Lights go out, dancing's over at The Club

VICKI ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 18/06/2014
The Club, Christchurch
Daniel Tobin/Fairfax NZ

VENUE GONE: "One side is pushing to bring life back and the other side is doing its best to work within regulations that no longer fit the city," The Club owner Guy Cottrell says.

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Central city nightclub The Club has closed.

Guy Cottrell and Abe Fisher were determined to set up a nightclub in Christchurch's inner city.

They opened the multi-marquee, pop-up nightclub in July last year before the cordon had come down.

"One side is pushing to bring life back and the other side is doing its best to work within regulations that no longer fit the city," Cottrell told The Press before opening the venue.

"Until it gets sorted out, I'm going to dance."

For Cottrell, the dancing ended on Saturday.

The site has been sold and the pair faced "ongoing building consent issues in common with everyone else trying to do things in the city", he said.

To open the venue, they had had four special licences for the site at 683-687 Colombo St, between Ballantynes and Cathedral Square.

"This was always going to be temporary venue. I'm a sixth-generation Cantabrian and I care about the city. It's about replacing bad memories with good ones," Cottrell said.

A major sticking point regarding building consent was that the tents were perceived as a fire hazard and there was confusion around the venue's egress, he said.

"I don't mess around with safety. Apparently, our unburnable tents were a fire risk to the two-storey concrete wall next to us."

Peter Sparrow, Christchurch City Council director of building control in the city rebuild, said The Club had several "non-compliances with the building act and code".

It had issued The Club with a "notice to fix" on May 14 to complete remedial work around egress and fire protection by August 5.

Fisher hopes to continue The Club, and is securing a building, but Cottrell has left the venture.

"I have no regrets. It was never about making money for me," he said.

"The Club was about an idea. It was the product of a bunch of little people having a crack."

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- The Press

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