‘I don’t know if Clapham will forgive us’: Alcohol licences granted to two more venues near high street
Lambeth council granted alcohol licences to two more venues located within a restricted zone near Clapham High Street on Tuesday.
The premises licences, which a business needs in order to serve alcohol, were approved by the council’s licensing sub-committee held at Lambeth Town Hall.
Applicants, residents, councillors, licensing officers and community support officers were present and took part in the discussions, with the councillors who form the sub-committee making the final decisions.
Councillor Jane Edbrooke, who chaired the session, said: “Who’d have thought twice in one meeting. I don’t know if Clapham will forgive us.”
She added: “This of course does not in any way, shape or form set a precedent.”
The Clapham High Street Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) is a special policy which forms part of the council’s Licensing Policy Statement and came into effect in November 2011. The policy states that applicants must prove that there will be no negative impact following a change in licence.
NIGHTLIFE: Image showing the boundaries of the Cumulative Impact Zone
The first business to have their application heard was Megan’s Delicatessen located at 55-57 Old Town SW4, which is due to open on 23 November.
The applicants were questioned on the CIZ policy by the sub-committee and said they were primarily a food business and would only serve alcohol to customers who intended to eat. They also agreed to change the time they would stop serving alcohol from 1am to 11pm daily.
The sub-committee heard objections from residents and ward councillor Linda Bray that the restaurant would be on the ground floor of a unit that contained residential homes.
Their concern was that adding another venue that served alcohol to the street could attract more drunk people to the area and asked for a security guard and no drinking outside.
Councillor Edbrooke said: “We are mindful to allow the application, but we will not be allowing alcohol beverages to be taken outside of the premises.
“We feel that residents have very strongly made the point that actually this has got great residential proximity and it’s in a saturation zone.
“Consumption outside would exercise the public nuisance objective.”
The second business was Mama V’s, located at 10 Voltaire Road SW4, which is an existing café. The applicants were also questioned on the CIZ policy and told the sub-committee that the venue was primarily a food and coffee business with a maximum capacity of 12-16 people.
They said the aim of gaining the licence was to increase income by giving customers who were dining the option of having an alcoholic drink between 11am and 10pm daily.
There were no objections from residents, but the sub-committee received representations from community safety, the licensing service and the police who had concerns about allowing another drinking venue within the CIZ in Clapham.
In both cases the panel adjourned before returning with a decision to grant the licence with conditions.
Councillor Edbrooke said: “Similar to the last application, I think that we have been reassured. We only break the saturation zone in exceptional circumstances and I think that the size of your premises is exceptional.”
She added that the café being a seated premises and its location underneath a train line had also assured the sub-committee that granting the licence wouldn’t have a negative impact.