The operators of two popular nightlife venues in north London are looking to open in south east London – though police are objecting.
DL Space Ltd previously operated the well regarded venue The Cause in Tottenham as well as Costa Del Tottenham. Time Out looked back fondly at The Cause in an article when it closed due to impending development.
They offered a type of venue common across many European cities as well as places in the UK such as the fantastic Motion in Bristol – though rarely seen in south east London in the form of warehouses turned into live venues.
They are now hoping to set up a venue running events from daytime fitness classes to late night cinema, live music, DJ sets and much else beside at Unit 3, Ilderton Wharf on Rollins Street.
However Lewisham police are strongly objecting when it goes before Lewisham Council’s Planning Committee tomorrow night (Tuesday 6th September).
A report states: “Lewisham Police Licensing acknowledge receipt of an application for a new premises licence for a multi room events space at the above location with an eventual capacity of 3000.
The proposed operating hours range from 8am through to 7am on a weekend and 11am to midnight during the week.
The events listed on the licence are Indoor sporting events, boxing/wrestling entertainment, live music, recorded music, performance of dance, anything of a similar description to the latter 3 activities, late night refreshment and supply of alcohol.”
So far this all sounds excellent and a much needed shot in the arm for late night life in south east London.
However, police continue “Police would like to outright object to this application under the following Licensing objectives:
Prevent crime and disorder
Prevent public nuisance
Protect children from harm”
Why have anything as it may cause crime? Given the operators have a past for running successful venues and have supplied an extensive list of measures they will undertakes including CCTV and security staff is this overkill by police?
They continue: “There is limited bus availability in the area and the buses are small hopper buses.
Would the patrons be queuing in the residential streets waiting for buses or walking to the railway station or waiting for taxis? There is very limited parking availability.
The applicant states people can use Uber taxis but there is nowhere in the locality for them to park or wait. The amount of taxis needed would create a nuisance for the local residents and other road users”.
This does seem a valid concern in part. However police state “The applicant states the patrons can use the rail and tube network. The nearest station is a fifteen minute walk away”. South Bermondsey station is only six minutes walk away.
That’s fine for arriving, and even catching the first one the morning after for some late nights. Of course overnight it wouldn’t work, but there’s night buses 10 minutes away at the Old Kent Road and New Cross Road.
Police also mention homes in the area on Rollins Street – though the plan supplied by applicants shows entrance to the site is via Surrey Canal Road lined solely with industrial units near the venue and not the residential road.
The issue of poor nightlife in London has been in the news recently. Many clubs, pubs, venues and bars have closed and of venues that do remain, very few are open past midnight in a city of nine million people.
Compared to many cities in other nations – and in the UK – the night time economy is curiously lacking.
This venue promises to offer what is the norm in many places – but in south east London seems to face an uphill battle.
All in its seems the police seek to halt nightlife regardless in zone 2 of London; one of the biggest cities in the world and sorely lacking decent nightlife in many areas.
When The Cause in Tottenham closed, at least 60 artists lost a venue to play. Music is one of the UK’s most popular industry’s worldwide. You just have to go aboard to see how popular UK artists and acts are around the world.
Closing venues – and preventing new ones from opening – is greatly hampering one of the best things about the country. The industry brings billions to the economy.
Let’s see what Lewisham Council decide tomorrow.