Extended licencing and fan zones planned ahead of June Champions League final

By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has applied to double the number of events which allow the drinking of alcohol in Trafalgar Square per year as it prepares for the UEFA Champions League final in June.

If approved, it could see half of all events involve the sale of alcohol and give City Hall the power to shut down roads around Pall Mall East, Charing Cross Road/Morley’s Hill and the North Terrace, documents submitted to Westminster City council reveal.

There are also plans to carve out Champion League fan zones in Hyde Park and Victoria Embankment Gardens for the June 1 match, which will take place in London – at Wembley Stadium.

The plans, which also include increasing the number of major events from 10 to 15, was slammed by objectors who have accused Sadiq Khan’s office of commercialising the popular public square.

Analysis carried out by a licensing expert hired by objectors claimed the proposals posed a risk of environmental harm through increased noise, congestion, litter and public nuisance.

The analysis, which formed part of the submission to Westminster City council, which is responsible for issuing licensing for events in Trafalgar Square, said: “This application appears to stem from a desire to make events in Trafalgar Square more commercially profitable, without at the same time improving the general appearance, maintenance and supervision of the square and its accessibility to all.

“The proposals would significantly intensify licensed uses, attracting large crowds on a regular basis.

“Using Trafalgar Square in this way risks enlarging the area of the West End identified in the City of Westminster’s 2020 and 2023 Cumulative Impact Assessment exercises as experiencing the most intensive negative cumulative impacts.”

The GLA said plans will be in place to tackle noise and litter issues and has promised to cap the total number of events to 40 a year. This doesn’t include the additional 10 days it has requested for rehearsals.

It is also giving the Met Police veto powers over any events where alcohol is sold.

Pictured top: Trafalgar Square (Picture: Pixabay/Dele Oke)

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