Last chance to stop late last orders
PUBLISHED: 13:54 13 August 2010
Residents and traders who fear a return to a time when "pubs ruled the High Street" have reacted angrily to a late-night alcohol application by a pub chain.
J D Wetherspoon have applied to Bromley council to vary the use of their planning status at the Greyhound, High Street, Bromley, to allow alcohol to be served until 1.30am on Thursday to Saturday nights.
The bid by the chain, which owns 781 pubs nationwide and is known for its low-cost drinks, prompted neighbouring businesses and residents to organise a petition against the changes.
Chairman of Bromley North Traders, Bob Gregory, said: “There was tremendous violence around this area between 1996 and 2004 when pubs ruled the High Street. If this pub is opened late we could see a return to this.”
Wetherspoon, who recently bought the Bromley North site, have already succeeded in turning the use of the premises from A3 restaurant to an A4 drinking establishment last month.
Their agents applied for a variation of the conditions of this planning permission to allow the premises to open from 9am until 12.30am Sundays to Wednesday and until 1.30am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Mr Gregory added: “Drink-fuelled problems became so bad they introduced an alcohol exclusion order in 2004. Taking this history into account I don’t know how it has already got a change of use so easily.”
Councillor Will Harmer, who attended a meeting called by the traders association last Saturday, along with the two other Bromley Town ward councillors, says that when the matter comes up at the planning committee on September 9 he will be speaking against the plans.
He said: “There is absolutely no place for another late night bar on Bromley High Street.”
A spokesperson for the council said: “We are in the process of consulting residents and the wider community and we will, of course, take into account any responses we receive. We need to give it careful consideration, in light of our planning policies and anticipate making a decision in September.”
If the submission passes this planning stage, it will then be subject to a further application to the borough’s licensing authority.
A spokesperson from Wetherspoon failed to reply to the Times’ requests for comment.