Hammersmith & FulhamNews

Late-night licences granted for hotels despite fears of antisocial behaviour

By Ben Lynch, Local Democracy Reporter

Hammersmith and Fulham council has granted two late-night licences for hotels due to be delivered as part of a major £1.3billion redevelopment scheme.

Residents living near the Olympia Exhibition Centre site had raised the alarm about a slew of premises licences filed, including for the Hyatt and CitizenM hotels, with fears ranging from increased antisocial behaviour to noise and transport issues.

The two hotels are due to form part of the redevelopment of the Olympia Exhibition Centre. Approved by the council in 2019, the plans include a 4,400-capacity live music venue, a new theatre, a Wetherby performing arts school and 14 restaurants and bars. The site is expected to open in 2025.

Documents published ahead of a Licensing Sub-Committee meeting detailed how Olympia is looking to sell alcohol 24/7 for residents and ‘bona fide guests’ across both hotels, and 7am to midnight for non-residents. Indoor late-night refreshment was also requested to be provided between 11pm and 5am, Monday to Sunday.

A total of 12 representations were received against 20 premises licences filed for the site, which as well as the hotels covered amenities such as bars and restaurants.

Pier Falcone, a resident living in the area, told councillors he is one of those opposing all the licences due to fears around potential issues such as antisocial behaviour and littering.

“There are significant concerns around how these allegedly more than 30,000 people are expected to come and go from Olympia at these venues, will be able to quietly disappear in the middle of the night in absence of a regular transport system,” he said.

On concerns around transport, Matthew Phipps, a Partner at TLT Solicitors’ England and Wales Licensing team, said Hammersmith and Fulham has ‘exceptional’ options, including travelling by car, Overground and Underground. He acknowledged it is ‘fair’ to assume there may be an increase in taxis, though posited it would not undermine the council’s licensing objectives.

Dominic Holmes, director of development at Yoo Capital, told councillors the applicant has agreed to further mitigate transport issues by funding additional Overground trains locally, and hopes ongoing conversations with Transport for London (TfL) may lead to improved local Underground services.

Councillor Bora Kwon put concerns about the opening hours to Olympia, amid claims venues such as Westfield are not open as late. It was clarified by the council’s licensing officer that at least some premises within Westfield, such as Pizza Express, do have later licences, but choose to close earlier.

The two hotels were considered separately, with CitizenM decided first, before the committee moved onto the Hyatt. Both were approved, with the licences becoming operational immediately.

A spokesman for Olympia said: “This begins an exciting new chapter for Olympia that not only endorses the strength of our vision but demonstrates our testament to supporting the event organisers and exhibitors, who have entertained visitors and customers for the last 138 years.”

Olympia was bought by real estate investment firms Yoo Capital and Deutsche Finance International in 2017. Yoo Capital is also leading plans to redevelop Shepherd’s Bush Market, in which it is looking to introduce news stalls and shops, an eight-storey office building and 40 homes.

Pictured top: The redevelopment of the Olympia Exhibition Centre is due to be finished in 2025 (Pictured top: Olympia)

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