A NIGHTSPOT which hopes to transform Colchester’s early hours nightlife has been told it will have to serve food until 30 minutes before its closing time.

The Hudson, which can open until 2.30am, had hoped to remove the unique condition from its licence so the last time customers could order food would be between 9.30pm and 10.30pm.

But the application was opposed by Essex Police on public disorder grounds and was refused by Colchester Council licensing bosses.

Sgt Sue Richardson, Essex Police licensing officer, said: “If this was to go ahead, this would leave up to five and a half hours for patrons to maximise drinking time.

“Those extra five and a half hours would make quite a difference for us, given that this was sold to us as a two-thirds food and one-third drinking premises.

“Removing the food for us changes the dynamic completely.”

As part of the application, Elysium, which will run the venue, sought to scrap an admittance cap of 200 people because it plans to use the whole of the building’s three storeys as well as the basement. Some 800 people will now be allowed in the building.

Sgt Richardson added: “I hope The Hudson is a real hit, but we would have concerns about that many people coming out at night into a very busy Head Street.”

That was the only change granted by the council after Friday’s licensing hearing.

Ash Afzalnia, Elysium managing director, had tried to convince the committee the new nightspot would add something different to the town’s night time economy.

But in a statement, the three-person committee said: “[We] were not persuaded by the arguments put forward by the applicant on this point."