Bromley magistrates tonight imposed severe curbs on drinks licences for the controversial giant 20-screen multiplex proposed for Crystal Palace |Park, south London. Where the developer had applied for ten pubs, he has been granted one pub, and 10 full restaurant licences where meals will have to be bought with drinks. Experts commented that the developer, London & Regional Properties Ltd would be bound to face greater difficulties leasing the huge multiplex spaces with restaurant rather than pub licences.

The magistrates’ decision was announced at the end of a fiercely contested three-day hearing in which London Mayor Ken Livingston had joined the objections of over 30 witnesses representing tens of thousands of residents in the five London boroughs adjacent to the park. The magistrates heard much evidence of the disorder problems caused by “mass volume vertical drinking” – a phenomenon detected by the Home Office and Police Crime Audits over the past three years wherein giant-sized pubs – as here proposed—attract youth drinking and disorder. The bench chairman, Mrs Christine Watson commented that the restaurant licence conditions “will attract a clientele with whom public nuisances are less likely to be associated”.

For Mayor Livingston barrister Gerald Gouriet expressed contempt for Bromley’s unsuccessful attempt to exclude him from the hearing. Mr Gouriet also insisted that contrary to a an assertion on behalf of Bromley Council by Mr Gregory Stone QC belittling European Commission intervention over the multiplex, that full weight be given to the EC’s “infringement proceedings” Mr Stone had stated Tuesday that the UK government did not accept that there had been a breach of European Directive in Bromley’s failure to require a prior environmental assessment for the multiplex. However according to Ministerial sources today, the UK government has not yet decided its response to the EC and has until the turn of the year to respond, before facing potential action in the European Court.

Press Officer: Fred Emery 020 8761 0076 Mobile: 0794 117 2023
All correspondence to: Hon Secretary, 33 HogarthCourt, Fountain Drive, London SE19 1UY
E-mail: fred@syre.demon.co.uk Website: www.crystal.dircon.co.uk

Top of page; Return to Meetings/Reports Index;

30/11/03 Last updated 30/11/03