A proposal to build a VIP area at Clementines nightclub has been rejected by Oxford councillors at an East Area Committee meeting, while students have insisted the locals are “wrong to oppose such a scheme.”

Clementines in St Clement’s Street, East Oxford, had put forward plans to convert an adjacent hairdressers into a VIP area with a capacity of 20 people. Although the application was originally recommended for approval by Oxford City Council planning officers, the east area committee voted by two to one, with three abstentions, to turn down the plans. The councillors believed that the plans would result in noise disturbances for locals living in York Place and sheltered housing in Anchor Court.Councillor Young, Chair of the East Area Committee, said “One of the councillors had had lots of complaints from residents of a sheltered housing building for the elderly that people were coming there late at night and being ill at the rear of Clementines in York Place. People were worried the plans were not soundproof. We did not reject it but we asked them to come back with specific plans for soundproofing of the room they are proposing to use. That is an old house and it is more difficult to sound proof old houses.”

Luis Carrera, the owner of the club, confirmed that he was going to alter his plans. He said, “My plan is to submit another application. Everyone recommended the application. And after the rejection they recommended to put in another application.”

 Students have reacted angrily to the current rejection of the plans. Adam Tozzi, a third-year Historian at Pembroke, said  I think the locals are wrong to oppose such a scheme, they seem to get very agitated at the idea of student drinking yet anyone that ventures out on a Friday or Saturday will know that Oxford city centre becomes a much more intimidating prospect when the 'locals' themselves are drinking. Clems offers a haven to students to have a good time and not feel threatened because of who they are.”

Neil Gallagher, a Brasenose Graduate studying Clinical Medicine, explained that “I used to live 100m from clems for 3 years with my room facing the street and never heard much. Occasionally you would hear drunks stumbling back up St Clements but they could have come from anywhere! I personally wouldn't have complained about it as a resident but I'm not surprised it got vetoed.” by Rob Pomfret