A pub in Brent will be allowed to open a second floor until the early hours of the morning despite fears it could lead to further crime and antisocial behaviour.
Both the Metropolitan Police and local residents had raised concerns about excessive noise, street drinking, and fighting.
The North London Tavern on Kilburn High Road has been given permission by Brent Council to expand the premises licence to also allow the sale of alcohol and the playing of live music on the first floor.
The Met Police had previously called the number of recorded crimes linked to the venue “one of the highest in the borough” for any public house.
Documents submitted by the police pointed to “recent problems of crime and disorder” at the pub on match days at Wembley Stadium and a “loss of control” by the venue resulting in football fans spilling into the streets carrying drinks.
The 27 crimes that had been recorded against the venue included seven incidents of violent crime over the past year. Incidents included a man being threatened by someone with a hammer in September 2022 and a punter being robbed of a gold necklace in December of the same year.
In February this year, police were called when a punter allegedly punched and spat at a worker after getting their drink taken off them before then allegedly gouging the eyes and biting the wrist of a security guard.
Local councillors Ryan Hack and Erica Gbajumo had also made a formal objections to the plan, which Cllr Hack said will “present some real challenges” to the local community and risk “an increase in antisocial behaviour and violent crime”.
Cllr Gbajumo said: “If the extension was granted, there is a high probability that [residents] sleep would be interrupted by anti-social behaviour taking place during the early hours. The local police team are stretched so it is not a guarantee that if residents call the police, they will attend.”
She added: “Whilst I acknowledge that an increase in customers is beneficial to the pub, any benefits should not be at the expense of local residents. This particular area of Kilburn already suffers from a substantial amount of litter, which results in the council having to spend a vast amount of money to clear up the mess regularly.”
Four residents raised concerns about increasing the number of people at the venue. One who lives “extremely close” to the venue said: “There is already a large amount of noise, disruption, disorder and litter from the venue – particularly on match days and when there is live music. Having increased activity with more capacity later will mean more noise and antisocial behaviour.”
Another said: “[…] already the noise from the live music and drunk customers keeps us awake some nights. Even with the current licence, customers often hang around late outside, urinate and drink more by our property.”
The application was heard by the council’s alcohol and entertainment licensing sub-committee last week (August 15), where a decision was made to approve the licence, alongside a number of conditions.
To ensure the licence was granted, the venue has agreed to the imposed conditions, which include deploying registered security staff from 8pm, CCTV covering all entrances and exits, and only permitting one set of football supporters on match days with drinks being served in plastic cups.
A spokesperson for the North London Tavern said: “As a pub we pride ourselves on being the hub of the community and so are always looking at ways we can better cater to our customers.
“With this extension to our license we will be able to provide the community with a function room upstairs, enabling people to celebrate birthdays, christenings and more at the pub.”