WORK to transform Colchester’s biggest nightclub started without planning permission, it has been revealed.

Trilogy, in High Street, opened on Friday in place of what was Atik which closed in August after the threatened venue was snapped up by new owners Epic Bars and Clubs.

But proposals for an “internal cosmetic re-fit” were only received by planning bosses a week before the opening weekend, despite work having already begun at the site.

Colchester Council has the final say on the plans, which include the removal of a seating area, the relocation of an internal exit door, and the removal of a bar and DJ booth to make way for a new bar, DJ booth, and illuminated dance floor.

Gazette: Relaunch - Trilogy features a new Disco Disco roomRelaunch - Trilogy features a new Disco Disco room (Image: Grace Capel)

Last month, rival nightclub Silk Road, in St Botolph’s Street, was told it must rip out its new UPVC windows after submitting a retroactive planning application following the replacement of several rotten wooden windows.

The decision led the boss of the Our Colchester business improvement district, Sam Good, to say the council’s planning committee needs to rethink how pro-business it is.

Epic Bars and Clubs said it had not made an earlier application as bosses did not believe it was necessary because no major structural works or changes to any of the building's listed features are to take place.

A spokesman said: "As part of the refurbishment programme we met with the planning department and they felt a listed building application was necessary so on their advice we have applied for listed building consent."

Manager James McKeown previously told the Gazette that parts of the venue’s new design had been inspired by huge clubs like London’s Printworks.