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Greens seek more protection for City Centre residents in licensing consultation.

Sheffield Green Party are asking for measures to reflect the rapidly changing city centre in their submission to the review of council licensing policy, the consultation for which ended on August  14th. Their submission encourages the incorporation of measures included in ground breaking policy adopted by Plymouth Council earlier this year.

Sheffield Council Green Group leader Rob Murphy comments : “The massive increase in the population of the city centre and the changes to drinking culture with later closing times require careful management. We want to ensure people can get what they want, whether it is a drink at 4am or a decent nights sleep. Our proposals are about getting a balance and avoiding conflict. For example, late night clubs should not be allowed to open next to or underneath blocks of flats with hundreds of residents.”

Rockingham St TaxirobmurphyrichardmaddenThe picture shows CllrMurphy with a local resident on Rockingham St, part of an area classed as residential in planning guidance with recommended opening of drinking establishments and nightclubs no later than 12.30am.

If you woud like to know any more information on this issue please contact Cllr Rob Murphy on 07580498392

NOTES

Submission by Cllr Rob Murphy, Green Group Leader, to the Sheffied City Council Licensing Act Policy Consultation

Overall:

  • We are impressed by the balance struck between residents and licensees in the Statement of Licensing Policy adopted by Plymouth Council on March 23rd 2015. It is widely recognised as strongly reflecting the conditions encountered now in and around licensed premises in many large towns and cities. We believe that more can be drawn from the Plymouth template – the  Sheffield draft policy remains very licensee focused. Some of our specific suggestions draw on the Plymouth guidance.
  •  Page 10: There is reference to Night Time Uses – Interim Planning Guidance but only the need for applicants to refer to guidelines when making applications. There is a real need for licensing policy to be aligned with planning policy in this area to give more protection to the considerable number of residents living in these areas. The residential make up of the city centre has changed massively over the last 15 years and this needs to be reflected by reviewing and revising the controlled areas. West Street is an obvious area that needs to be added with a suggested latest closure time of 3.30am.
  •  Pages 14, 16 and 18:  We think the additional conditions in the Plymouth policy (page 15) for off licences in the areas near street drinking hotspots are helpful and needed in some areas (including Sheffield city centre) and in this policy. They reflect an increasing awareness of what is being experienced in and around where alcohol is sold. And the general recognition of the links between drinking alcohol, access to alcohol, pre loading and crime and anti-social behaviour. We also think the Plymouth policies on winding down time (page11) and maximum occupancy (page 12) need to be drawn on for this policy. They reflect a need to manage a group of people in a confined space who will have consumed varying amounts of alcohol and whose individual and collective behaviour can be broadly predicted based on previous situations encountered.
  •  Page 36 (and page 19): There are increasing concerns about the 3 areas identified within the Areas Nearing Levels of Stress Policy and we believe that a review is needed now to establish whether or not stress levels have been reached and required action to alleviate.
  • The draft policy lacks any mechanism for the triggering of reviews or to request them. Reasons for concern are listed but there is nothing outlining “An area will be considered to be in stress when……”. Or detailing what action will be taken when it is established they are they are in stress. This whole section needs to be looked at to fully cover areas nearing levels of stress and areas in stress. It needs to be tied into the cumulative impact policy floated on page 19 but which needs to be actually part of this policy now not at a later point “should the evidence show a potential problem.”

Topics: Central, City Wide, Council, Food & Drink, General, Rob Murphy

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