The Licensing Sub-committee continues to monitor all applications for new and modified licence applications in our area. Our objective remains to ensure that the needs of residents are fully met during all hours of the night and day. It's often the case that commercial businesses may have other needs in order to have viable businesses, but it's our goal to ensure that all parties' needs can be satisfied. ......Continue reading.....
Noise is one of the major issues we face within the area either from inside or outside of the premises during normal licensed hours, or later in the night when customers are in the process of leaving a premises, and lastly when rubbish is put out by staff for collection the following morning.
It's vital for us to emphasise that the 'Noise Team' at Westminster City Hall is waiting for your phone calls whenever the noise situation is bad and 24 hours a day. We urge residents to call the team as soon as noise begins, as this gives an officer the most chance of witnessing the noise for themselves. Even if an officer does not respond or visit you immediately, every call is logged, including anonymous ones, and eventually they could lead to reviews being made of the license in question.
The Edgware Road is one of three areas in Westminster identified by the council and the police as a 'STRESS' area. One of our concerns on the Edgware Road, and a growing concern for other parts of our area, is the issue of Shisha smoking cafés. Shisha smoking does not require a licence and as a result is able to carry on in to the early hours of the morning - with the resulting noise and smell both being a disturbance to residents.
The sub-committee continues to aim to limit the very late night opening hours of restaurants, casinos private members clubs and other premises. The constant pressure for more licences for larger units with later opening hours, is unfortunately one of the downsides of the economic success of our area, and inevitably a further source of disturbance to nearby residents.
Part of the work of the committee involves maintaining our contacts with nearby residents and amenity associations, with whom we share similar issues. A recent example of this has been the co-operation between us, and the other West End amenity societies, on jointly tackling the responses to Westminster's Licensing Review. This will bring in a number of changes, mainly attempting to contain the increasing demand for licences in the late hours, and from businesses that previously would not have wanted to serve alcohol, such as cafés.
We write about this in more detail on the Association website where you will find details on how to access the Licensing Review and make submissions on it.
We are also working in co-ordination with other amenity societies, on the possible future threat posed by the commencement of all-night tube trains, starting this September. Whereas this is viewed by the police as a potentially positive thing, enabling the dispersal of those in London in the early hours, it could also have the effect of bringing those in search of more alcohol into central London late into the night. We are concerned that this may then give licencees the grounds to apply for future licence extensions, on the basis of an unmet need. Although other areas of the West End will be far more threatened by this possibility than ours, it is something that we need to stay vigilant about.