First written in 2004, the licensing policy contains a section relating to premises within the town centre’s defined area, which states that, because of the high concentration of pubs, bars and clubs in a relatively small area, there is a presumption to refuse new applications from premises used exclusively or primarily for the sale of alcohol and/or with loud amplified recorded music.
There were concerns that a concentration of such licensed premises could result in an increase in crime and disorder.
In the ensuing 13 years, however, there has been considerable change in consumer habits and an accompanying decline in the number of pubs, bars and clubs in the town centre, in favour of a broader range of premises offering food and entertainment in an effort to meet customers’ evolving tastes.
The policy review seeks to remove the special town-centre section of the policy as it is no longer applicable. If, however, an application is met with relevant objections, it will continue to be referred to the council’s licensing sub-committee for decision.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said: “The council’s obliged to review its licensing policy every five years. Croydon’s would have been due for review next year, but given the changes we’ve seen to the evening economy, and the vision we have for Croydon over the next five years, we wanted to bring the review forward.
“We’re keen that our licensing policy better reflects the aspirations we have for Croydon as a place and a destination of choice. We believe the proposed changes will make the application process simpler for licence holders and potential licence holders, and result in a more vibrant and diverse offer for anyone coming into Croydon for a night out.”
The first stage of the review is a consultation period, finishing on 13 November, inviting comments from licence holders and the public on the review’s proposals.
Details of the review proposals can be found at https://getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk/project/427
Anybody wishing to comment can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to:
The licensing team
6A Bernard Weatherill House
8 Mint Walk
Croydon CR0 1EA