The developer's director, Geoffrey Springer, has stated on oath that he has no tenants for the food and drink units in the proposed building.

So the developer needed a liberal licensing regime to attract commercial operators. It applied for 14 liquor licences for the building, with the loosest of conditions.

Its application was met by over 600 letters of objection.

One objector, the Dulwich Society, conducted a poll of its members. Only 1% of those replying supported the scheme.

The hearing took place in November 2000. The Crystal Palace Campaign was represented by the country's leading licensing Queen's Counsel. The Mayor of London was represented, objecting to the application. Our witnesses included the Home Office adviser Lord Warner, ex-ambassador Sir Keith Morris, the Chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, local councillors and a headmistress.

The Magistrates imposed the strictest curbs possible on the licences granted:

The restrictive conditions are thought by experts to make a building of this size inoperable (see "Licence blow leaves complex on the rocks").

The community can be expected to oppose any liberalisation of these conditions. Further, should there be any nuisance caused by alcohol consumption in this building (if it is ever built), local people will oppose renewals annually.

We intend to remain especially vigilant for any breaches of licence conditions or licensing laws. If we see any breaches, including service of alcohol to those who are drunk, we will push for revocation.

See "The case of the people and the park".

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