New licensing rules call time on alcohol excess in Finsbury Park

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By JulieGK | Friday, January 25, 2013, 11:28

New rules come into force today (Friday) to tackle the excessive alcohol intake and supply in Finsbury Park and Islington borough.

Islington Council has adopted a new, strengthened licensing policy which includes stricter rules on new licensing applications in areas where there are already many bars, off-licences and other businesses selling alcohol.

Key changes include:

  • New cumulative impact areas in Clerkenwell and Bunhill, King's Cross and Caledonian Road, Upper Street and Angel, and Holloway Road and Finsbury Park
  • a new cumulative impact area to cover sale of alcohol in the Junction ward of Archway
  • a new framework of closing times for businesses making new or variation applications:

    off-licences - 11pm

    night clubs - 1am Sunday-Thursday, 2am Friday-Saturday

    bars, restaurants and cafes - 11pm Sunday-Thursday, midnight Friday-Saturday

    hot food and drink from takeaways - midnight Sunday-Thursday, 1am Friday-Saturday

    24-hour sales of alcohol to hotel residents

Cumulative impact areas give the council more control over new licensed premises opening in areas where there are already a large number of similar businesses.

The presumption is that new applications will be refused or limited if they will add to the existing impact.  They are not a complete ban on new applications, and every case will be judged on its merits.

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council's executive member for community safety, said: "In recent years the balance between the benefits from Islington's night-time economy and the impact on local people has begun to shift.

"Our strengthened licensing policy will tackle that shift and improve life for our residents, while still keeping Islington's reputation as a great place for a night out."

The licensing policy was strengthened after concerns from residents, the police and other council partners including the NHS.

Islington has one of the highest densities of pubs, bars, clubs and off-licences in the country, and the third highest in London.  More than 1300 premises are licensed to sell alcohol, and nearly a third are licensed to sell after midnight.

The new licensing policy was agreed at last night's (Thursday) meeting of Islington Council.

To see the full report click here.

What do you think of the new rules? Will they work? DId you think there was a problem in the first place? Let us know in the comment boxes below.



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