Be Heard on Hackney’s Licensing Policy

Local councils responsible for licensing – alcohol, late night food, live music etc – are required to review their policies every few years.  Hackney will shortly re-launch a consultation on its licensing policy.

In advance Hackney is seeking input from stakeholders.  (This effort follows the withdrawal of the previous consultation last Autumn for technical reasons.)

Come and tell Hackney what you think about Hackney’s nightlife and how the borough can benefit from the opportunities and face the challenges of Hackney’s growing nightlife.  Your views will help shape Hackney’s new licencing policy.

EVENT:  Stakeholder Event
DATE:    Wednesday 24 February 2016
START:  6.30pm – registration
FINISH:  9pm – ends
VENUE: TBD (near Shoreditch High Street Station)

Council Hearing on Goodsyard on 10/12

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We urge all to attend Hackney Council’s Planning Committee meeting tomorrow, 10 December at 18:30, to discuss the recommendation to refuse the monstrous Goodsyard scheme.

Although the Committee is unapologetic in its support of towers – for example last week approving a 30-storey Goliath on the Chariots site directly opposite the Goodsyard – it is nevertheless important to turn out for this meeting.

Hackney’s planning officer has recommended REFUSAL of the monstrous Goodsyard scheme as little more than inappropriate luxury flats, massive offices and a shopping mall.

However in a spectacularly undemocratic act, Boris Johnson has removed our councils’ authority and is scheduled to make his own decision in February, rushing before the May election which may bring a less sympathetic mayor.

Come to Hackney Town Hall on Thursday to support the council’s REFUSAL of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard plans, and send a signal to OUR mayor at the GLA that this is important.  This planning committee meeting will make the case for what’s wrong with the Goodsyard plans, and what we would expect Boris to put right!

If you need to remind yourself of the horrors visit www.morelightmorepower.co.uk.

Council rules severely restrict the time available to actually speak.  However an appearance in numbers makes a statement in its own right, and is really important.  Please, if you have the time, come on up and support the long-term vibrant future of Shoreditch.

Date:  10 December 2015
Time:  18:30
Where:  Hackney Town Hall, Assembly Halls 1 and 2, Mare Street, London E8 1EA (entrance on Reading Lane)

Sincerely,
The Shoreditch Community Association

The Goodsyard: Help Boris See the Light!

The Hackney Society and More Light More Power in association with Shoreditch Church hosts a debate on current proposals for the Bishopsgate Goodsyard.

A hugely controversial scheme by Hammerson and Ballymore to redevelop the Bishopsgate Goodsyard was, until recently, being considered by Tower Hamlets and Hackney councils, over whose border the site straddles. In September, after revisions and months of negotiations, the Greater London Assembly “called-in” the scheme, taking the decision away from the councils and in to the hands of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs and the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe have both been strongly critical of the proposals and Boris Johnson’s decision to call-in the scheme, and will make their case at a public, question time style debate at Shoreditch Church. They hope to make Boris Johnson, who has previously praised the scheme, see the light and recognise the scheme’s flaws. The developers and GLA have been invited to share the platform and defend the scheme from the criticism, but have yet to nominate anyone.

Other speakers will be announced in due course – please revisit this page for updates.

All are welcome and booking is not necessary, but it will be helpful for planning if you sign up HERE.

EXHIBITION: Running alongside the debate is a free exhibition BAD GOODS YARD featuring the work of artists Gram Hilleard and The Artist of the Ant. It runs from noon-2pm daily between 12-30 November 2015 in the north and south Galleries of Shoreditch Church.

Please share this event on social media using #BorisSeeTheLight and #StopTheGoodsyard

If you wish to ask a question (which will be posed in your name by the chair), please email it to BorisSeeTheLight@hackneysocity.org, otherwise the chair will open the debate to the floor for related points after speakers have addressed each question.

Booze for Breakfast at the Breakfast Club?

We draw your attention to a license application by the Breakfast Club on Hoxton Square. The venue already has a license which permits alcohol sales only to diners having a meal. The Breakfast Club seeks permission to effectively become a bar by removing the condition that “Alcohol is only to be sold to customers eating or waiting to be seated to eat“.

This venue is in the middle of an oversaturated area, where noise and disturbance already carry on late into the night. In fact the venue is in the Shoreditch Special Policy area, which means the amendment should be rejected absent “exceptional circumstances”. We believe there are none.

The SCA has written to Hackney Licensing to express these concerns. We urge you to send your own representations (pro or con!) ahead of the deadline on 16 September (strictly enforced). Suggested text is below, but please use your own words if possible.  Please copy sca@shoreditchcommunity.com if you can.

Sincerely,
The Shoreditch Community Association

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SUGGESTED TEXT FOR HACKNEY LICENSING:

To: Hackney Licensing (licensing@hackney.gov.uk)
Re: The Breakfast Club, 2/4 Rufus Street, London N1 6PE

I write to object to this proposed amendment to for the following reasons:

– This venue is within the Shoreditch Special Policy Area, which means the license amendment should be automatically refused absent “exceptional circumstances”, which do not exist.

– There are many residential properties in the immediate vicinity of the venue

– The location of the venue is in the middle of a zone that is saturated beyond breaking point with late-night drinking and party venues, attracting hordes of booze tourists every weekend causing intolerable noise, anti-social behaviour, littering and fouling of the streets. The last thing the area needs is yet another alcohol-only venue. This venue will add to the cumulative impact and existing issues of noise and disorder.

– The venue is directly adjacent to several residential properties and could become a focal point for lingering crowds, presenting issues of safety to children and noise/disorder.

This license amendment provides no value to the neighbourhood, tearing at the fabric of attempts to build a long-term balanced future for Shoreditch.

I wish to be advised of the date for the Sub-Committee meeting.

[Name]
[Address]
(I do not consent to the release of any personally identifiable information.)

New Booze Venue on Rivington?

We draw your attention to a new license application for more alcohol sales in the middle of Shoreditch. 22 Rivington Street, currently a small restaurant, has applied for a license allowing:

  • Supply of alcohol, on and off premises, 7 days a week 10:00am to 02:00am; and
  • Late night hot food until 02:00am, 7 days a week

This venue is in the middle of an oversaturated area, where noise and disturbance already carry on late into the night. In fact the venue is in the Shoreditch Special Policy area, which means the license should be rejected absent “exceptional circumstances”. We believe there are none.

The SCA has written to Hackney Licensing to express these concerns. We urge you to send your own representations (pro or con!) ahead of the deadline on 25 September (strictly enforced). Suggested text is below, but please use your own words if possible.  Please copy sca@shoreditchcommunity.com if you can.

Sincerely,
The Shoreditch Community Association

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SUGGESTED TEXT FOR HACKNEY LICENSING:

To: Hackney Licensing (licensing@hackney.gov.uk)
Re: 22 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DY

I write to object to this proposed licence for alcohol and late-night refreshment for the following reasons:

– This venue is within the Shoreditch Special Policy Area, which means that the license should be automatically refused absent “exceptional circumstances”, which do not exist.

– There are many residential properties in the immediate vicinity of the venue

– The location of the venue is in the middle of a zone that is saturated beyond breaking point with late-night drinking and party venues, attracting hordes of booze tourists every weekend causing intolerable noise, anti-social behaviour, littering and fouling of the streets. The last thing the area needs is yet another alcohol-night venue. This venue will add to the cumulative impact and existing issues of noise and disorder.

– The venue is directly adjacent to several residential properties and could become a focal point for lingering crowds, presenting issues of safety to children and noise/disorder.

– A late night alcohol off-license adds significant noise to the street, as people gather outside for all sorts of loud and unsociable conduct.

This license provides no value to the neighbourhood, tearing at the fabric of any attempt to build a long-term balanced future for Shoreditch.

I wish to be advised of the date for the Sub-Committee meeting.

[Name]
[Address]
(I do not consent to the release of any personally identifiable information.)

SCA’s Objection to the Gargantuan Highgate Tower

We recently urged all to oppose the Highgate Tower – a 106m, 30+ storey glass alien – on the Chariots Sauna/Majestic Wine site on Shoreditch High Street.

The SCA has submitted its formal objection, wherein we note that:

“Our objection is primarily concerned with the height, massing and design of the proposed building. This building is comically over-sized. It is an incursion on the Shoreditch Triangle and conservation area. It sets a poor precedent, to be relied upon by the Goodsyard and those adding to the wall of towers.

In our view an appropriate commercial building here complements its surroundings, with height mirroring the landmark Tea Building. Remarkably everyone points to the Tea Building as a success…yet no one seeks to replicate it. This site is physically the entrance to Shoreditch, and this neighbourhood deserves something better than a City office/hotel tower.

This site should be seen as an opportunity to establish a strong statement on the very nature of Shoreditch: residential, business, creative, vibrant, historic, modern and diverse. This site merits a building worthy of the incredibly dynamic, world-leading area that surrounds it. What is proposed is in fact the opposite: dull, monolithic and spirit crushing. It will effectively undermine the fabric of this creative area and blight the surrounding conservation areas. This development is vast, intrusive and alien.”

In this light, and for every reason set forth in our objection, we believe the Application should be rejected in its entirety. See below for how you can add your voice against this madness.

We urge everyone to submit an objection as soon as possible. To object now e-mail planning@hackney.gov.uk. Suggested text is below. OBJECTIONS NEED TO BE SUBMITTED IMMEDIATELY. The formal deadline has passed but Hackney confirmed late objections will be accepted.

Please submit an objection today to help ensure a vibrant, diverse future for Shoreditch, not more towering luxury hotels. And please pass this on/share in every way you can. Follow us on Twitter at @shoreditchcomm, and get people to sign up for our email list. Let us know how we’re doing and contact us any time at sca@shoreditchcommunity.com.

Sincerely,
The Shoreditch Community Association

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BELOW IS SAMPLE OBJECTION LANGUAGE. PLEASE USE YOUR OWN LANGUAGE.   Individual responses carry more weight. For example consider writing about the direct impact on you. Be careful to say you are objecting, and include your postal address.

To: Hackney Planning
Re: Application 2015/2403, 201 – 207 Shoreditch High Street, Hackney, London, E1 6LG

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I write to object to the planning application for the Highgate development. My objections are rooted in the position that a 106m tower is a monstrous over-development incompatible with this neighbourhood. More specifically, I object on the following bases:

  1. The height and massing of the proposals need to be significantly reduced to not overwhelm the site and adjacent heritage assets and conservation areas, nor blight adjacent streets and homes in shadow and darkness. The buildings should integrate with existing heights and landmark buildings such as the Tea Building.
  2. The major community benefit – the mooted public spaces – is a red herring. I do not support occasional access to office space – as the price of the shadow from a 30 storey tower.
  3. There are 10 hotels being built within a 10 minute walk of this site. This neighbourhood does not need another luxury hotel. This project does little to solve immediate neighbourhood problems, like truly affordable creative workspace and housing.
  4. The site is in an area of significant heritage assets and surrounded by conservation areas, yet the proposed design is better suited to Canary Wharf or Hong Kong than Shoreditch and Spitalfields. The applications require a significant rethink and dramatic improvements.

Ultimately, the proposals represent the worst type of exploitative development, shaped by short-term economics and lacking a long-term vision for Shoreditch. Overbuilding of the Shoreditch Triangle will waste an precious asset that can’t be recovered.

If this application will be going to the Planning Sub-Committee I would like to be advised of the date. I do not consent to the release of personally identifiable information.

Sincerely,

[NAME]
[POSTAL ADDRESS INCLUDING POST CODE]

New 24/7 License for Courthouse Hotel?

We draw your attention to a new license application that could lead to yet another major late-night party venue in Shoreditch.  The soon-to-be-opened Courthouse Hotel (the old Magistrates Court, opposite Town Hall, on the corner of Old Street and Hoxton Street) has applied for a license allowing:

  • Entertainment (including live music, recorded music and dance) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
  • Supply of alcohol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and
  • Late night hot food from 11:00pm to 5:00am, 7 days a week

Clearly, a hotel requires a license in order to serve its guests.  However, we have the following major concerns:

  • Recent evidence from other hotels shows that once a license is granted the hotel can market itself as a ‘destination’ venue for drinking and all-night raves, in effect becoming a nightclub through the backdoor and attracting large party crowds;
  • The plans for the hotel have a “roof-top bar and function area”, which can serve as an outdoor clubbing space, with noise from that height traveling unabated; and
  • A side entrance on Hoxton Street close to residential properties, leading to even more inebriated punters congregating in an already crowded area.

The SCA has written to Licensing to express these concerns.  We urge you to support our efforts and send your own representations ahead of the deadline on 26 August (strictly enforced).  Suggested text is below, but please use your own words if possible.

Sincerely,
The Shoreditch Community Association

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SUGGESTED TEXT FOR HACKNEY LICENSING:

To: Hackney Licensing (licensing@hackney.gov.uk)
Re: Courthouse Hotel, 335/337 Old Street, London EC1V 9LL

I write to object to this proposed licence for entertainment, alcohol and late-night refreshment for the following reasons:

– This venue is within the Shoreditch Special Policy Area, which means that the license should be automatically refused absent “exceptional circumstances”, which do not exist.

– There are many residential properties in the immediate vicinity of the venue

– The location of the venue is in the middle of a zone that is saturated beyond breaking point with late-night drinking and party venues, attracting hordes of booze tourists every weekend causing intolerable noise, anti-social behaviour, littering and fouling of the streets.  The last thing the area needs is yet another major late-night venue.  This venue will add to the cumulative impact and existing issues of noise and disorder.

– While a hotel can reasonably be expected to require a license in order to serve its guests, once granted the license can easily be abused for other purposes.

– The plans for the Courthouse Hotel include a “roof-top bar and function area”.  Noise from a rooftop space travels unabated over a wide distance, leading to significant disturbance for surrounding residents.

– The proposed side entrance in Hoxton Street is directly adjacent to several residential properties and could become a focal point for lingering crowds, presenting issues of safety to children and noise/disorder.

Any license granted to the Courthouse Hotel must be carefully worded and restricted to ensure that it can only be used to serve hotel guests, and that any activities (and resulting noise) are well contained within the building and occur at reasonable hours.

I wish to be advised of the date for the Sub-Committee meeting.

[Name]
[Address]
(I do not consent to the release of any personally identifiable information.)