Rave on

Whilst we are on the subject of definitions, here is an appeal case in which the inspector considers the definition of a nightclub (DCS Number 400-013-247).

Planning permission had been granted for the use of edge-of-centre premises in west Yorkshire as an internet lounge and sandwich bar. An enforcement notice alleged an unauthorised material change of use to uses including a nightclub and shisha lounge.

The appellant argued that the uses of the building did not include a nightclub. He suggested that, although a nightclub ‘is difficult to describe…it most certainly would involve opening until the early hours of the morning and the sale of alcohol’. He stated that the venue was not open until 0500 hours and there was no sale of alcohol.

The inspector accepted that there is no statutory definition of ‘nightclub’. She reasoned, however, that the appeal could still be considered by establishing the ordinary meaning of the word. She recorded that the Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines a nightclub as ‘a club that is open at night and provides refreshment and entertainment’. That description, which was broader and more flexible than the appellant’s, must be right, she determined. A nightclub would inevitably operate at night but exact opening and closing times would vary, and the sale of alcohol was not essential. She concluded that nightclubs can be aimed at different customers and provide different types of entertainment and refreshment.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 17.1112

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