Friday, January 16, 2009

New Cross - strip club and library news

Not a good week for New Cross Gate - looks like plans for a new library and health centre have hit the skids, while The White Hart looks like being turned from a pub into a private members' strip club:

Hotel owner wins appeal to open strip club (This is London, 14 January 2009): 'A Hotel owner has won his appeal to open a striptease and lap dancing club in New Cross. An application by the White Hart Hotel, in New Cross Road, to open a strip club on the premises was refused by Lewisham Council in August. More than 100 letters of objection and three petitions signed by 232 residents against the plan were received by the council, including a letter of objection from the police. White Hart owner Ken Linwood won his appeal against the decision at Bromley Magistrates' Court yesterday. Mr Linwood argued the strip club is the only way his business can survive.'

[I guess Lewisham Council could appeal against this - I won't rehearse the previous arguments against the Landlord's plans, if you are interested look at these earlier posts]

Credit crunch throws landmark development into jeopardy, Newsshopper, 12 January 2009: 'A landmark development scheme worth £37m has been thrown into jeopardy after its developer pulled out due to the credit crunch. The New Cross Gate Community Centre is due to be built on a 0.9 hectare area surrounded by New Cross Road, Briant Street, Wynne House, Bower House and Besson Street. Three blocks, including 172 flats, an eight-GP health centre, public library, gym, creche, cafe and pharmacy, are planned to take the place of council housing which has already been demolished. Work on the project was due to begin last July, but no construction has been carried out so far. Now a question mark hangs over the scheme’s future after developer The Rydon Group pulled out, blaming the current financial crisis'.


Bill Ellson said...

I was at Bromley magistrates on Tuesday. Cllr Page gave evidence and was very good, but Lewisham Officers merely went through the motions of fighting Mr Linwood's appeal.

The only option for objectors now is to seek judicial review in the High Court. When I receive a written copy of the magistrates' reasons for thier decision, probably next week, I will be in touch with objectors.

Dorian Williams said...

Please find attached findings of the Justices - for information.



Appellant: Davenport Lyons Solicitors on behalf of Mr Kenneth Brian Linwood , The White Hart, 184 New Cross Road, London SE14 5AA

Respondent: London Borough of Lewisham

“This is an application for variation of an existing licence; the variation consists of the substitution of “adult entertainment” in place of the provision of music and dance.

The substantive issue is narrow and that is: Can the appellant demonstrate that there will be no substantial negative impact on the Licensing Objectives as the premises are within the Cumulative Impact Zone known as the “New Cross Corridor” and, specifically, the Licensing Objective of Crime & Disorder?

The issue can be narrowed down to the fear of an increase in crime and disorder due to the influx of additional people from the area and beyond.

We have reviewed the evidence submitted by both parties, including letters from objectors. We have heard much conjecture about the numbers that will come into the area but no evidence of a substantial increase. Putting aside the possible increase in numbers, we have heard no evidence that this type of commercial activity is the cause of disorder and leads to an increase in crime.
The Appellant has 30 years experience in the licensing trade and has rescued and run these premises successfully for the last 7 years and the Licensing Sergeant herself said that there was currently no problem in relation to that operation. Mr Linwood considered, and said in evidence, that commercially he would have 70 or 80 higher-spending clients per night, as opposed to the 300 to 400 if he chose to operate it as a disco as allowed by his present licence.

Sergeant Sharpe said in evidence that crime and disorder were because of the concentration of licensed premises. In cross-examination she admitted that she had limited information of striptease establishments but to her knowledge they caused no problems. She maintained that the real problem was the number of premises and volume of people. The problem clearly relates equally to the existing nightclubs and other licensed premises operating in the area. With fewer clients spending larger sums per head and with a higher staff to client ratio than in other licensed premises, and bearing in mind Mr Linwood’s current underexploitation of his current licence, we find that there will be no greater negative impact in the area if this variation is granted.

With regard to the other three licensing objectives which were not addressed at any great length by the Respondent, the same arguments apply to the objective regarding Public Nuisance as to the objective regarding Crime & Disorder. The same is true with regard to Public Safety. And with regard to the Protection of Children from Harm, there will of course be no exterior advertising on the premises, nor do we consider a relatively short period of opening times clashing with the time when schoolchildren would be on their way home particularly significant.

And therefore subject to the conditions set out in the Appellant’s bundle we see no reason not to grant the application and the appeal is allowed.”

Mrs. D. Spens, chair
Mr P. Rogers
Mr R. Mills

13th January 2009

Anonymous said...

It seems he will be using the vertical integration business model to save his business and the rooms upstairs should help!