O2 hour party people

Local News News

The 02 Academy in Cowley is appealing against last June’s decision that denied the venue extended opening hours.

Originally the club asked permission to open an hour earlier every day, as well as for an extra four hours before Monday bank holidays and until 6am on May Morning, traditionally one of the biggest nights for Oxford students.

However Oxford City Council refused to grant permission after local residents raised concerns over the increased opening hours, with many worried the longer drinking time would increase crime and noise levels.

A planning inspector will now hold an inquiry into the decision.

An Academy spokesman defended the appeal, saying “The application to open the club one hour earlier at 6pm would allow us to start shows which are aimed at a younger audience at an earlier time and so finish them before the pubs close, which has obvious benefits from a child safety point of view.”

He went on to add “We are committed to working with the community and do not believe the limited extension to the hours will be in any way detrimental.”

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Local residents are less than convinced though, despite the decline in noise following the relocation of the infamous ‘Fuzzy Ducks’ night to Wahoo in the centre of town. Ed Chipperfield, leader of the James Street Residents’ Association, accused the venue of using a “backdoor method” to squeeze in extra drinking hours.

Colin Cook, a member of the committee who denied the original application, also defended the decision, “The residents gave us evidence of existing problems and we didn’t want to exacerbate them any further.

“Some people thought it was a relatively minor increase but we considered it would add a significant number of drinking hours.”

Students were also keen to express their support for the original decision, with a third year Teddy Hall student saying, “As a former resident of  the Cowley area I can understand residents’ concerns. The venues has always caused noise issues, and with so many students living nearby it can get annoying for those who wish to get a good night’s sleep or do late night work.”