Chorion takes on Westminster City Council in late-night licensing row

Related tags Westminster city council London City of london

Westminster City Council and bar operator Chorion have gone head to head in a heated debate on late-night licensing.Speaking at the Business in Sport...

Westminster City Council and bar operator Chorion have gone head to head in a heated debate on late-night licensing.

Speaking at the Business in Sport and Leisure conference this week, council leader Simon Milton and Chorion chief executive Nick Tamblyn aired their views on the issue of later opening hours.

The debate followed trade criticism of the council's licensing policy, which aims to limit the number of late-licences in key areas of the West End.

The council has argued that late-licences add to late-night noise and violence and has said it will limit new licences to 1am.

Mr Milton told the conference: "We want to create a wider offer in terms of entertainment in the West End. We don't want a conveyor-belt of fast-food outlets and late-night bars."

But a recent survey of Soho residents, carried out by Tony Travers of the London School of Economics, showed that residents in central London are some of the most content in the borough and that nuisance caused by pubs and bars in the area was low on their list of concerns.

Licensees and pub operators claim a system of staggered closing would help curb the problem not add to it and they are angry that the council is restricting pub operations.

Chorion was involved earlier this year in a court dispute with the council over its licensing policy.

Mr Tamblyn said: "I believe the approach taken by the council has not offered a solution. The West End of London is the largest entertainment centre in Europe and it should be celebrated. But instead of addressing issues like transport the council has merely sought to reduce the number of operating premises, which is ludicrous."

Related stories:

Possible street drinking ban for Westminster (12 November 2001)

Westminster publicans: keep rubbish clear or lose licence (24 October 2001)

End of West End happy hours if Westminster plans get go-ahead (17 October 2001)

Licensees win latest fight in battle over late licensing (17 October 2001)

Victory for Chorion in battle for late-night opening (11 October 2001)

Related topics Licensing law

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