Westminster to extend controversial 'stress zones'

By Iain O'Neil

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags West end of london City of westminster City of london

Westminster to extend controversial 'stress zones'
Morning Advertiser legal expert fears City Council is attempting to circumvent the Licensing Act.

Morning Advertiser legal expert Peter Coulson fears Westminster City Council is attempting to circumvent the licensing act.

He was speaking after Westminster unveiled proposals which could see it extend its controversial 'stress zones' policy.

Under the stress zones policy there is a blanket ban on new applications and alterations because the council claims the area has reached saturation point.

This goes against the licensing act - which says every application should be looked at individually.

Current boundary​The council will be consulting residents and businesses about extending the West End stress area.

I think their aim is to disable the act​Morning Advertiser legal expert Peter Coulson

Leader of the Council, Sir Simon Milton said: "We must remain constantly vigilant if we are to maintain the difficult balance between residential amenity and economic vitality.

"I have received many representations from residents groups in Mayfair and St. James's about the spill-over effect of late night licensing from the current stress areas.

We will, therefore, during the course of this year review the impact of growth in the night-time economy in those areas and consult publicly on extending the boundaries of the stress areas to those parts of the city".

Disable the act​However, Coulson told morningadvertiser.co.uk: "I think their aim is to disable the act. Currently they have limited discretion over applications outside the zones because they are not allowed to make representations without waiting for the public to. But by having the stress area across the whole district they will be able to have a say in every application."

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