Trade reacts to London nightlife consultation

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

01 June 2017

A ban on late night levies and increased protection for venues facing noise complaints for developers form just some of the recommendations put forward by the trade in reaction to London Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s consultation on the city’s night time economy.

The consultation, which closed for submissions yesterday, aims to protect London’s £26.3bn night time economy, which has increasingly been under threat in recent years.

Local authorities, residents, revellers, police and local businesses were invited to submit their views ahead of the May 31 deadline. The consultation responses will inform the new draft London Plan which will be published in Autumn 2017.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) made a series of recommendations including that the ‘Agent of Change’ principle should become the norm in planning decisions with the onus on residential developments protect residents against noise disturbance from existing businesses. It also called for late night levies and early morning restriction orders to not be introduced in London as they damage the night time economy.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: 'The consultation shows that the Mayor’s Office understands and appreciates the fantastic contribution being made by businesses in the night time economy.

'This is a great opportunity to highlight the economic and social contributions being made by innovative and exciting companies and push for further support. The mayor and the night czar have already made some positive noises regarding the sector and the ALMR has been liaising with them to make sure they follow through with their support.'

Meanwhile, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) called for the use of Article 4 directions that can restrict even minor alterations to premises, to be dropped, as changes to national planning legislation that render such measures unnecessary.

The BBPA says that the imposition of Article 4 on all pubs in an area, as recently seen in Wandsworth, can create huge inflexibility and additional costs for pubs, many of which are small independent businesses and are often the business owner’s only major asset.

BBPA chief executive, Brigid Simmonds, said: 'London has over 3,900 pubs, and the vibrant beer and pub sector adds £3.5 billion to the economy, and provides jobs for 92,000 Londoners, many of whom are young people, so the Mayor’s support for our industry is very welcome.

'Our response highlights the damaging trend of imposing Article 4 directions on pubs, a measure made unnecessary by recent changes in planning law, and our support for BIDs, instead of late night levies.'

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