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Councillors back ‘saturation zone’ for bar and shop licences in Bankside

London SE1 website team

Southwark's licensing committee has recommended a 'saturation zone' for pubs, bars and off-licences in part of Borough and Bankside.

The committee, sitting with just three members at Southwark Town Hall on Thursday evening, considered the results of a consultation within the proposed zone between Blackfriars Road and London Bridge Station with a southern boundary along Borough Road, Borough High Street, Long Lane, Crosby Row and Snowsfields.

A saturation policy which may restrict the granting of new licences can be declared where there is a concentration of licensed premises likely to have a disproportionate impact.

The new saturation area, if confirmed by the council's Executive, will apply to nightclubs, public houses, restaurants and shops.

The latest police figures on alcohol-related 'violence against the person' in Borough & Bankside show a 15.5 per cent increase for the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.

In March the licensing committee agreed to launch a public consultation on the idea of a saturation policy in the area.

The committee was told that there had been a well-attended public meeting and forty responses from residents, licensed operators and others.

95 per cent of local residents responding supported the introduction of the special policy. Cathedrals Ward Councillor Adele Morris, giving evidence in person to the committee, also supported the proposals.

However, fellow Cathedrals Ward Councillor David Noakes and several residents had called for the western edge of the proposed saturation zone to be extended to match the borough boundary with Lambeth. This would bring part of The Cut and Isabella Street where there are pubs and bars into the special area.

Southwark Cathedral, although broadly supportive of the plans, described the Blackfriars Road boundary as "rather arbitary' and also suggested that it would be better to follow the nearby borough boundary.

Although chair Cllr David Hubber pointed out that planning permission had earlier in the week been given for two new hotels in the narrow corridor omitted from the map it was agreed that any extension should be considered next year.

Vinopolis on Bankside and the newly refurbished Ring pub in The Cut were among those opposing the saturation proposal.

Later the committee agreed to extend for a further six months the monitoring of the situation at the Elephant & Castle before considering any possible saturation policy for the area.

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