A BID to build a nightclub and caf bar on the site of a derelict bingo hall has been stopped in its tracks by councillors.

Proposals for a 1,000 capacity club, at South Burns, near Chester-le-Street town centre, County Durham, were turned down at a planning meeting this week.

About 25 letters of objection had been sent to the district council, voicing concerns about possible vandalism to shop fronts and an increase in litter and noise. But it was the threat of an increase in crime that most concerned councillors.

A report by the council's community safety and development manager stated that, over the past three years, half of all violent crimes and assaults recorded in the district had been in the town centre.

Police said they feared a late-night bar was likely to lead to a "significant" risk of crime and disorder in the area.

One letter in support of the development was sent to the council, saying it would make the Market Place more attractive.

The site has been derelict for several years, following the closure of Queens Hall Bingo.

The proposed development was for two shop units, a ground floor caf bar, with the nightclub on the first floor.