Court puts block on Dublin Castle plan

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Related tags: Camden

Magistrates have pulled the plug on plans to extend the opening hours of a London pub which has become a legendary music venue. Despite support from...

Magistrates have pulled the plug on plans to extend the opening hours of a London pub which has become a legendary music venue. Despite support from chart-topping bands Madness and Supergrass, BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq and Notting Hill actor Rhys Ifans, magistrates have ruled that the Dublin Castle in Islington cannot stay open until 2am on weekends. The decision has delighted residents, who say Camden is already saturated with late-night venues and claim that a 2am licence would increase existing problems of anti-social behaviour and crime. But it has angered fans of the venue, including Carl Smith also known as Chas Smash of Madness, who first played there more than 25 years ago. He said: "It doesn't make any sense. Camden should have more venues like this, good family-run pubs which make a major contribution to the community. "It is a fantastic venue and clientele. It is the pubs that all spill out at 11pm that cause the problems associated with Camden Town, not the Dublin Castle." Licensee Henry Conlon, 36, said the move went against Camden's cultural strategy. He said: "We'll take this decision on the chin. Life goes on, and we still have a 1am licence. Camden goes on about its cultural diversity and its support for live music, but where is that support now?" Conlon, whose family has run the pub for 29 years, told the court 1,000 bands played at the pub every year and the later opening hours would allow an extra 150 bands to be heard.

Related topics: Legislation

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