Rooftop bar in Crystal Palace given permission to open

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

A “community focussed” bar in Crystal Palace has been given permission to open up full-time by Croydon council.

Varanda, in Westow Street, opened for eight days in the summer on temporary licences.

An application to open from 9am-11pm daily was heard by the council’s licensing committee on Thursday, November 12.

The application received three objections and six supporting comments.

In response to concerns about noise levels, Varanda produced a noise management plan.

The meeting heard from Rebecca, speaking on behalf of residents in Carberry Road, which the venue backs on to.

She said: “There were a  couple of events held that were very disruptive to us and could be heard in our house. My husband is working from home and I have just had a new baby, I am an intensive care doctor so peace and quiet in our house is vital for our well-being.”

But owner Claire Munnelly said that on two of the dates the bar used a courtyard at the back where music was played – this was when the business received complaints.

When they used this courtyard again and didn’t play music, no complaints were received.

She said: “I’ve had a business in Carberry Works for 16 years now, as a result of Covid we’ve looked to diversify

“We don’t want to be just another gentrified pub, we want to bring something cultural.

“We are community focussed and want to have congruence and happiness with our community as we see ourselves being part of it

“We are not a very alcohol focussed business, it is really a place for people to gather, it is very intergenerational. We aim to run it as a very polite enterprise.

“When we discovered we were creating a noise nuisance when we operated in Carberry Road we ceased that immediately and we won’t do that again.”

The application was approved which includes the supply of alcohol and permission for dance performances, live music and film screenings.

Obviously the bar will have to remain closed during the current lockdown which is set to be reviewed by the government on December 2.

But if allowed to open, the venue has plans for small ballet performances, film screenings and plays at Christmas time.

As the meeting closed, councillors Karen Jewitt warned that if local residents were impacted by the venue the licence could be revoked.

She added: “We are there not just to safeguard businesses but the residents, if this goes through and residents feel they’ve been abused, come back and we will have it sorted.”


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