Another policy relaxation that has caused some issues is the encouragement of the night-time or hospitality economy by allowing easy licensing of outside eating and drinking and the closure of some roads, in particular in Soho but also within Marylebone. This seems to have been moderately successful for those businesses lucky enough to be situated in fortunate locations but has not necessarily been a great experience for nearby residents.
We have been anticipating a slew of applications from licensed premises for temporary extensions of hours beyond Westminster’s definition of Core Hours. In reality this is most likely to occur in Soho and Covent Garden, but we have collaborated with the other Westminster amenity societies affected and drafted a joint policy of the West End Community Network on this matter.
Our stance is that, despite the obvious need for businesses to be supported wherever possible, this should never be at the expense of those living or even working in a neighbourhood. The Licensing Acts are designed to protect citizens from the negative aspects of alcohol consumption and the policy on hours adopted by Westminster – their Core Hours Policy – has been instrumental in a very civilised compromise between the needs of those who want evening entertainment - and those who want to sleep.
Consequently, we will be opposing any applications for even temporary extensions of hours beyond ‘Core’ even if based on the need to rebuild profitability after difficulties resulting from Covid regulations. To read WECN draft policy in detail click here.
To see all the latest licensing applications in our area:
Ottolenghi. 63-65 Marylebone Lane
Application for a new café closing at 22:00 nightly. Consultation closed.
Chameleon Inc. 1 Marylebone Road
Application for a new members-only club and restaurant closing at 3:30am daily. Consultation closed. Hearing 9th June 2021.
Portman Village Association and The White House Hotel have some concerns over this application due to the late hours and the challenging location in the middle of the one-way system opposite Great Portland Street station.
Koj Lease Ltd. 43 Chiltern Street
Application for restaurant and ancillary bar. Applicant has asked for a delay in proceedings.
On the site of a small ‘Indian’ restaurant now closed. Previously only on one floor the new proposal is for ground and basement floors with a terrace at the rear of the building in the light well of the block. Hours requested are 00:30. We have expressed concerns about noise issues possible from departing customers in the early hours in Chiltern Street in a location with many residents.
Cumberland Food & Wine. 11 Great Cumberland Place
Application to allow off-sales until midnight 6 days a week.
This establishment seems to have an ambition to be able to sell alcohol 24/7. Over the years it has submitted multiple applications requesting incremental changes moving towards that end goal. The previous application to this was asking for 24 hour sales but was then amended during the licensing process to sales until midnight temporarily until September 2021. This application seeks to make this permanent.
Awaiting a hearing date.
Cumberland Hotel Great Cumberland Place
Application to open one hour earlier on Sundays.
Selfridges are beginning to use their outside space to the rear of the building in Edward’s Mews – you may have seen their spin classes. Activity in this application ends at 21:30 so no comments from us.
The Marylebone Association
229 Great Portland Street