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Legal News Update

October 6, 2014

A round-up of recent legal cases and opinion. 

Restauranteur Wins Stress Area Appeal Against Westminster City Council 

A Westminster restauranteur has become the first to challenge the city council’s policy to refuse applications to serve alcohol without food within the West End Stress Area. Customers at Soho restaurant La Bodega Negra will now be able to buy alcohol after a judge allowed an appeal against Westminster City Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee’s decision to turn down the initial application to permit up to 24 customers to purchase alcohol without food until 10:30pm. The ruling took into account the establishments trouble free record and the Judge concluding that La Bodega Negra was an exceptional case that would not add to the existing cumulative impact on the West End Stress Area. 

Former Liberal Party Chairman Calls for Repeal of 175 year old Legislation 

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement Jones has called for the repeal of Part V of the London Local Government Act 2000 which provides for busking licensing schemes at individual London councils’ discretion and Paragraph 14 of the archaic 1839 Metropolitan Police Act. The 175 year old piece of legislation came to the fore recently when it was used to stop a performance by Mayor of London Busking Competition winners The Kings Parade in Leicester Square. Police officers took the group to Paddington police station claiming they were in breach of Section 54 of the act which deals with the ‘prohibition of nuisances by persons in the throughfares.’

Other activities covered by the section include kite flying, the rolling of casks or hoops and ringing doorbells. Lord Clement Jones argues that there is more than adequate powers under separate legislation to deal with noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour, such as the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or the Control of Pollution Act 1974. There are also powers to make by-laws available to local authorities with respect to street nuisance.