A RESTAURANT and function room is set to split into two venues, with one staying open until 4am... despite initial objections from Essex Police.

Ravens applied for a new premises licence to extend its current hours to serve alcohol on and off the premises.

The licence application sought to split the ground floor restaurant from the first floor and roof garden at the restaurant in Clifftown Road, Southend into separate venues.

Permission was granted for music and performances in Ravens to use the first floor and garden from Sunday to Thursday from 8am to 1am and from Friday to Saturday from 8am to 3.30am.

The venue will also sell alcohol from 8am to 1.30am Sunday to Thursday and from 8am to 3.20am on Friday and Saturday.

Revellers will have until 4am to leave.

It was open until midnight Thursday to Sunday and until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

A separate application by The Vine was also approved by the licensing sub committee for the ground floor and basement which will see it open two hours later, until 2am on Sunday and Thursday, until 1.30am from Monday to Wednesday and until 4am on Friday and Saturday from its current 2.30am.

Objections were received from Essex Police and the Environmental Protection Team but these were withdrawn provided stringent restrictions are applied, including the provision of suitably trained door staff who are to wear body cameras, the installation of a CCTV system and hourly checks of toilets to check for drug use.

Off sales must be limited to part-consumed alcohol purchased with a meal and be in resealed container, as is currently the case.

The roof garden must be closed from 11pm to 10am the following day other than for maintenance and emergency escape purposes.

The venue, in the former Ravens department store, currently hires out its first floor function suite for large parties, corporate events and weddings.

Martin Terry, councillor responsible for community safety, said: “We are introducing some more restrictive powers around licensing provision with regard to antisocial behaviour outside premises which is a known issue. The onus will be on licensees to ensure they employ staff to deal with these issues and to take responsibility for it and not allow people to become intoxicated.”

As part of the new licence, Ravens can also screen films, sports and have live and recorded music.