CONTROVERSIAL plans to allow a nightclub to remain open until 5am have been given the go-ahead - despite concerns from the police it could lead to a rise in crime.

Manhattan’s, along with the Hollywood Rock Café and the Broadway Sports bar in Cavendish Street, Barrow, are to stay open longer despite strong opposition.

Manhattan’s will now be allowed to sell alcohol and play music until 5am on Friday night and Saturday nights. It currently closes at 4am.

Hollywood Rock Café will also be allowed to remain open until 5am and Broadway until 4am between Thursday and Sunday.

Councillors sitting on Barrow council's licensing committee gave the green light.

Cumbria Police had lodged an objection against the plan, saying it would have an impact on crime and the ability of officers to respond to incidents.

Between March 1 2019-2020 there had been 11 crimes recorded at Manhattan's, police said.

A report said there were also objections from Simon Crompton from the Lounge Group, taxi drivers, Street Angels (a group of volunteers who help patrol the streets) and also a group called Barrow BID Concerned Ratepayers.

Mr Crompton, who runs Cloud Nine, said: "We decide to close at one o’clock as the consumption of alcohol and the behaviour starts to descend around that time. What we see with crime at four in the morning is bad enough now, so extending to finish at five will be worse.”

Zelina Jones, the applicant and owner of all three venues, disagreed with Mr Crompton’s opposition.

She said: “Mr Crompton is wrong with his comments about crime at that time. As a business rival, his complaint is based on business rivalry and not on fact. I want to make Manhattan's a safe place for the town.”

Neil Paterson, from Cumbria Police, was worried about extra work required by officers.

He said: "We think the increase in time will increase crime and disorder. We think we have supplied true figures based on reports and we have shown an increase in crime with 129 crimes recorded between midnight and 3am during weekends on average pre-Covid. This will have an impact on local businesses opening in the early morning."

Manhattan’s was granted its extra hour subject to the condition that there will be no admission after 3am.

The Hollywood Rock Café was granted its extra hour subject to no food orders being taken after 4am.

The Broadway sports bar was granted its extra hour without extra conditions imposed upon it.