A GREENOCK nightclub has been knocked back in a bid to open later to pull in the crowds when a top Dutch DJ comes to town.

The licensing board yesterday refused Red nightclub’s plea for a half an hour extension on Easter Sunday.

On Easter Sunday the Cross Shore Street venue will feature DJ Jacques Journée, from Holland.

Club boss Iain Hamil argued it might help stem the flow of revellers bypassing local nightspots and heading for Glasgow instead but his pleas were rebuffed.

Owner Mr Hamil said: “We have a DJ from the Netherlands on Easter Sunday.

“Recently young people in Greenock have been heading to Glasgow for the same type of events.

“They leave in convoys to go to Glasgow and for the sake of somewhere opening half an hour later.

“It would be good to have them here on Easter Sunday.”

But board member Councillor Tommy McVey disputed that young people head off on buses to Glasgow.

He said: “I would be struggling to support this application.

“I am in taxis and I am not aware of any convoy of buses leaving on Easter Sunday to Glasgow.

“I can’t see how the half an hour would make a difference.”

In reply Mr Hamil said: “You would need to ask young people that.

“They seem to prefer the later opening hours in Glasgow.

“I am out and I see it for myself, buses leaving with young people to go to Glasgow to these kinds of events on Saturday nights.

“On one occasion there were seven.

“We will just need to disagree.”

The licensing board went into a behind-closed-doors hearing to debate the application and on their return they rejected it, saying it was ‘against policy’.

Red was instead granted the same opening hours it has had for the last five years, remaining open until 3am with the bar closing at 2.30am.