Another step too far??
Plans to hold a zombie invasion theme night at a disused hotel have been turned down because of safety concerns.
Events company Requiem Live wanted to turn the International Hotel, in Rutland Street, Leicester, into a house of horrors on May 24. It was aiming to sell up to 500 tickets to enthusiasts looking to spend the night being plagued by actors dressed as the undead.
But councillors refused to grant the firm a temporary event notice.
A licensing hearing, held at Leicester Town Hall yesterday, heard council officials were concerned about the run-down state of the building – the reason it was attractive to the company, which wanted a venue with a post-apocalyptic vibe.
Council pollution control officer Andrew Sansome told the hearing: “Building work has come to a halt, leaving it in an unfinished state.
“I believe it is unsuitable for a playground-type chase event with participants who would be in a highly charged state.” He said the event would use four floors from the basement up but there was a limited electricity supply, uneven floors, broken windows and asbestos.
Mr Sansome warned of the potential for accidents and said there were concerns about “noise break-out from the occasional scream”.
Oliver Snedker, of Requiem, said safety fears were based on assumptions. He said the £25-a-head event, which would see people walking a pre-determined route, encountering zombie volunteers, would be marshaled and all participants would have a head torch.
There would be public liability insurance of up to £10 million. He said the event would not involve chasing and customers would be briefed not to run, except in one open area in the basement car park.
“We are responsible for providing a safe event but the customers are responsible for themselves,” he said.
Councillors raised concerns about plans to sell alcohol but were told it would be available only at the end of the experience and would not be allowed back into the zombie zone. Mr Snedker said there would be a maximum of 250 to 300 people in the building at any time and only 100 of them were likely to be moving, with the rest waiting their turn.
Richard Wheatcroft, of Requiem, said the company used one floor of the building in a similar event last year without any objection from the council. Mr Snedker said any hazards would be made safe by a contractor. He said: “We believe we have suitably offered remedies to the concerns raised.”
Licensing committee chairman John Thomas said: “Our major concern is the possible risk to the public posed by the state of the building.” He told Mr Snedker and Mr Wheatcroft another building might be better and said: “We think it’s a great concept. We feel you will take this as a learning exercise.”
After the hearing, Mr Snedker said: “We are disappointed given we have used the venue before without objection by the council.
“Nevertheless, we appreciate the concern and will be considering the alternatives.”
Article shared from The Leicester Mercury.