London market operator Street Feast have threatened to pull out of operating in Woolwich at the final hurdle after Greenwich Council and the Met Police asked for restrictions on outside seating times.
If we don’t get approval for the hours we need to make this a viable project, then Street Feast will not be coming to Woolwich. We’re tired of the constant battle to contribute positively to the community and amenity of each new neighbourhood. Have your empty building back. https://t.co/uiCCS4kNJS
— Jonathan Downey (@DowneyJD) February 5, 2018
A licensing application meeting tomorrow is needed to give approval to the market. The operators want to have outside seating until 11pm but Greenwich Council and the Met Police want it to run until 9pm weekdays and 10pm on Saturdays.
Those restrictions do seem too strict. This reminds of the difficulties Antic went through in order to open the Woolwich Equitable pub. It took a long time to get approval.
11pm on a Saturday in particular doesn’t seem too much to ask for. Some people locally (both in and outside authority) appear to have a pretty narrow outlook and experience of other areas.
Much of London allows seating until 11pm in busy town centre areas. It’s hardly 24 hour drinking. Yet much of Greenwich borough is like a rural village. Actually, scrub that, most villages I’ve been to have later opening than many places in south east London.
Some of those in charge would have a heart attack if they visited other parts of the capital, let alone most UK cities and cities abroad where a late night culture really does exist.
The old argument will be trotted out that a minority may cause problems. Then deal with the minority. Don’t penalise everyone.
The site is/was due to be used as a market for around two years until its pulled down to make way for the Spray Street project of 742 homes, which was covered last week.
EDIT: Greenwich Council agreed to Street Feasts terms and they will be able to provide outdoor space until 11pm. The market opens in three weeks