ALCOHOL will be available to buy and take away from Colchester’s Charter Hall until 3am, under new proposals.

The popular events venue is already allowed to sell alcohol and host ‘regulated entertainment’ from 6am to 2am, under Colchester Council regulations.

One of its business arms, Colchester Amphora Trading Ltd (CATL), is now applying to renew the seven- days-a-week licence - but extend this to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.

CATL promotes and runs a number of commercial events from the Cowdray Avenue site.

The entertainment allowed at Charter Hall includes plays, films, indoor sporting events, live and recorded music.

Darius Laws, leader of the Tory council opposition and whose ward includes the site, said he would be “cautious” about any events that go on in residential areas ,which go beyond the council’s already agreed policy.

But he added: “My immediate reaction is serving people and having a licensed facility until 3am is a bit borderline , especially in a residential area.

“But because it is a borough council owned facility there is control and that makes it palatable knowing events are professionally managed.”

A Colchester Council spokesman said: “The intention is to maintain and develop the events programme for Colchester across all CATL’s venues.

“The new applications mirror the existing licences apart from minor points such as allowing ‘off sales’ (for markets and where alcohol can be bought and taken away) at Charter Hall. “

Old Heath recreation ground, also used as an events venue by CATL, could see entertainment and alcohol served from 10am - but not as late as its current permitted time of 10.30pm.

Instead alcohol would only be served to 10pm and entertainment would have to start later than the current time of 9am.

Instead this would be 11am, seven days a week.

The council spokesman said the new license will stipulate tight controls around operating times and alcohol sales.

“It is best practice, in terms of accountability, for CATL to have its own licence for venues.”

He added the changes to what’s allowed at both venue will allow the council, which owns the sites, to “continue to attract artists and events to the borough, ensuring legal requirements at venues are met and promoters and visitors are able to benefit from and enjoy professionally-managed, well-operated events and attractions. “

Existing licenses in place for each venue are currently held by Colchester Council.