Thursday, 8 October 2009

The Ship verdict

Well done all.


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid common sense did not prevail. An outright rejection of the whole application demonstrates this was the case. Simple case of councillers in bed with each other. The councillers who form part of the committee almost certainly would not be able to justify rejection without legal support. They would struggle in an open discussion to justify and explain their decision and I would also question the councillers/committees ability to arrive to and present an unbiased conclusion. Why is it that the Old Mill, Prince Albert, The Woodman and The Who'da Thought It has had outside drinking with direct access from the public highway for many years? Why should The Ship remain the exception? Why does Plumstead Common need to be served by EIGHT yes I repeat EIGHT off licences ? Simple counter arguments which can prove the hypocrisy which exists in the current system. The same committee members have allowed applications where the points in support of today's rejection would have applied. At the very least a compromise should have been reached for outside drinking. There were many people in favour of the application at the meeting and those who opposed only represent a minority and note were represented by half dozen councillers. My reasonable judgement is that the majority of local residents are not bothered and the reality is that the number in favour of the application is greater than the number not in favour. The petition goes some way to support this view. Oh well never mind. Narrow minded local residents and councillers more concerned about another term in council (instead of fulfilling their actual obligations/duties) are exactly the reasons why Plumstead Common will NEVER flourish in the same way or compete with the likes of Blackheath, Wandsworth, Clapham .... not even come close. People need to understand that you need efficient well managed local businesses, of which The Ship is one, to allow Plumstead Common to put it's stamp on London. These types of businesses need to succeed and sustain a level of success over an extended period of time. My genuine fear is that narrow minded residents and councillers have shot themselves in the foot and don't know it.

lovelylovelyplumstead said...

Common sense, rationality and fairness have prevailed.

Here is why:

The applicant decided to change a significant part of his application verbally in the middle of the hearing. This was with regard to the entrance to the building and also the barrier around the forecourt. This changed the basis of application and signalled that the applicant had not clearly thought through his plans and how the space would actually be managaged. That is the key point of the rejection.

In addition, with regard to the two issues above, it was pointed out to the applicant that he had not even sought planning permission for proposed changes to the building, and that this was not in keeping with recommended procedures; as a license cannot be granted to premises which require physical alteration in order for them to operate in accordance with the terms of that license.

The other points which caused The Ship's failure last night were:
- that Mr Patel's legal counsel tried to argue that the immediate area around The Ship was NOT mostly residential (!),
- Mr Patel/his counsel did not have a demonstrable understanding of the Coucil's expectations of "strong management" (meaning highly trained staff, keeping training logs to be able to prove all staff could enforce prevention of underage drinking, etc),
- Mr Patel's counsel flip-flopped on the important issue of admitting under 18s: when asked about the reason for allowing under 18s in, the answer was that 'lots' of locals can't afford Sky and 'all' of those people want to come with their kids to watch sports; but then when asked about the risk associated with under 18s attending the venue, that at any one time there wouldn't be many under 18s - may be only 2-3 - at any one time,
- there was lack of clarity on how many nights per month the venue would have dancing and be open late. The application indicated 1 night per month for dancing, but Patel's counsel described late night dancing perhaps 2 times a month (an immediate contravention of the terms applied for),
- and, finally, an verbal claim (attempt at reassurance) that the late license would not effect any significant change in current operations, but merely save Mr Patel from having to make regular temporary late license applications.

The applicant did not seek to negotiate on the two major points of concern expressed by local residents and by several local councillors, which were:
- the regular late opening hours which might cause noise disturbance in a densely residential area (the response was an attempt to argue that it was not very residential),
- the admission of under 18s to an establishment dedicated primarly to drinking (the response was there would 'probably' only be a few under 18s there).

...continued below...

lovelylovelyplumstead said...

...continued from above...

A final point was that Mr Patel's counsel tried to argue that local residents' objections were based on 'fear'. The many objections, which were rationally made (by numerous residents, nearly ALL the local councillors representing those residents and the Met Police licensing officer), and indicated that fear was not a factor. Objections were based on experience and knowledge of the local area. This fear claim indicated a dismissive and disrespectful attitude toward local residents, which is very disappointing to say the least.

A note to Mr Patel:
Those of us who attended last night to object to this license do not wish you any bad will in terms of your business venture here in Plumstead Common. Indeed, our hope was and has always been that The Ship would finally offer the area something that it needs. And that is a properly family-oriented establishment that is inviting to the many many local residents and families that surround your establishment. Perhaps you might be able to understand that Plumstead Common is a special place, and part of outer London with a remarably stong sense of community and a love of its open spaces and local environment. It is these things we want to protect. The other pubs in the area do not seek to threaten or disregard this, and in terms of The Star and The Old Mill, they are in fact part of the fabric of what this community is. We would absolutely welcome your greater engagement with us locals, and we would love for you to take on board what we really want, so that we can patronise your establishment and help you build not only a successful business but a place where we can meet neighbours and friends over a quiet drink and perhaps even a decent meal.

Best wishes to all.

And thanks to Pangloss for giving us this forum.

SunnyPlummy said...

Well done to lovelylovely Plumstead for a v well written piece. I am pleased to see that the application has failed and thoroughly support the fact that I dont want a local business to fail but I do want it to reflect the various needs of Plumstead residents and give consideration to the neighbourhood.
I am not opposed to a sports bar and people watching sky. Indeed I have a small child and would welcome having an establishment where i could take my child, watch some sport, have some lunch etc but this is not the place at the moment.
Mr Ship owner, why dont you consider giving the many residents of Plumstead what they want. I assume by now you must have been directed to this blog and you will see over the many years that people do want a local business they can support. The business that gets most of my cash at the moment is the taxi firms as i spend so much time in them going to blackheath and greenwich in them!
I would love somewhere local, with food, with a relaxed family attitude that is welcoming, unthreatening and calm. Until you get these residents on side you are going to continue being opposed and crucially given this current climate you could be vastly increasing the takings at the pub yet you choose to ignore this fact.
Please consider visiting the pubs in Blackheath and Greenwich and even the one in Mottingham that some blogger mentioned and see the type of venue we are talking about.

Anonymous said...

I would like to congratulate Pangloss,PCEG, Plumstead Manor School and everyone else who took the time to stand up and be counted, it gives me a real sense of pride to know that Plumstead Common has a real sense of community, its restored my faith in the area, after reading so many negative remarks left by individuals on this blog, viva la shire, long live the shire

Anonymous said...

So can we expect the PCEG, Plumstead Manor School etc to start lobbying for outside drinking conditions to be removed from the premises licences of The Star, Who'd Thought It, Old Mill and Prince of Wales.

Plumstead Manor Headteachers and Governors must pay a trip to Specsavers. Am I right in saying the Old Mill is a public house and have had outside drinking (outside area with direct access and not even a boundary wall in place) for years. The same applies to Who'd A Thought It with the Slade School, Timbercroft School and the children's playground. Patrons are regulary seen outside The Star drinking whilst standing on the public pathway. The rugby club directly outside Plumstead Manor School are the worst offenders littering the common with bottles and cans and allowing young children be around/drinking alcohol. This is the current reality. Where is the local peoples knowledge and experience of the local area in this respect? I am a local resident with vast knowledge and experience of the local area. There is very little I don't know about Plumstead Common and I am suggesting the so-called residents with the so called knowledge and experience lovelylovelyplumstead (Nick Day??) mentions is very blinkered, plenty of evidence to support.

Sunnyplummy, a bit of local information for you. Who'd Thought It show sports and offer meals. This means such a facility the locals have been 'craving' for does exist. Why don't you patronise that establishment.

Can you counter with a decent argument on each of the above? I am not sure you can. The above is a reality I'm afraid and anyone who suggests otherwise is seriously living on cuckoo land or Nick Day's bird house outside his house !!

lovelylovelyplumstead said...

Just to say that I, lovelylovelyplumstead, am not the person you suggest. That person is perfectly at ease with being public and putting his real name to his opinons, whilst I am not, so I've used an alias. He also doesn't deserve your rude remarks. There are many people that KNOW this area AND really really CARE about it. The people who opposed the Ship's application are amongst those, whilst, sadly, I am not convinced Mr Patel and his crowd care a tot. Though I would be very happy to be proved wrong! Let's hope the Ship becomes a nicer place that local residents (inc families) really would want to patronise and enjoy.

weloveplumstead said...

If you, Anonymous (of Friday, October 09, 2009 4:34:00 PM) were engaged in market research of the local area you would be able to make a better informed assessment of what people want. I have been involved with such research, and more drinking and alcohol on the common, with sky sports, is not what people want, and is certainly not what we need.

In terms of what the area NEEDS: we need to make sure that the existing problems with alcohol, drugs, litter and disturbances in/around the common don't increase. So we don't need another drinking den, especially one that intended to be open to until VERY late and let's in underage drinkers. That is the point I think you and others like you miss. And it is the issue of closing times that makes the other venues you name UNproblematic in terms of causing late-night disturbance. Additionally, as you point out yourself, we don't NEED another place that shows sports events, since the Who'd A Thought It does that already.

Indeed, we already have plenty of pubs, including one that shows sports, and several that have outside areas. So why do we need another one? What is the Ship adding to what's on offer? And Mr Patel use his imagination and offer something different that people really want (beyond cheap drink)?

What the local people WANT:
Well, I can confirm that the market research suggests that the majority of people want a family friendly place, to have a quiet cuppa or drink, and a decent, possibly healthy, meal at lunch time and in the evenings. People want to be able to walk to a such a local cafe/restaurant/gastro pub, rather than hiking over the Greenwich or Blackheath. The research to which I have been privy was carried out over many months and across various sections of the local community. It covers a wide demographic, from single people to those with young families, to mature families, to pensioners, across ethnic groups and income brackets.

What market research have you and Mr Patel done? What kind of effective business planning has been undertaken to inform The Ship's plans? What considerations have been made to serve the local community and the immediate residential neighbours to the Ship? Can you answer those questions Mr Anonymous?
To use your words:
"I am not sure you can. The above is a reality I'm afraid and anyone who suggests otherwise is seriously living on cuckoo land", and I suspect you wouldn't fit in Mr Day's bird house or in mine.

Anonymous said...

To the pro Ship poster, you lost just deal with it, we will be ready next time as well ok
enjoy your weekend and your bacardi breezers

Plumstead Citizen said...

Before this gets out of hand: the extension of hours requested would undeniably have affected residents -- people leaving an establishment at 1am are going to be noisy, at the very least.
The details of the application were heavily dependent on the outside area being screened off (a change which many of us opposed for other reasons, as did the planning department). But this detail was amended in the middle of the licensing hearing, after everyone had spoken; and it was a change that provoked the Met policeman in charge of licensing to make a fresh objection.
The license request will have failed because a) the late hours would adversely affect the right to a night's sleep which the Council are obliged to uphold; 2) the details of how and where the public could access the pub, and where they could drink, were changed in the middle of the meeting, substantially affecting the other details and guarantees in the application; 3) the committee were not convinced that the establishment would be capable of handling the effects of such changes.
To reiterate: most of us are very glad the pub is now functional. But we wouldn't want any of the pubs in residential areas to be able to open late; and we are anxious about allowing under-18s into a drinking establishment with easy access from the street (enough of us can remember our own teenage years well enough to be rightly suspicious!).
I love pubs. I just don't want my friends and neighbours to be kept awake by late revelry. Urban centres are much better for that sort of thing.

Plumsteadian said...

Sorry - I just posted under the name "Plumstead Citizen" (Comment 10), but someone already uses that name. I am not the Plumstead Citizen who has posted on here before! Apologies, especially to the real Plumstead Citizen!

From now on I will call myself Plumsteadian.


Anonymous said...

Hello all, im due to move into the area at the end of the month with my girlfriend. Ive been following the case of the ship on this site with great interest as you would guess. Im extremely happy that the application has failed as the changes to the pub would have not added any value to the area at all and in all likelihood made it a worse place to live in. So well done to everyone that stood up against this. And Mr Patel I would like to point out im only 27 years old myself and so like it is pointed out on this site many times you are trying to go down completely the wrong road with this pub. I would love to have a nice local pub that did a good range of beer, decent food and a nice atmosphere. I live to hope!

lovelylovelyplumstead said...

Dear anonymous plumstead newcomer,
If you want a good range of beer/ales, The Old Mill's the place to go. It's a lovely place with a very friendly landlord and a decent atmosphere. The beer garden out back is very pleasant. It's a quiet, civilised place, and occasionally there's jazz on a Sunday afternoon. It's a shame they don't do food at The Old Mill. But hopefully someone with good business sense will finally wake up and take advantage of the gapping hole in the local plumstead common market.
Perhaps you might be interested in coming along to a "One Day Cafe" event, next one is on friday night.
Looking forward to welcoming you to the area.

Anonymous said...

I will give the old mill a go once im in the area. Ive just looked at your One day Cafe link, looks great fun. I will try to get along to the event in Dec once in settled in. Up to that point i think DIY will rule my life !

dimps said...

As a slight aside - but relating to local desire to remedy the lack of cultural and leisure facilities in the area - "listeners" might be interested in the following.

There is a proposal to turn the former Hippodrome/Regal/ABC/Flamingo's/Ntyce in Wellington Street into an arts centre containing two small cinemas, a theatre and venue space, art and museum area and cafeteria. The Woolwich Grand Theatre Group is holding an open day next Saturday (11am - 4pm) to guage support and opinion.

The project is going to feature on Robert Elms' BBC Radio London programme on Wednesday.