Haverstock's Lib Dem councillors are supporting local residents

The owners of Camden Lock Market have applied for a license that will allow the sale of alcohol from anywhere within the market. Their application also asks Camden Council to allow live music, cinema and theatre until late into the evening.

It’s some time since I’ve seen such strong local opposition against a single licensing application. A significant number of residents and our local police fear that creating a huge entertainment zone in the middle of this residential area would cause real problems.

Of course many people enjoy visiting the markets – which is great – and they support many thriving local businesses.  However, that success shouldn’t and doesn’t have to come at the expense of local residents. We have therefore sent in objections to the Lock Market application, which you can read below.

Dear Sir or Madam,

RE: Camden Lock Market, application number APP\PREMISES-NEW01077-11

We would like to object, in the strongest possible terms and in common with many local residents and the police, to the above licensing application.

The application cannot possibly be considered to be in line with Camden Council’s policy objectives for this area.    We are specifically concerned that, if approved, the application would be in breach of the licensing objectives to prevent public nuisance, and to prevent crime and disorder.

The application site lies within a designated Special Policy Area.  This indicates the council’s recognition that there is already a severe impact – on local amenity and on levels of crime and disorder – from the concentration of so many venues.  This new application, by it’s size and nature, will significantly add to the cumulative impact.  It quite obviously can in no way be considered a small venue or coffee shop – the only exceptions from the presumption to refuse all new applications within the Special Policy Area.

A market is a place to buy and sell goods.  The application, however, would transform Camden Lock Market into an open air entertainment, festival and club venue, in the middle of a residential area.  It is not acceptable to have live, amplified music played outdoors in such close proximity to people’s homes.

It is currently possible to buy alcohol within the application site, from one of several bars in operation, and it is reasonable that adults should be allowed to sit down and have a quiet drink when they visit the market.  It is not reasonable, however to introduce outlets where alcohol can be bought and consumed on the go.  Street drinking will massively alter the character of the area, and makes the consumption of alcohol a more fundamental part of the market offer.  The huge crowds that visit the market, and the myriad of entrances and exits, will make it almost impossible to contain drinking within the boundary of the application site and away from the canal towpath and Chalk Farm Road.

If Northside Developments are granted permission, the impact on local residents will be severe and significant.  We therefore urge the committee to refuse the application, and would welcome the opportunity to make these arguments in person at the hearing.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr Matt Sanders, Cllr Rahel Bokth, Cllr Jill Fraser

Liberal Democrat Councillors for Haverstock ward

The new license would cover the whole of the Lock Market site