A NEWPORT nightclub has reached a deal with the council over changes to its drinking hours.

The Courtyard nightclub on Cambrian Road had its licensing hours altered by the council following a serious incident outside the premises on Sunday April 29.

The club had been allowed to sell alcohol until 5am on Saturdays, but an emergency licensing committee decided it should only do until 3am after two girls were left with life changing injuries when they were hit by a car. This would be extended to 4am on bank holidays, the committee ruled.

But since that decision, Newport City Council has struck a deal with Courtyard owner Iftekhar Haris which will see the licensing hours extended past this, under the condition the club ensures extra staff are present during a “cooling off” period where it will remain open, but no drinks will be served.

The new arrangement was hashed out behind closed doors at an interim review hearing on May 9.

A review of the licensing order is due to take place on May 24.

Mr Haris said: “We’ve agreed to a 30-minute reduction in the sale of alcohol time. So we will still be open until the same time, but have a longer ‘drink up’ period so less people are leaving all at the same time.

“This is an interim measure. We are going to appeal the original decision at the review meeting on May 24.

“We want to work with the police and the council to make some changes.

“Four of my bouncers who were working that night [April 29] are feeling very traumatised by what they saw. How couldn’t they be? I was there too, and I’m pretty badly affected.

“Safety in the city centre is the most important thing for us right now.

“In our opinion, the best way to do that is to stop traffic coming down through the city centre altogether.”

As part of the deal, the Courtyard will be able to sell alcohol until 4.30am on Saturdays and bank holidays, and 3.30am every other day.

Closing times will remain as 5.30am every day, and 6am on bank holidays.

A decision notice released by the council details the new arrangement, which will stay in place until May 24.

It reads: “A condition is to be attached that no less than six additional door staff be present on the rear and front entrances to the premises on Friday and Saturday with no less than five door staff present on the rear and front entrances at the Cambrian Road entrance on Saturday.”