(R.47) LICENSING HEARING WITNESSES 27, 28, 30 November 2000

The CPC is deeply grateful to the more than 600 people who wrote in, and to all who gave such splendid and heartfelt testimony in the witness box, as objectors before Bromley magistrates to L&RP's application for 14 liquor licences in the multiplex.

Summaries compiled by Fred Emery


Valerie Shawcross

Jerry Lydon

Sir Keith Morris

Kim Humphries

Philip Kolvin

Mike Warwick(2)

Diane Redford

Rachel Ward

Rosemary Falaiye(1)

Wendy Fletcher

Dr Denise Lodge

Peter Archer

Gareth Compton

Lord Warner

Joseph Figueroa

Adrian Hill

Christopher Brooks

Ken Lewington

Pat Trembath

Mike Warwick(1)

Joan Forbes

John Ellner

Michael Wiseman

Suzanne Nagle

John Gardner

Christopher Farrow

Rosemary Falaiye(2)

Katriona Ogilvy-Webb

Iona Mcgregor

Nick Goy

Richard Francis

Elisabeth Turner

Ken Livingstone

Valerie Shawcross, GLA elected member (Lab, Southwark & Lambeth), appointed Head of London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority, Croydon resident. When her status was challenged by Bromley's counsel, Gregory Stone, QC, she responded crisply that the GLA had no collective view but she had been elected and was entitled to represent her constituents. She added she had never met a single person in favour of the multiplex -- and had never known such a sustained campaign as this, on any issue. Did she seek to represent Croydon borough of whose council she had been leader for three years until elected to the GLA? She demurred, retorting that she drew on her experience here.

As Croydon leader she had approached Bromley Council offering to share the costs of holding a local referendum on the multiplex among residents of the five boroughs. Bromley had declined. Her main objections were to increased traffic and drink drivers toing and froing in such huge numbers, as well as the impact on a children's park. She doubted the already stretched police could cope, when they were 20 per cent below strength across London. Top

Kim Humphries, Southwark councillor (Conservative, College Ward) feared, among other things, the return of the plague 5 years ago of youthful late night car racers on Crystal Palace Parade. Top

Diane Redford, spoke on behalf of wildlife groups including Norwood and Belair. She said animals did not drink; humans should not destroy animal habitat. Top

Wendy Fletcher, of Phoenix Shoes, Upper Norwood, told of current drunken disorder in the Crystal Palace triangle in which her windows were repeatedly being broken in. "If it goes on, I'm closing". Top

Gareth Compton, Lambeth councillor (Conservative, Gipsy Hill Ward). "My constituents are plagued by rowdiness yobbishness and drunken behaviour generally". At closing time there was car revving, radios turned up, while parked cars were scratched and aerials broken, with urinating in gardens and against front doors. With the multiplex it could only get worse. Even now "there were very considerable difficulties in liaison between police divisions". Top

Adrian Hill, chairman Dulwich Society. 1000 members polled, in favour 9, all the rest against (includes 17 who didn't 'delete'). "I don't see it'll be easy to ease the traffic congestion". Top

Pat Trembath, chairman Sydenham Society, 955 members (mostly in Lewisham, but good number in Bromley), opposed to multiplex since its inception. Last September meeting asked licences be opposed. Multiplex totally out of keeping with what one expects to go on in a park; licences compound the problem. Top

John Ellner, owner Joanna's, committee of Upper Norwood chamber of commerce. Worsening behaviour. They had videoed 2 am vandalism of their window, police gave it a crime number, but nothing had been done. Number of licences were totally disproportionate to the area, would aggravate the crime and disorder we'd all suffer. Not worried about competition; when they started in 1978 they were virtually alone, now 37 licences and trade was booming. Top

John Gardner, resident Upper Norwood, had been to old Crystal Palace as a child. A lot of retired people were very concerned about rowdyism and car accidents. No need for more licences. Top

Katriona Ogilvy-Webb, social worker Barnado's, part-time barmaid at The Puzzle. Worried it would "become a no-go area". Had seen drug abuse and alcohol-related crimes even though they had bouncers -- quite threatening at times. There were fights, with people hiding under tables from the glass flying about. There had been big changes for the worse, especially at weekend closing times. Top

Richard Francis, one of three interviewers for CPC survey of non-licensed traders in triangle. Explained methodology of 11 multiple-choice questions, 12 general (survey mentioned later in Kolvin evidence). Top

Jerry Lydon, Southwark resident. Collected a bag of litter a week from late-night passers. Steps at Hogarth Court used as a public toilet, with vomit too. As for suggestion (by L&RP's sole, paid witness, chartered surveyor Bowen) that multiplex would be hermetically sealed: at closing time the seal would be broken -- it'd then spill into the residential streets. Top

Philip Kolvin, chairman CPC. On stand over 2 hours, having submitted box folder of itemised evidence. Explained early plans all marked restaurants and cafe bars. No understanding whatever that over 86,000 sq. feet would be without restaurant licence restrictions. Testified, with letters, how L&RP's Ian Livingstone had indeed 'reneged' on stakeholder forum in 1999 notwithstanding G Springer's denial under oath. Cited CP Partnership's 'update' crime stoppers assertion that Crystal Palace had one of the highest crime rates across the five boroughs (later specifically denied by Police Sgt Bob Percival, Bromley licensing officer). Explained CPC survey of 95 non-licensed traders, showing high incidence of drink-related vandalism. Explained CPC's calculation, still unrefuted by Bromley, of nearly 17,000 extra car movements each Saturday. Dismissed L&RP's comparisons with other sites. Examined by Mayor's barrister Gerald Gouriet, on EIA. Explained Bromley's decision not to require EIA, and CPC's complaint to EU Commission, and October 11 formal letter to UK authorities initiating infringement proceedings. Quoted LPAC's assessment that multiplex "might overwhelm Upper Norwood". Under cross-examination by Andy Woods, Gosschalks solicitor for L&RP, explained that 160 of 600 written objections to the court had copied to CPCA. Insisted that L&RP had resisted talking to CPC for 3 years. Applying restaurant conditions would not remove the objections that there were too many licensed premises, too big and in wrong place. [Woods without saying was already rehearsing 'concessions' he would shortly announce to court on further but not the final restrictions]. To Woods challenge of CPC figures relating crime and leisure centres, insisted that they related to any buildings with concentration and scale of licensing similar to proposed multiplex. Bromley's traffic assessment was agreed to be wholly erroneous, although not realised at planning stage: even Bromley's chief planning officer Stuart Macmillan was "foxed". Top

Rachel Ward, Southwark resident, described her experiences of triangle disorder, and urine and vomit in front of homes. Of 14 liquor licences said "I can't imagine it. I'm shocked and horrified". Already people were reversing the wrong way back up slope of Farquhar Road late at night. As for parking the only alternative would be residents' pay parking. Top

Dr Denise Lodge, headmistress, Sydenham Girls High School, 650 girls aged 4-18, using premises up to 9.30pm. She and parents very concerned 1) that young male drinkers might make approaches to her girls; 2) increase in traffic and drink driving. Top

Lord Warner, policy adviser to Home Secretary 97-8, chairman Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, Dulwich resident. Explained crime statistics and latest local crime audits showing that while other crime is going down, there is a new and increasing connectedness between availability of drink and violent crime by strangers, often young men under 18s on each other, when they quit drinking places. Most worrying was that 62% 16-17 year olds said they had access to alcohol in clubs, pubs and bars. He described the phenomenon over the past 2 years of mass volume vertical drinking (m.v.v.d.) meaning that in large areas where young men are concentrated with loud music and nowhere to sit down there is increasing disorder. Top

Christopher Brooks, CPTCA, spoke of fears of underage drinking and drink driving, and "those whose lives may be blighted by fear of crime". Pleaded "don't turn Crystal Palace into a gin palace". Top

Mike Warwick (1), on behalf of Anglo School, with its 1500-1700 pupils from overseas, to say they were appalled at the prospect. On behalf of the Auckland surgery, and its 7000 patients, 14 more licences was the last thing they wanted in regard to health and stress. On behalf of the Harris City Technology College principal, with 1100 pupils, many there until 9pm, to say that Miss Bates was extremely concerned that unsavoury people might be approaching them. Top

Michael Wiseman, W Norwood resident, asked magistrates to defer, given petition to European Parliament, and CPC's letter from European Commission, as well as possible appeal in Appeal Court [Diane Barker case]. Also complained that G Springer had omitted to tell court in his evidence that L&RP was also in joint venture at Park Royal. Top

Christopher Farrow, Dulwich resident, suggested multiplex operate breathalyser for car park exit, failure meaning leave car behind.Top

Iona Mcgregor, Bromley resident, complained of noise pollution; said multiplex would become downmarket Leicester Square, "the millennium white elephant". Top

Elisabeth Turner, Bromley resident, said licensed multiplex would be deleterious to the atmosphere of the entire area. Top

Sir Keith Morris, former UK ambassador to Columbia, Southwark resident, on behalf of College ward branch of Dulwich & Norwood constituency Labour Party. Amid other concerns said this raised question of democratic accountability. In the diplomatic service he had ranged from service in communist countries, democracies to the authoritarian right, and he had never thought he would come home and find a decision affecting his way of way of life could be taken by Bromley. Top

Mike Warwick (2), appearing in his own behalf, challenged Mr Gregory Stone QC's claim that CCTV measures were being put in Upper Norwood expressly to remedy potential multiplex crime; it would happen anyway, as in many other areas. Top

Rosemary Falaiye(1), Lambeth resident. Over the past year or so seen a marked change in behaviour. A fight she had seen had the police arrive and "just talk to them and send them off" whereupon they "started again a little further off". She added, "I am now having to look over my shoulder...". She had been part of survey team with children and young people in the park; they didn't have enough money to go to the multiplex. The fact people hadn't been consulted made her very cross; "enough is enough". Top

Philip Goddard, chairman Norwood Society. Survey of members: 200 replies, 6 in favour licences, 200+ against. He noted that at any one time Commander Gerry Howlett of Bromley division had 48 officers to police the borough. He mentioned having a letter of support from Lord Weatherill, and noted "streets will become a battleground for drunken hooligans". Like others, he noted that CCTV does nothing for the streets outside multiplex and beyond the triangle. Indeed it might exacerbate the problem into surrounding streets, as drunks would carry on brawling beyond the cameras' reach. Top

Peter Archer, Bromley resident, had carried out survey in his street. Out of 86 buildings, there were 154 objections to licenses. Why not a referendum of all residents within half to one mile? Top

Malcolm Bridge, Bromley resident, who helped in survey of local traders. Licences would produce gridlock every Thursday to Saturday. "Doubling the drink capacity will double the crime", and produce the appalling mess and detritus of the morning after the night before. Bromley are planning overspill parking on park terraces. Traders fear rising tide of loutish and drunken behaviour. "We local residents have had our objections brushed aside with an arrogance beyond comprehension ...people outside Bromley treated with contempt." To the magistrates chairman he said that "Gregory Stone QC had presumed to tell you what you could or could not do. Our fate is in your hands". Top

Joseph Figueroa, Croydon resident, on behalf of Dave Gurman, who had conducted survey of 21 residents, 20 against, one who felt intimidated by Bromley's use of courts against local residents. Spoke of his experiences with "low grade crime". Top

Ken Lewington, vice chairman CPC, Bromley resident, noted presence in court for three days of: Bromley's chief planner, Head of Heritage and Urban Design, and chief legal officer. "Does this constitute a proper use of my council tax?" Complained of Sgt Percival, cosying up to developer, and of 'deal' reached months ago by L&RP, between an applicant "who wishes to unload crime, nuisance and anguish onto our streets and on the other someone whose colleagues will be obliged to attempt to pick up the pieces". And "why is the applicant content to see inebriated drivers negotiate the ramps off the building at midnight" _ "Why is the applicant content to see the lives of our children and our families blighted for ever_ his sole aim is to attract tenants into his scheme and to hell with the rest of us." _ "If this court were to grant any licences it would be clearly regarded as having been a mere marketing tool for a commercial property developer". Top

Joan Forbes, Lewisham resident, complained that Lewisham borough had been absent in all this. Top

Suzanne Nagle, shopkeeper, said that if Bromley had spent the money used for the Eco-warrior eviction, the legal costs and the overspend on the concert bowl, they could have restored the park. "If we want to stop the yob culture we've got to stop making money out of drink. The future of hundreds of children rests in the magistrates' hands. Can't blame children for abuses if adults go on making money out of their drinking" ... "Somebody has to say No". Top

Rosemary Falaiye(2), on behalf of Mrs Bellamy: she's old now, went to Crystal Palace, scared now of leaving home. Have Bromley and developer lost their minds over this? "It will be a park that has been trashed". Top

Nick Goy, Bromley resident, referring to his having witnessed assault in Bromley town centre, among other things, asked for all 14 licences to be dismissed. Top

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, not present but wrote supporting Valerie Shawcross, and as objector was represented by top barrister Gerald Gouriet, who repeatedly clashed with Bromley's Mr Stone, QC, criticising him for improperly trying to "inch into" the proceedings when Bromley were not a party, merely a "statutory consultee". Castigated as seriously misleading, Bromley's documents submitted by Stone on chronology, CCTV and traffic scheme, and Stone's belittling of European Commission intervention. Treated with contempt Bromley's attempt to gag and discredit the Mayor, in introducing letter from Bob Neill, GLA (Con Bexley & Bromley) faxed to court after Valerie Shawcross's evidence, in which Neill stated he might report Mayor to District Auditor for wasting taxpayers' money. Gouriet angrily said in this Stone had sunk to his lowest depth; that the only extra expense was his fee -- and he would waive it if required. In final summation opposed all licences, argued that Human Rights Act had been breached, publicly revealed for first time that the Mayor had been given counsel's opinion by David Eldon QC that the Mayor could seek judicial review of planning decisions. Insisted that the agonised residents did now have someone to turn to, and that was the London Mayor. He spelt out -- for the first time in a court -- that were such a planning consent to come before him today the Mayor "would have directed refusal". Top

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