Monday 30 August 2004 12.04pm
The irony at the Lambeth planning committee was that I was there to 'protest' about noise nusence from a Lambeth owned building. In 2003 the venue hosted 60-70 events ending at 3.00am, with no apparent supervision, parties regularly spilling out onto the streets, no parking controls, and no consultation with neighbours - though it was clear that a number of residents had tried to speak to the venue's management. We got the licence restricted to midnight, but still suffered events on both Saturday and Sunday night. Apparently all that needs to happen is that they become 'private parties' and Lambeth are landlord or Lambeth as licensing authority cannot do anythng. .
I suspect the manager of Caesars saw some irony in the fact that he is expected to jump through a large number of hoops, yet Lambeth tenants are not even required to clear up the street litter.
If you are troubled by a late night venue you really do need to protest now. There is a new licensing act that goes away from annual licensing and makes it easier to obtain 24 hour licenses. Britain is to be the new Barcelona in the eyes on of DCMS. The more you can provide evidence that restrict any existing license the better chance you will have to object to a new licence for potentially longer hours. Lambeth is consulting on its outline licensing policy at the moment and I suspect Southwark will be doing the same. If Councils are to sucessfully be able to restrict licenses in residential or mixed areas they will need evidence of resident concern. If anyone is worried at the prospect of still later hours from a troublesome venue, it would be worth asking both local Councillors and the Council licensing officer about their likely policy under the new act and how best you can input your concerns.
I don't know if Rabbie or others have anything to add, but it will be a major issue for many residents in Bankside or along the South Bank, as once gained a 6.00am or 24 hour licence will be very hard to overturn and Councils will find it hard to win against smart lawyers from big breweries should any restrictions be tested in court.
This new law really has the potential of changing the face of SE1 as a mixed residential, entertainment and office area, and appears to shift the power into the hands of the big breweries. Perhaps worth asking for a briefing in either South Bank Forum
or the Bankside Residents Forum.