Revolution – the chain bar at 276/288 Lavender Hill – has applied to Wandsworth for a variation of its licence.
They are hoping to extend their hours on Friday and Saturday. They are currently allowed to provide music until 1.30am and ‘refreshment’ (usually alcohol in bars!) until 2.00am. Their application is until extend these times to 3.00am and 3.30am respectively. This will effectively mean the bar would be emptying at 4.00am in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings.
In the past I’ve been fairly neutral in reporting license applications, partly because they’ve either not been contentious or because I have an interest (in other words, because I drink in them!). Neither of these factors apply in this case, so I feel free to say I oppose this application.
The council has always taken a fairly restrictive approach to licensing, keeping fairly close to the old-style 11am – 11pm licenses. In fact this seems to reflect what most people in the borough want. Several pubs (including my local) applied for later hours, but have never used them because people would tend to drift off around 11pm anyway.
Of course, not everyone wants to finish drinking and drift off home at 11pm. I have no problem with that and do not oppose late licenses on any moralistic or health grounds. But I do not think, in a primarily residential borough, we should be creating what will invariably become a destination for late night drinkers.
The obvious counter-argument is that Revolution is situated on in a town centre, with no residential population. But in fact there are residential properties all around. Most of the floors above the local shops are flats, and there is a small block opposite. Directly behind is a totally residential street, Mossbury Road. And the disruption would not be limited to the immediate area.
At 4am most public transport will have finished, leaving the prospect of long – and potentially drunken and noisy – walks home through residential streets. Or large number of minicabs touting for business. In fact London is well served for late night drinking with the West End, which also happens to be the central hub for late night public transport. I don’t think we should be replicating the West End’s offer here.
If you wish to object you have until 23 August to make your representation, legally representations can only be considered by the licensing committee if they 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 and we’ll be writing to local residents to make sure they know about the plans.
UPDATE: If you wish to object you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org