West London pub is granted new licence but neighbours had a list of complaints

A pub in West London has been granted a new licence despite neighbours complaining about noise, antisocial behaviour and trespassing by customers. Janet Slack and daughter Amber Slack applied for a new licence for Lavin's Irish bar on Uxbridge Road in Hanwell, after the old one expired when the former company that owned the pub dissolved.

What could have been potentially quite a straightforward licensing hearing was turned into a forum for residents who lived near the pub to air their grievances. Objector Nick Dewey put forward a strong rebuttal to the way the pub was currently being run and questioned the application's proposed opening hours which are: Monday – Wednesday 9am to 12.30am and Thursday – Sunday 9am to 1.30am.

He added that the noise from the pub made it impossible for him to open his window during the summer and disrupted his young children's sleep. However, his main concern was to do with pub customers using the pub's back door to access a private alleyway used by residents.

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In the meeting, he said: "The biggest issue, ever since I have lived here, we have had numerous occasions of people coming out on their phones arguing, fighting, drinking, stood around smoking." He said once he had been with his daughter and had asked one of the pub-goers to go back inside but he had been threatened in return.

While representatives said there are many properties that back onto the alleyway and it might be the case that it was not always people from the pub, Mr Dewey responded: "It's been bliss for the last few weeks since you haven't been operating because it's been quiet and peaceful, we've had no trespassers."

Amber Slack took a moment to apologise to Mr Dewey saying that she promised to improve the soundproofing of the pub's back area and said she wasn't aware that the issue with customers was so bad. "I would not want to upset where you live," she said, "especially if you have young children."

A representative for the pub Nick Semper added that measures were already being put in place to ensure the back door could not be accessed by customers. He told the hearing that a code lock had been installed on the door.

This raised concerns for councillors, who appeared worried that the door, which also functioned as a fire exit, could block people attempting to escape in the case of an emergency. During the discussion, it was suggested that an alarmed door that would alert staff to its usage would be a better compromise.

Ms Slack said that the pub-goers would be easy to control with the premises never seeing more than 15 to 20 customers at any one time. Mr Semper also proposed that neighbours and Ms Slack exchange phone numbers so that they could have direct access to each other if there was ever an issue.

The licence was granted with some stipulations and conditions. The conditions being:

  1. The two window blinds at the front of the premises are to remain open and up at all times or removed immediately.

  2. One member of staff that can operate and download CCTV for police or local authority officers to be always on the premises when open for licensable activities.

  3. The CCTV is to be checked weekly and a log kept on the premises for inspection by the responsible authorities.

  4. If the CCTV is inoperable the premises is to close immediately unless permission to operate has been granted by the police or local authority.

  5. Two members of staff to be present after 5pm during all karaoke events and after 7pm on Fridays.

  6. One member of staff who has a Personal Licence to be on duty during all karaoke events and after 7pm on Fridays.

  7. The fully enclosed room at the rear is not to be used as a smoking area.

  8. No more than 4 smokers outside the front of the premises at any time

In addition, all visitors to the pub are prohibited from using the back door unless in the event of an emergency. The back door is to be fitted with an alarmed push bar that triggers when the door is opened so the premises licence holder can check on its use.

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