March 10, 2005 at 3:09 pm #1036284General LightingModerator
TBH I can understand where the old bill are coming from, Utopia was an underage chavfest and as an impartial observer I am hardly surprised there was a reduction in crime when the place closed down.
OTOH why can’t someone be allowed to do something more positive with the space? It doesn’t have to be a conventional nightclub – it could be a centre similar to the one USE mentioned in “the dream” post….
But no-one with those sort of views or ideas can raise the “free market capital” to get the place and I’m sure someone else would object (what, skaters?! they will trash the neighbourhood and eat our pets… (FFS southcote and calcot are already pretty trashed !) so I guess this building will rot for a couple more years….Quote:Police in battle to stop club opening
Vow: ‘crime will spiral if Utopia reopens’
PLANS to resurrect the defunct Utopia nightclub will face a bitter battle from police.
Three business partners want to plough £250,000 into the disused site in Pincents Lane, Calcot, to create a “funky” over-25s live music venue and call it Junction 12 after the neighbouring motorway junction.
But police are vehemently opposing their scheme because they fear reopening the club to 2,000 revellers will result in a spiral in crime.
The trio, Phillip Amos, Charles Kanyora and Yinka Babalola, has already lost the first round of the battle after they withdrew from an appeal for a liquor licence from magistrates.
Mr Amos said: “We were told that we didn’t have enough experience in running a nightclub so we had to pull out.”
But he said they were not deterred and aim to push forward with the plans.
Mr Amos added: “We will definitely be applying again.
“We are currently searching for an experienced manager to head our next application and hope to do that within the next month.”
But Thames Valley Police licensing officer Lindsay Frische said: “The police have objected and will continue to object to any application to reopen the premises in the interests of public protection.
“Incidents of anti-social behaviour, vandalism and violent crime were rife when the old club was open.
“Since the club’s closure three years ago there has been a 27 per cent reduction in all crime in the area.”
Mr Amos said the plan should not be blocked because of the reputation of the former nightclub.
He said: “We want to distance ourselves from the type of people and trouble caused by the previous club.
“We plan to open a place for the discerning night-time user. A place for people to relax and have fun, not somewhere for reckless drunks and
“I believe there is a demand for a venue in Reading that caters for the over-25s, and security and safety is our utmost priority.”
Pangbourne-based Sergeant Ian Henderson said: “The site was the wrong place for a nightclub and there was insufficient public transport provision to get revellers back into town.
“We would like the support of the local people to protest this application that will inevitably lead to a rise in crime.”March 11, 2005 at 2:50 pm #1064686TigerMoffParticipant
Utopia was a really nice looking club with a big dance floor, lots of bars and big stair cases leading up to the 1st floor balcony. Proper cheeze fest Ibiza classics and foam parties. I did used to have quite a good laugh up there when I was younger but then the the car park did become a chav meeting area and I would say alot of the trouble was comming from people who had not even been in the club.
But Im not too bothered if it opens or not.March 29, 2005 at 9:15 pm #1064685Anonymous
I agree, Utopis foam parties were fantastic.. however ” to create a “funky” over-25s live music venue” sounds a little different to what Utopia used to do.
It’s about time Reading had some proper live events, I for one owuld regularly go along, just to hear a live band playing in a decent location (i.e. not the corner of a pub in town!)
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