A NATIONAL nightclub chain is set to open a new bar in Salisbury after plans were given the green light, but with reduced opening hours.

Revolution Bar Group is to invest a “seven-figure sum” to transform Pizza Hut in Blue Boar Row into a two-storey bar and restaurant.

The plans were approved on Thursday despite objections from local residents and city councillors.

The chain originally planned to open till 2am from Monday to Saturday and 1am on Sunday but, after concerns from neighbours, members reduced the hours to force the bar to shut its doors at 12pm.

Nearby resident Gary Griffiths said: “Most residents I have spoken wouldn’t mind a mid-range economy to 12 o’clock but we don’t want a bar or nightclub till 2am pretty much seven days a week.

“We are creating another late-night economy that can’t be policed properly.”

Wiltshire Council’s southern area planning committee member Matthew Dean, who is also leader of Salisbury City Council, backed the reduced hours proposal.

He said the bar was “in the wrong part of town” to close at 2am, and he feared that after closing time revellers would be hanging around the Market Square.

But planning consultant Mark Sherman said Revolution wanted to make a “positive contribution to the vibrancy of the area”, adding: “It will be a high-quality space which will enhance the city centre offering to residents and visitors alike.”

Mr Sherman added that the chain had worked to minimise the impact on neighbours by reducing the opening hours of the beer garden and was installing sound-proofing.

This received backlash from a neighbour, who said: “The main issue for us is the close proximity of where we live and potentially want to raise a family.

“This is a place where drunk people go at the end of the night to get more drunk.

“There is no comment on the number of people in that beer garden that is right under our window.”

Councillors also raised fears that once the beer garden and smoking area was closed smokers would gather on the street, at bus shelters and in the market square.

But it was deemed that there was already a consent for this to happen from the current restaurant.