Residents Concerned About 24 Hour Bars at Olympia Hotels

Hyatt and Citizen M will stop serving alcohol to non-residents at midnight

Redevelopment of the Olympia Exhibition Centre is due to be finished in 2025. Picture: Olympia

April 15, 2024

Two hotels due to be delivered as part of the £1.3 billion Olympia redevelopment scheme have drawn concerns over their requested late-night opening hours.

New premises licences for the National and Emberton House hotels, which are key to the revamp of the Olympia Exhibition Centre site, are due to be decided by Hammersmith and Fulham Council next Wednesday (17 April).

A spokesperson for Olympia described the two hotels as “a real positive for West London”, which will provide a boost to event organisers and visitors.

Due to be completed next year, the redevelopment will see the exhibition site turned into a major new arts and events space. The plans, which were approved by the council in 2019, include a 4,400-capacity live music venue, a new theatre, a Wetherby performing arts school and 14 restaurants and bars, plus office space and public realm.

The hotels, to be run by CitizenM and Hyatt, will deliver 350 rooms between them. In documents filed ahead of next week’s Licensing Sub-Committee meeting, it is noted that for both hotels, Olympia is requesting the sale of alcohol 24/7 for residents and ‘bona fide guests’, and 7am to midnight for non-residents. Indoor late-night refreshment is also requested to be provided between 11pm and 5am, Monday to Sunday.

The late hours have drawn concern from some residents, however, who wrote to the council airing concerns about the impacts on the area.

The consultation locals were responding to included, as well as the hotels, requests for premises licences for amenities such as bars and restaurants. The two hotels are the only ones being decided at next week’s meeting.

One wrote, “As a resident on one of the adjacent streets to the Olympia centre I object to the opening of late entertainment venues that will incur noise, traffic and potential anti-social behaviour. The proposed opening hours are too extended and will create disruption to the rest and sleep of local residents from the people coming in and out of the venues, drivers and taxi services. The number of venues MUST be restricted and none of the licensed venues should operate beyond 10:00pm as per the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre.”

Another responded saying the requested hours would “create disruption to the rest and sleep of local residents”, partly due to the movement of people visiting the site.

“I find [it] extremely inconsiderate that Olympia are applying for such antisocial hours when they should be well aware of the rights and needs of local residents – which have been expressed many times at consultation meetings,” they wrote. “Given its responsibility to represent the rights of local residents the council must ensure that any licensing will not affect negatively the residents and impose restrictions such as the licensing hours for nearby venues. e.g Westfields, where restaurants close by 10pm if not earlier.”

Concerns about the number of people likely to be drawn to the area were raised by most of those objecting, with calls to not allow the various venues to stay open so late. “The proposal to operate multiple venues with late-night alcohol sales raises concerns about littering and vandalism,” reads one response. “Establishments that sell alcohol, especially with latenight [sic] hours, often contribute to an increase in litter, including bottles, cans, and food packaging. This not only detracts from the aesthetic and environmental quality of the area but also poses a public health risk. Additionally, the presence of intoxicated individuals can lead to acts of vandalism, further harming the community and requiring additional resources for cleanup and repair.”

Council officers, however, note in the documents that no major concerns were raised either by the local authority’s licensing team, or PC Kris Cardwell, the police’s licensing officer. “In particular it was noted that a comprehensive operating schedule was being proposed, with over twenty conditions (including CCTV, staff training and various other management procedures). It was also noted that any licensable activities for non-residents would be restricted to a terminal hour of midnight.”

A spokesperson for Olympia said: “The arrival of two hotels at Olympia is a real positive for West London. It echoes our strong vision for how we can support Olympia’s heritage of hosting events that have helped drive the economy and entertained visitors for the last 138 years. It will be a huge boost to event organisers and their customers, as well as the visitors that we host. Both hotel operators are well-established and reputable and have experience managing hotels in residential areas and busy cities. In addition, we are building a world-class operational team to carefully manage the wider estate to keep any disruption to our neighbours to a minimum.”

The Olympia site is owned by real estate investment firms Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International, who bought it from Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco) for £296 million in 2017. Yoo Capital is also leading the controversial plans to redevelop Shepherd’s Bush Market, approved by Hammersmith and Fulham Council last year, in which it is looking to introduce new stalls and shops, an eight-storey office building, and up to 40 homes.

The Olympia Exhibition Centre opened in 1886, and has hosted famous events including the First Great Horse Show, the Ideal Home Show, and London Comic Con.


Ben Lynch - Local Democracy Reporter