Plans to extend Bankside alcohol saturation zone west of Blackfriars Road

Councillors have agreed to hold a public consultation on whether the Borough and Bankside saturation zone for licensed premises should be extended to include the eastern end of The Cut.

Last autumn Southwark Council implemented a 'saturation policy' which makes it more difficult for new nightclubs, pubs, restaurants and shops to gain alcohol licences in much of the Borough and Bankside area.

Southwark's licensing committee agreed on Tuesday to hold a public consultation to consider whether the streets west of Blackfriars Road and east of the Lambeth boundary should be added to the zone.

Cathedrals ward councillors David Noakes and Adele Morris had asked the committee to consider the extension to the saturation area. Cllr Noakes told council assembly last November that "the number of licences in the area is starting to impact on the quality of life of residents in my ward" and that he hoped that the saturation policy would help to strike a balance between the needs of businesses and residents.

If agreed, the change would mean that Isabella Street and part of The Cut where there has been a sharp rise in complaints about late night disturbance would be brought within the zone.

The licensing authorities can restrict an escalation in the number of licensed premises where a saturation zone has been declared due to cumulative impact.

Borough and Bankside is the largest saturation area in Southwark with 235 licensed premises including pubs and clubs.

The consultation will include a public meeting in the area as well as seeking views of tenants' and residents' associations and business groups.

The Waterloo Quarter Business Improvement District has already voiced fears that a saturation zone in The Cut "would seem in direct contravention to one of the aspirations of this award-winning regeneration scheme".

Bankside illegal trading

The licensing committee also received a report on plans to curb illegal trading on Bankside riverfront outside Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe. At the same time busking would be licensed and restricted to a performance area away from residential areas.

Final proposals are due to be put before members this summer. This will be ten years almost to the month since residents called for urgent action against noisy traders and entertainers who suddenly appeared following the opening of Tate Modern in May 2000.

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