Chorion celebrates licensing victory

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Westminster city council, City of westminster, West end of london, City of london

Late-night bar operator Chorion is celebrating an initial victory in its battle against Westminster City Council's licensing policy.The company...

Late-night bar operator Chorion is celebrating an initial victory in its battle against Westminster City Council's licensing policy.

The company launched two lawsuits against the council after it introduced a new policy restricting late-night opening for new premises in the West End.

The high court has now ruled that a decision to block a 3am licence for its Loop venue, in Hanover Square, must be overturned.

Mr Justice Turner said in his ruling that each application for a late licence must be judged on its own merits regardless of the council's policy, which does not have the force of law.

This opens the way for other operators to challenge the council's decisions in court.

Chorion's managing director Nick Tamblyn said: "When making a decision on an applications, the judge said that you have to have a balance between the merits of the application and the policy of the council."

But Ivor Jones, spokesman for Westminster City Council, said the decision had no direct impact on the council's policy to clamp down on late-licences in designated "stress areas" considered to be at risk of alcohol-related violence.

He said: "The Loop is not in the West End stress area. Therefore, the judgement has no implications for the council's policy that no new licences with a terminal hour later than 1am should be granted in that area."

The second judicial review is continuing to look at the legality of the policy itself, with a final decision expected this summer.

Related topics: Licensing law

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