Chelsea Nightclub "Public" loses Appeal15.05.12
The well-known nightclub, “Public” on Kings Road in Chelsea has lost its appeal against a curtailment of hours imposed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
The club was taken to review by local residents in 2011 following allegations of nuisance and disorder. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Licensing Committee curtailed its terminal hours from 2 a.m. to midnight. The club appealed to Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court.
During an appeal lasting 6 days, the Appellant called evidence from a number of independent licensing consultants, staff and its director Guy Pelly. Its arguments included the suggestion that, in assessing whether the noise complained of amounted to public nuisance, the Court was obliged to take into account that this was a commercial area in which planning consent had been granted for late opening premises.
District Judge Williams, however, held that the test for nuisance was that set out in national Guidance and approved by the High Court in Hope and Glory, which included low level nuisance affecting a few people living locally. She held:
“These premises operate in building where there have been nightclubs for many years. King’s Road is a busy, vibrant mixed neighbourhood containing a variety of commercial and residential properties. It is a main thoroughfare for buses and taxis. That being said, those living nearby are entitled to a decent night’s sleep and to the quiet enjoyment of their homes without enduring levels of noise that amount to a nuisance. Licensed premises are required to conduct their business in accordance with the licensing objectives.”
In this case, the District Judge held that there was a continuing nuisance and that steps to abate it had been ineffective. If it were possible to find a solution, a solution would have been found. Since the real and genuine concerns of residents had not been properly addressed, so the appeal failed.
The club was ordered to pay the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea £76,825 in costs.
Philip Kolvin QC represented the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Gerald Gouriet QC represented Kings Road Clubs Limited