Hammersmith & FulhamNews

Grandiose plans for hotel revamp at Olympia raises some alarm over late-night drinking

By Ben Lynch, Local Democracy Reporter

Two hotels due to be delivered as part of a £1.3 billion redevelopment scheme have drawn concerns over their requested late-night opening hours.

New premises licences for the National and Emberton House hotels, which are key to the revamp of the Olympia Exhibition Centre site, are due to be decided by Hammersmith and Fulham council next Wednesday.

A spokesman for Olympia described the two hotels as “a real positive for west London”, which will provide a boost to event organisers and visitors.

Due to be completed next year, the redevelopment will see the exhibition site turned into a major new arts and events space.

The plans, which were approved by the council in 2019, include a 4,400-capacity live music venue, a new theatre, a Wetherby performing arts school and 14 restaurants and bars, plus office space and public realm.

The hotels, to be run by CitizenM and Hyatt, will deliver 350 rooms between them.

In documents filed ahead of next week’s licensing sub-committee meeting, it is noted that for both hotels, Olympia is requesting the sale of alcohol 24/7 for residents and ‘bona fide guests’, and from 7am until midnight for non-residents.

Indoor late-night refreshment is also requested to be provided between 11pm and 5am, Monday to Sunday.

The late hours have drawn concern from some consulted residents, however.

One wrote: “As a resident on one of the adjacent streets to the Olympia centre, I object to the opening of late entertainment venues that will incur noise, traffic and potential anti-social behaviour.

“The proposed opening hours are too extended and will create disruption to the rest and sleep of residents from the people coming in and out of the venues, drivers and taxi services. None of the licensed venues should operate beyond 10pm, as per the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre.”

Another said: “I find [it] extremely inconsiderate that Olympia is applying for such antisocial hours when they should be well aware of the rights and needs of local residents.”

Council officers, however, note in the documents that no major concerns were raised either by the local authority’s licensing team, or PC Kris Cardwell, the police’s licensing officer.

A spokesman for Olympia said: “The arrival of two hotels at Olympia is a real positive for west London. It echoes our strong vision for how we can support Olympia’s heritage of hosting events that have helped drive the economy and entertained visitors for the last 138 years.

“It will be a huge boost to event organisers and their customers, as well as the visitors that we host. Both hotel operators are well-established and reputable and have experience managing hotels in residential areas and busy cities.”

The Olympia site is owned by real estate investment firms Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International, who bought it from Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco) for £296 million in 2017.

The Olympia Exhibition Centre opened in 1886, and has hosted famous events including the First Great Horse Show, the Ideal Home Show, and London Comic Con.

Pictured top: A CGI shows what is envisaged (Picture: Olympia)

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