Hackney approves licence refusal policy

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags New premises licences London borough of hackney Hackney council

Hackney Council has approved proposals for a special policy area (SPA) to be implemented in Dalston – meaning new licence applications for pubs and bars in the area will be automatically refused.

The policy was rubber-stamped at a full council meeting last night, despite the fact a consultation on the measure – carried out from July to October 2013 - was opposed by 85% of locals. 

An SPA “creates the presumption to refuse applications” for new premises licences, club premises certificates and variations of existing licences”. 

Speaking at the meeting, Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe said: “For anyone who thinks this is going to damage the economy in the area, I give you Shoreditch as an example. That is a place where the SPA has been a success.”

Price of democracy​ 

However, speaking at the British Institute of Innkeeping’s (BII) London regional meeting this week, Jeffrey Green Russell licensing director Gareth Hughes questioned the value of local democracy, after predicting the local authority would adopt the measure. 

“There are 2,500 people who have written against the policy area. They think there will be displacement, not to other areas but to houses nearby - noisy house parties and so on - because there’s a very young population in this part of Hackney,” he said. 

“So 2,500 against, a couple of hundred for – Hackney Council will therefore bring the special policy area in. What price is local democracy there?”

Night-time economy review​ 

The measure was proposed after the Living in Hackney Scrutiny Commission carried out a comprehensive review of the night-time economy last year and recommended that an SPA is introduced in Dalston as soon as possible due to the “detrimental impact” of the number of licensed premises on the lives of residents.

Related topics Licensing law

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