Westminster licensee calls for support against licence review

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: License

Jetlag bar licensee Scott Wilson said he is worried extra conditions will 'strangle the business further'
Jetlag bar licensee Scott Wilson said he is worried extra conditions will 'strangle the business further'
A Westminster licensee is campaigning for support after two local residents have applied for his bar to be taken to licence review.

Scott Wilson, who runs Jetlag bar, is urging local residents and community groups to object to the application, which was submitted by Denise Julien and Juanita Brathwaite, who both live in a block of flats opposite the bar, due to noise surrounding the venue.

'Strangling'

He said there are already conditions on his licence – including a restriction on the times when customers can sit and drink outside - which lead to considerable loss of business and he is worried extra conditions will “strangle the business further”.

Julien has complained about customers watching sport inside the premises, drinking and smoking outside the bar and making noise while leaving the venue. In the application she has stated: “Conditions of the licence appear to have been breached.”

Restrictions

She has suggested that the opening hours of the bar are reduced, there should be no televisions on the ground floor, an acoustic lobby should be incorporated into the entrance and all windows and external doors should be closed before 9am and after 6pm, except to allow immediate access.

She added that the current condition stating that noise should not be audible beyond the premises should be replaced with: “No noise shall emanate from the premises nor vibration be transmitted through the structure of the premises which causes a nuisance.”

Unsuccessful review

Last year, Julien and Brathwaite lobbied Westminster Council to take Jetlag to licence review, but were unsuccessful. They then took Westminster to judicial review – a case that went to the Royal Courts of Justice – and lost.

Wilson said he has already implemented measures to reduce nuisance at the bar including employing door staff when the venue is busy, erecting notices around the venue informing guests of the conditions of the license, employing SIA security when Temporary Event Notices are in place and monitoring the volume of music and televisions.

He added that he is concerned the residents are trying to prevent any licensed premises operating on the site.

Support

“There are a lot of people who support what we do. We have a very good relationship with Westminster and Police and, until recently, a reasonable dialogue with residents named in the application,” Wilson told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser​.

“The problem of noise is not a daily occurrence. In the summer, during the Murray vs Djokovich Wimbledon final there was a big cheer when it finished at about 5pm – they complained about that.

“In an area where directly across the road a restaurant can have tables and chairs out all night and three pubs within 30 seconds walk can have patrons standing and drinking outside throughout permitted hours, the conditions cause unnecessary confusion who think it is the Jetlag policy rather than Westminster.”

Defence

Wilson added that he is preparing his own defence to the application, which will include a response to every incident and complaint. He has instructed Philip Kolvin QC to defend him at the hearing.

Westminster Council said it was unable to comment.

The 28-day consultation period on the licence review will close on the 26 November. To submit a response visit jetlagbar.com/index.php/license-review

Related topics: Licensing law

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