Wolverhampton banquet hall where police found £700,000 cannabis factory bids for new licence

A banqueting suite that was closed down after police found a secret £700,000 cannabis factory has applied for a new licence to trade again.

Diamond Banqueting Suite in Wolverhampton city centre, where 700 cannabis plants were found in April 2021
Diamond Banqueting Suite in Wolverhampton city centre, where 700 cannabis plants were found in April 2021

The Diamond in Skinner Street, Wolverhampton, was raided in April 2021 following a tip-off when officers found around 700 plants with a street value of more than £700,000 on the black market, and growing equipment on the upper floors. The venue was stripped of its licence two months later.

Wolverhampton Council is now set to discuss an application for a new premises licence for the city centre venue, in order to provide live and recorded music, dance performances, the sale of alcohol on the premises and late-night refreshments.

In written correspondence to committee members, city licensing manager Greg Bickerdike said concerns had been raised by West Midlands Police, environmental health and public health as well as the licensing authority.

However, he added that mediation had taken place between the applicant’s agent, police and environmental health and a series of proposed modifications to the application had been agreed in order to comply with the licensing objectives.

Police at Diamond Banqueting Suite in Skinner Street, Wolverhampton, in April last year

It was also stated that the previous premises licence holder, Paramjit Singh, would have no involvement with the operation or management of the business, and the designated premises supervisor was named as Valentin-Costin Galriva.

The venue is located in the St Peter’s ward, which is within a Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) – an area where evidence has indicated that the number, type or density of licensed premises is impacting adversely on the licensing objectives of crime and disorder, public safety, public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Originally opened as a cinema in 1937, the premises was later a Mecca Bingo hall before becoming a banqueting suite. It has three events rooms which can accommodate up to 750 people and was registered to host civil weddings, conferences, parties and resident DJ nights before the licence was revoked. It also boasts the only glass mirror ball in Wolverhampton.

All parties have been invited to attend the licensing hearing next Thursday.

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