The move means pubs in the London borough can apply to Westminster if they want off-sales provision for alcohol or late-night refreshment (hot food or drink between 11pm and 5am). The presumption is to grant these applications subject to other policies.
The policy called the Ancillary Delivery of Alcohol and/or Late-Night Refreshment Policy (DEL1) - Policy DEL1 will apply to venues such as pubs, restaurants and bars that want to offer deliveries in addition to their main activities.
In a ruling, the council said: “The increase in the number of premises in Westminster offering delivery services is a development that the licensing authority considers justifies a revision to SLP (statement of licensing policy). This increase has been particularly noticeable since the onset of Covid-19, especially as restrictions ease.
“Westminster’s licensing policy does not currently have specific policies for deliveries. These proposals address this specific issue in order to support licensed businesses within Westminster to grow and diversify in a safe, responsible and positive way while also addressing residents’ concerns and, ultimately, promote the four licensing objectives.”
The news comes as the council has allowed alfresco dining to continue in parts of Westminster, following hugely positive responses to consultations on the future of the scheme in parts of Covent Garden and St John’s Wood.
Alfresco measures approved
The council said that more than 80% of Covent Garden and St John’s Wood residents and businesses approved of alfresco measures.
It revealed that some alfresco schemes will remain in Westminster on a permanent basis and it would be consulting residents in Soho on similar schemes.
Cllr Matthew Green, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning, said: “Covent Garden has always been one of London's top destinations for hospitality and St John's Wood offers world-class eateries on a bustling local high street. We’re really pleased residents and businesses have voted in favour of keeping alfresco. Thanks to residents and businesses working together, Westminster is proud to be able to support the continuation of outdoor dining in these areas.”