School Disco venue to face licensing review

Police reported concerns over safety at the club

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Hammersmith and Fulham Council will review a nightclub's licence following a request from Hammersmith Police, in the borough's first case of its kind since the new licensing laws came into effect on November 24
2005.

It is believed that the Hammersmith Palais at 230 Shepherds Bush Road will be the first premises in London to have its licence reviewed under the new laws, after police reported their concerns over safety at the club to the council.

The review means that the council's licensing sub-committee will hold a special hearing on 2 March 2006 to decide whether the club's licence should be altered or revoked. The options available to the panel of councillors include a reduction of licensing hours, the modification of
the conditions of the licence, or ultimately closure of the club on a temporary or permanent basis.

The specific concerns stated by the Police in their application are as follows:

1) The Prevention of Crime & Disorder - based on levels of Crime and
Disorder occuring within or in the vicinity of the premises;
2) Public Safety - based upon the levels of violent Crime and Disorder occuring within and in the vicinity of the premises, placing the public at risk of assault;
3) Prevention of Public Nuisance - based upon events where large crowds have gathered outside the premises causing noise and disruption to the flow of traffic in Hammersmith Broadway;
4) Protection of Children from Harm - based upon the 'Urgent Assistance' call on 30th December, linked to an under 18's event at the Venue.

Councillor Michael Cartwright, Cabinet Member for Environment, said:

"One of the main advantages of the new licensing laws is that they give individuals and organisations the power to request a review of a licensed venue if they are concerned that it is being managed in an irresponsible, dangerous or neglectful manner. This first review is an
important step for Hammersmith and Fulham as it the first council in London to go through this process, and will no doubt be watched with interest by other councils.

"At each review the panel has a number of options available to it, including closure, but it must first consider all the facts laid before it, including representations from other organisations or individuals. I can assure residents that firm action will be taken against any licensed premise that does not promote the licensing objectives relating to crime, safety, nuisance and welfare."

Under the new licensing laws, any interested party can seek a review of a licence as long as they can support their request with sufficient evidence, and as with all licensing applications anyone can make a representation.

Anyone wishing to make a representation about the review of the Hammersmith Palais' licence must give notice in writing between 17th January 2006 and 13th February 2006 inclusive, specifying the grounds of representation to the London Borough Hammersmith & Fulham, FAO:
Licensing Section, 5th Floor Town Hall Extension, King Street, Hammersmith, London, W6 9JU. Full details of the application can be
found at www.lbhf.gov.uk.

January 23, 2006