Landmark licensing decision for St John’s Wood pub

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Requests refused: new licensing conditions would have a 'devastating financial impact' on the Clifton
Requests refused: new licensing conditions would have a 'devastating financial impact' on the Clifton

Related tags: London, Bologna process

With the help of the licensing, gaming and regulatory team at solicitors Joelson, a pub in north London has prevented new restrictive conditions being placed on its licence.

The Joelson team acted on behalf of the owners of the Clifton, located in Clifton Hill, at a recent licensing sub-committee held by the City of Westminster.

Having reopened in 2017 after sitting empty for a year, the new owners of the Clifton had been called before the council after the Clifton Hill Residents' Group asked for a review of the pub’s licence conditions amid growing concern about disturbances from the popular pub.

The group had requested that the council impose the condition that the pub stopped using its beer garden at the earlier time of 8pm.

They also called for the pub to install low metal fencing to prevent people sitting on the wall around the garden and to carry out noise cancelling works to a conservatory at the rear of the pub.

New conditions inappropriate 

Niall McCann, joint partner of Joelson’s licensing, gaming and regulatory team pleaded the pub’s case to the City of Westminster licensing sub-committee, which decided it would not be appropriate to add new conditions to the pub’s licence.

While the committee didn’t rule out the possibility of further reviews in its report, it called upon both parties to mediate in future to prevent further concerns being raised.

Speaking after the hearing, McCann said: “The local authority takes a very rigorous approach to licensing and we believe this to be one of the first cases where a premises has been able to successfully prevent new conditions being added to its licence following a residential review.

“Cutting the hours or forcing the premises to incur additional costs would have had a devastating financial impact on our client and affected their ability to trade effectively.”

During the hearing, McCann presented hundreds of pages of evidence to the council, including evidence from 61 local residents who supported the pub and were happy with how it operated.

Related topics: Licensing law

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