Garage Application for 24 hour license to sell alcohol: Withdrawn

A garage in Kennington has withdrawn its application after Cllr Joanne Simpson made the objection below.  This objection was supported by Vauxhall Gardens Estate Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, Vauxhall 5 Residents’ Association, Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and the Prince’s residents’ Safer Neighbourhood Team Panel, who also made their own objections.

Cllr Joanne Simpson submitted:

“I would like to object to granting the above premises licensing permission for 24 hour sale of alcohol for the following reasons.

As the local Councillor for Prince’s ward for the past year, I regularly receive complaints from local residents about problems caused by groups of people drinking alcohol in the streets.  Street drinking has been linked with criminal activity, disorder and anti-social behaviour, and has been considered such a significant problem that the Police recently implemented a dispersal zone in the area.  This was proven to noticeably reduce the levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in the area, in particular in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, which has for some years become a hotspot for crime and anti-social behaviour.

Unfortunately by law the dispersal zone could only be implemented for a three month period, and its operation has recently come to an end.  With summer and better weather approaching, my residents are understandably and rightly concerned about increased levels of ASB and criminal activity in the area as a result of street drinking.  Particular hotspots include not only the Pleasure Gardens, but also residential areas, particularly Vauxhall Walk.  These areas are only a short walk from the garage where 24-hour sale of alcohol is being proposed.

Significant police, Vauxhall One and Council resources have already been ploughed into this area in an attempt to tackle problems caused by street-drinking.  These include extra police controls on Vauxhall Walk, a dispersal zone and CCTV.  There is therefore no justification to allow for a shop in the heart of the affected area to sell alcohol 24 hours a day. 

From the license application I am not filled with confidence that the applicant understands the nature of problems, nor has the applicant adequately addressed concerns around ASB, crime and disorder around street drinking in Vauxhall.  I see no evidence that the applicant has put in mitigation measures over and above what might normally be considered necessary for a 24-hour license.  This gives the impression that the applicant has not considered or consulted with the appropriate agencies in this area.  Neither the residents’ associations representing Vauxhall Gardens Estate or Vauxhall 5 have been consulted, both of which combined represent around 1,200 households.  Indeed both have indicated to me their opposition to this application, on the grounds that it is more likely to attract and increase ASB and crime and disorder in this area.

I understand that Lambeth’s licensing policy seeks to move away from granting establishments 24 hour licenses to sell alcohol.  I therefore hope that the Committee will oppose the application, taking into account the points I make above”.

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