Radlett residents resist private members club plans

ANGRY villagers say Radlett is an unsuitable place for a late-night private members’ club.

The plan came to light when Mark Glassman, the lease owner for the premises at 203-205 Watling Street put in a licensing application to turn it into a private members club.

The plan – submitted by Mark’s firm G Marks The Spot Ltd – is for a commercial club with a restaurant, pool tables, a bar, three gaming machines and a lounge area to watch sport on TV.

Businessman Mr Glassman, 39, said: “Members will have to be recommended and will in the main be middle-aged, professional business people like myself.

“It will provide a luxurious ambience with leather sofas for people who do not want to spend their free time in pubs and bars but prefer somewhere where they can meet like-minded people in comfort.”

But Mrs Elaine Green of Radlett Park Road, Radlett, said: “What is happening to Radlett? This is a village – not a main city or town that needs such entertainment in its midst. We don’t want drunken rowdy people going in and out of clubs late at night round here.”

Her near-neighbour Jeremy Caulton said the club would be out of character with the village and would allow the applicant to “evolve” the premises once he has consent into a venue residents would not want to see on its high street.

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Mr Glassman said he would be basing his club upon similar establishments in London and would be charging membership fees.

He emphatically denied rumours that his club might feature exotic dancers and insisted he would go ahead with the plan whether or not he got his drinks licence as he has a Starbucks coffee concession there already.

There is an underground car park there with space for 40 cars but Mr Glassman said car parking would not be an issue.

He said: “I already have around 150 people who have expressed interest in joining from Radlett, St Albans and the surrounding area.”

The premises are currently used as a childrens’ play centre – A World of Fun – during the day with a milk shake bar at night but part of the building was used as a sushi restaurant up until a year ago.

The licence application is for the playing of music from 10am to 4am seven days a week and the sale of alcohol Sunday to Thursday 10am to midnight and on Friday and Saturday until 1am.

203 Watling Street currently has a “sui generis” use – which is anything from a launderette to an amusement arcade – while number 205 has a current D2 use for assembly and leisure which could be anything from a cinema to a dance hall so does not need a change of use.

A spokesperson for Hertsmere Borough Council said anyone wishing to comment on the application should do so in writing and send it to Phil Andrew, Licensing, Hertsmere Borough Council, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 1WA to be received by June 14.