Further to my post on the Boris Bike scheme in Wandsworth and Shaftesbury (and being parochial) the planning applications received for locations in, and near, Shaftesbury ward are:

  • Ashley Crescent (2013/0435)
  • Clapham Common Northside south of Grove Mansions (2013/0433)
  • Eckstein Road j/w Comyn Road (2012/5713)
  • Eckstein Road/St John’s Road (2012/5714) – Approved
  • Dorothy Road (2013/0078) – Approved
  • Grayshott Road/Holden Street (2013/0076) – Approved
  • Grayshott Road/Sabine Road (2013/0075) – Approved
  • Heathwall Street, north of 53 Eland Road (2013/0821) – Approved
  • Lavender Gardens (2012/5954)
  • 103-113 Lavender Hill (2013/0943)
  • 139-143 Lavender Hill (2013/0073) – Approved
  • Robertson Street (2012/5735) – Approved
  • Sheepcote Lane/Latchmere Leisure Centre (2012/5716) – Approved
  • Stanley Grove (2012/5862)

To view them visit the council’s planning website and enter the reference number in the search box. Of course, my definition of ‘near Shaftesbury’ is subjective, the council’s press release has a fuller list of applications.

NB Post was updated 5 and 12 Feb, 7 and 14 Mar, 11 and 18 Apr 2013 to add in new applications and annotate those that had been passed. It’s worth pointing out that an application, even if successful, may not result in a stand being erected since TfL are also applying for contingency sites in case their preferred options are unsuccessful. I assume this is the case with the two nearby sites on Grayshott Road.

Coming to Battersea: Boris bikes
Coming to Battersea: Boris bikes

The expansion of Boris bikes into Shaftesbury has been touted for a long time, and the proposed sites have been (sort of) public knowledge for a while. However, the process of installation has moved onto the more formal stage with TfL starting to apply for planning permissions where necessary.

Shaftesbury ward, and especially the Shaftesbury Park estate, is well served by the proposed sites. Perhaps too well served. I should declare an interest that some of the sites are remarkably close to my home (indeed, one is almost right outside) – though I would qualify that by adding I’m indifferent to whether or not a docking station is close to me or not.

My one comment throughout the process is that docking stations should be located, counter-intuitively, slightly inconveniently, meaning users have a short walk which increases footfall in some of our shopping parades: improving the vibrancy of our shopping areas and, hopefully, the bottom line for our traders.

I’m not sure my input had any on TfL’s thinking. Certainly one of my suggestions – using the dead-ends created by estates north of Lavender Hill which were placed with no regard to permeability – got nowhere. Apparently, it’s not possible to build a docking station on a slight slope: you can see how TfL are the successors to the pioneers of the world’s first and most complex mass transit system 150 years ago.

If you want to have your say keep an eye out for the various planning applications. You can also find out more from the report being considered at tonight’s Strategic Planning and Transport OSC and the appendices.

Travelodge new, accurate, sign. Just across from the underground station.

Victory, perhaps, with Travelodge’s naming.

As Travelodge gets closer to completion they’ve started adding some signage, including one referring over its door naming it as ‘London Clapham Junction’. I’m not a Battersea fundamentalist, so I’m happy with that.

I’ve no idea on the timescales involved in Travelodge signage, but would assume it was produced before my recent post on the subject: though it will reflect the efforts of the many people I know had already raised it with Travelodge.

However, their customer services team also emailed me today. I had asked when their facilities team were likely to decide on the naming. Their response is sublime:

I cannot confirm when this decision will be made.

This matter will be dealt with internally and so will not be communicated out.

If the decision is made to change the name, the details will be changed on the website. If this is not changed then the decision has been taken to not make any changes.

I think this is customer service done just right. It probably means they are just ignoring me, but the ‘we’ll think about it, but won’t tell you we’ve thought about it’ approach leaves me with just enough doubt that maybe, just maybe, they are grateful for my “valued feedback”.

Their website (at the time of writing) still lists the hotel as ‘London Clapham’, and still has Clapham Junction on the underground; so maybe they’ve not decided yet. Or perhaps they have decided they are in Clapham, but because it was done internally they haven’t told anyone. Including their sign-makers.

Clapham Travelodge, next to Clapham Junction tube

I recently claimed that I was never grumpy, which someone challenged, telling me that my attitude towards those who mistook Battersea for Clapham was textbook grumpiness. I corrected them. My attitude towards those who make such simple geographical mistakes is best described as righteous anger.

Or maybe righteous wrath.

It is currently aimed towards Travelodge, who are currently completing a new hotel on Falcon Road. Being a building site they have caused problems for their neighbours on Mossbury Road to be sure, but through it all I remained fairly emotionally balanced. But when their new hotel was listed on their website it immediately provoked a fit of righteous wrath.

To be fair, they did make attempts to compensate, cutting through decades of TfL delays and engineering to put Clapham Junction on the London Underground network (with an entrance I assume is in the menswear at Arding and Hobbs Debenhams). Despite that, I decided the only proportionate response was an email to the chain.

Contacting them is quite hard, their webform forces you to answer lots of questions, and only a few allow you to answer them. The Clapham Junction Town Centre Manager was one who managed to get through to them. She was told:

We appreciate that the location of the hotel is in between Clapham and Battersea, however we already have a hotel called ‘Battersea Travelodge’

Apart from being wrong about being ‘between Clapham and Battersea’ (because they are in Battersea), I can see the logic. And it does leave open all sorts of alternative names; I was wondering about Manhattan Travelodge, it is, after all, located between Manhattan and Southend-on-Sea, but they already have a Southend Travelodge.

I was blessed with a slightly more positive response:

your feedback has been forwarded to our facilities for them to make the decision if this hotel should be renamed before its opening

Sadly, I think this translates to ‘we’ll pass this on to someone else to ignore’.

On the upside, the responses at least mean we have an email address for Travelodge which obviates the need for their awful customer service webform, it’s customer.services@Travelodge.co.uk.

In fact, I’ve gone even further. If you think they need to re-think, then here’s a pre-filled email with a few facts that might help convince them to reconsider their name.

And as I’m in something of a licensing groove, or rut, I may as well update on the decision of the Battersea Mess licensing review, which has been published today.

In short: do nothing.

The resident who requested the review had moved and decided not to attend the hearing. After listening to the evidence of the Mess, the sub-committee decided no further action was needed and the licence was unaltered.

I’m not surprised, as I commented when highlighting the review “it is well managed and a welcome addition to the evening and cultural offer of Lavender Hill.” I’m pleased the process can recognise well-run pubs as well as tackling those with problems. Although it seems a shame that the legal framework requires a night of everyone’s time, as well as the preparation involved, to do that.

Newspot, Lavender Hill (image from Google Streetview)

To continue today’s licensing theme, Newspot, at 8 Lavender Hill has received an application to extend their licensed hours. Their current hours end at 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30pm on Sunday. They are applying for an alcohol licence between 8am until 2am Monday to Thursday, 8am until 3am Friday and Saturday and 10am until 2am on Sunday.

As is often the case with licensing, I find libertarian ideals conflicting with a more authoritarian streak. As a general principle, I don’t see why (or anyone else) shouldn’t be able to buy alcohol when we want – provided the retailer and I both act responsibly. However, the licensing regime we have means that late licences can become destinations and, as a result, problems. In this instance, having recently seen new conditions applied on the Beaufoy, I can’t help but see a new late licence in the area as a retrograde step. In an area that has struggled, but is hopefully about to turn a corner, I would need a lot of persuasion that this application benefits Lavender Hill.

If you want to make a representation you have until 20 June. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk

Best One, Eversleigh Road (from Google Streetview)

The licensing sub-committee considered Best One’s licensing application last month. The original application was for a licence until 11pm. However (and perhaps in response to local representations) the applicant reduced the hours requested to 9pm six days a week, and 6pm on Sundays.

The application was granted, with a number of conditions to address some of the concerns including:

  • Staff training
  • Installation of CCTV
  • Underage sales prevention
  • ‘Respect your neighbours’ signage
  • Litter cleaning after closing

You can see the full decision on the council’s website.

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Perhaps predictably, within hours of posting the outline of the decision on the Beaufoy I got the detailed decision. This has not been posted on the council’s website yet, but will appear in due course (I’m not sure if it will be under the original 28 February meeting or the adjourned 24 April meeting).

The additional conditions are, I think, interesting and worth posting in full. I’ve never seen some of them used anywhere else before. A proposed set of conditions were suggested jointly by the licensee’s solicitor, police and council, I don’t know how far these were amended by the committee:

The Sub-Committee decided to add the following permanent conditions arising from relevant representations:-

  1. The prevention of crime and disorder
    1. A review of the CCTV system, including the numbers of and positioning of all cameras, shall be agreed with the Metropolitan Police and Licensing Authority and all their recommendations be implemented within 6 months of 24 April 2012 .

    2. CCTV cameras covering the front and side of the venue will be installed.
    3. All recordings from the CCTV system shall be retained and stored in a suitable and secure manner for a minimum of 31 days, and shall be made available on request to the Metropolitan Police, Licensing Authority or other Responsible Authorities.

    4. To ensure that the CCTV system is operating and recording 24 hours a day.
    5. To have a member of staff who is trained in the use of the CCTV system on duty at the premises all times they are open.

    6. No open drinks containers are to be allowed to be taken from the premises.
    7. The premises will be searched at least once daily by trained staff to check for drug usage. A log of these checks shall be kept and produced upon request of a Police Officer.
    8. Customers will be refused entry if they fail to submit to a voluntary search
    9. Ensure that a comprehensive incident register is maintained at the premises. The Designated Premises Supervisor shall ensure that details of incidents (i.e. ejections of persons where the emergency services are called because of offences against the person or theft) shall be added to the register within 24 hours of any incident. The register will be kept at the venue and produced for inspection upon request from the police or an authorised officer from the Licensing Authority. The incident register shall be recorded:-

      1. Date of incident
      2. Time of incident

      3. Location of incident
      4. Persons concerned
      5. Summary of incident

      6. Identification of any Emergency Services Personnel who attended.
    10. A risk assessment form 696 must be completed for every event involving new external promoters and submitted to the Metropolitan Police at least 14 working days prior to any regulated entertainment event taking place.
  2. The prevention of public nuisance
    1. All doors (save for entry and egress) and all windows shall be kept closed whenever Regulated Entertainment is provided, and after 23.00 irrespective of the provision of Regulated Entertainment.

    2. The door staff shall be tasked with maintaining the acoustic lobby at the front of the premises by ensuring that both doors are not opened concurrently (save for emergencies).

The hours are set at:

  • Sunday: 12.00 – 22.30
  • Monday and Tuesday: 10.00 – 00.00
  • Wednesday and Thursday: 10.00 – 01.00
  • Friday and Saturday: 10.00 – 02.00

They are, I think, fairly stringent. Hopefully they will prevent the problems that have been making the lives of neighbours a misery for too long.

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An application has been made by Sweet Sensations, 256 Lavender Hill for an extension to their alcohol licence.

Their current licence allows alcohol sales from 8am until 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10am until 10.30pm on Sundays. They are applying for an extension for sales from 7am until midnight on Sunday to Thursday, with sales until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.

While the extension is fairly significant they are located in the town centre, with plenty of other late night venues nearby.

If you want to make a representation you have until 21 May. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk

View Larger Map

The licensing review on the Beaufoy reconvened last week following what can only be described as an abortive first meeting when the police evidence was not as robust as it should have been. I confess that my attempts to find out more about the police’s position in the intervening weeks has done little to enlighten me but nor has it reduced my concerns about the premises.

The formal decision has not been posted on the council’s website yet, however I understand that the decision – following a negotiation between the premises, police and council noise team – was to cut the premises’ licensed hours.

It will now only have a licence until 1am on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights. Perhaps most importantly the premises will need to close 30 minutes after their licensed hours. This removes the loophole that meant it could stay open all night, as long as all sales were completed within licensed hours.

By imposing conditions and bringing the Beaufoy more fully into the council’s licensing regime (I understand elements of the old license traced back to the Greater London Council, not least the long hours) hopefully the new licence will help the landlord keep things in order, and the council and police to enforce if anything gets out of hand.