officials warning that students using the 24-hour library next door would be ‘intimidated’ by clubbers.
A planning application to extend opening hours from 3.30am to 6am, as well as adding two outdoor bars to the club, has been opposed by the University, Police and environmental health workers.
In an objection notice, the University’s solicitors explained, ‘We are concerned that students wishing to use the new library during the night may feel unsafe or intimidated by users of the club’.
The £27.5m Laidlaw Library, which is due to open in spring 2015, is situated next to Halo. The University’s statement also touched on the ‘large number of crimes taking place in Halo’.
Leeds City Council reported 52 thefts, 14 assaults, seven drunk and disorderly arrests and three sexual assaults at the club in the past year.
West Yorkshire Police’s licensing officer, Cat Sanderson said, ‘The premises need to be able to control their venue and customers within their current hours of operating before applying for additional hours’.
She added, ‘Currently, I have no confidence that they are able to do this’.
The University’s Police Liaison Officer PC Matt Guy told The Gryphon, ‘People need to have higher personal standards of behaviour when on a night-out and venues like Halo need to work much harder to stop the behaviour of their customers impacting others’.
The University’s Vice Chancellor has previously addressed concerns about the decision to open the Laidlaw Library next to Halo.
Speaking to this paper, he explained, ‘I’m told that the university sold the lease of that church and subsequently it became a nightclub. I’ve been asking estates people whether we can buy that back because I think it is a facility that could be used for other purposes’.
The club’s planning application is to be reviewed by the Council later this month. Halo were contacted by this newspaper for comment, but did not respond by the time of printing.