A central Brentwood nightclub that took over a former snooker hall in April 2019 never received planning permission, it has emerged. 

Bloc40, which previously had its licence threatened following a double stabbing in 2021, has had a retrospective change-of-use application to turn the ex-snooker hall into a nightclub refused by Brentwood Borough Council. 

While it is not clear whether Bloc40 will appeal the decision, the council has said “it would not be expedient” to take enforcement action unless activity from the establishment is particularly harmful while the appeal is pending. 

The club, which has been operating since April 2019, benefits from an outdoor terraced area to the rear of the first floor on the southwestern corner of the building, which owners want to convert into a smoking area with a retractable canopy. 

Plans also included a lobby to prevent noise from inside the club spilling outside to Alfred Road to the south when revellers used the terrace area. 

But the council’s planning committee has decided the club will create unacceptable levels of noise, in addition to other issues in the town centre. 

Cllr Gareth Barrett (Lab, Brentwood South) said: “Even though the mitigation looked to limit the music, it’s not just the music or the sound from the venue that is actually the problem. 

“It is the public gathering outside in large numbers in a communal environment which created a noise disruption, which I believe is unacceptable for the residential amenity of that area.” 

Cllr Keith Barber (Cons, Hutton North) told the committee: “I really do think that where we’re being asked about change of use from a snooker club to a nightclub, that is a huge decision for the town.  

“There are an awful lot of residents, whatever their politics, whatever their background, that maybe haven’t over the years liked the way the town has developed. I’d think I’m one of them. And I do think it’s incumbent on us to really treat this seriously.” 

Cllr Barber added he had concerns about where the nightclub was situated, saying: “I don’t feel that I can support this proposal at the moment because one I’m not sure it’s the right location.” 

Not all councillors however concurred that the application should have been opposed. Cllr Keith Parker (Cons, Brizes and Doddinghurst) said: “I can see that there’s a considerable opposition to it. I can’t oppose it because I think that with the ideas that have been put forward by the environmental department and by the planners that possibly, and I say possibly, when it goes to appeal, if it goes to go to appeal, the council will lose.” 

The nightclub was told it could keep its licence following a review after two men in their 20s were left with non-life-threatening stab wounds to their legs in the stabbings just after 1.20am on May 29 2021. 

Bloc 40 was asked for comment but had not responded at time of publication.