Raffles nightclub in Chelsea in row with residents over 'fights and drug dealing'
A private members' club that was once a favourite haunt of Prince William and Kate Middleton is in a dispute with the residents of a Chelsea square over revellers' unruly behaviour. It is claimed that patrons from Raffles in King's Road are making the lives of residents in nearby Paultons Square a misery with noise, fighting, drug dealing and urinating in the street. The venue, which has also been visited by Usain Bolt, Prince Harry and Eddie Redmayne, is believed to be London's second oldest nightclub after Annabel's, and celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
But those living in the garden square, where a four-bedroom home costs GBP5 million, want its opening hours reduced. Chairman of The Paultons Square Residents' Association David Kerr said: "As people come out of the club it's incredibly noisy. Often there are fights and bad behaviour and it's very disruptive, particularly for people who are very close to the nightclub.
"It's very hard for them to sleep with very loud noise all the time, particularly on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. One lady was complaining about constant drug dealing outside her basement flat." Residents want Kensington and Chelsea council's licensing committee to force the club to shut at midnight rather than the current closing time of 4.30am Monday to Saturday.
The committee will consider their calls as part of an application from the club's landlord Raffles Chelsea Ltd for a "shadow premises licence" which would run alongside the operator's premises licence. It would allow Raffles Chelsea to take over running the premises should the operator leave. A spokeswoman for Raffles Chelsea said it had served notice on the current leaseholder Arosa Ltd.
She said Raffles Chelsea had been so alarmed about the complaints that it had paid for security guards to patrol the square.
She said: "I have met the residents three times in the past 18 months.
We want to be very community-minded because you don't have a business if you don't look after the people who visit and who live locally." No one from the club was available for comment.