Published: 02 August 2019 by Steve Burnett
Poppleston Allen Solicitors has secured a new 3am premises licence for new Live Music Venue in Peckham as an exception to Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP).
Steve Burnett and Helen Ward of Poppleston Allen, working with counsel, Gary Grant of Francis Taylor Building, helped experienced operators to create a new 220 capacity live music venue in the Bussey Building within Peckham’s Cultural Quarter.
Their alcohol licence application was submitted and progressed by Burnett but it attracted objections only from responsible authorities, namely the police, Southwark councils licensing, environmental health and public health department. However, some 26 local residents and musicians offered their support.
At a contested hearing before Southwark’s Licensing Sub-Committee on 8 July 2019 the Applicants, submitted that the significant cultural and economic benefits to the area that would flow from the grant of this alcohol licence justified the undoubted impact such a venue would have on the local area. Measures, including the employment of street marshals and robust licence conditions and operating policies, would help to mitigate that impact – the cultural and regeneration benefits outweighed the potential harm.
The Applicant’s barrister pointed to the support for the venue from those locals who had expressed a view. The responsible authorities’ objections were based entirely on Policy grounds but the Committee heard earlier judicial observation: “Policy should be made for the man, not man for the Policy”. Further support for the application was offered from Amy Lame, the Mayor of London’s Night Czar.
The Applicant also pointed to Southwark’s own Cultural Strategy 2013-2018 which actively encourages and promotes the performing arts including live music. The Applicant submitted that alcohol licensing decisions – even one subject to a Cumulative Impact Policy- can properly take into account such Cultural Strategies, particularly where these are referenced in the Council’s own Statement of Licensing Policy.
The Council granted the new premises licence to 3am at weekends as an exception to their Cumulative Impact Policy with “stringent conditions”. The cultural benefits of a new grassroots live music venue in South London, and the professionalism of the operators, justified the exception in this case.
It is hoped that Southwark Council’s supportive decision will be welcomed by live music venue operators, grassroots musicians and fans alike.
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