24 March 2009

Hobgoblin - Review of Licence

Following complaints of noise nuisance in the Telegraph Hill area, the three Ward Councillors for the area, Cllrs Page, Flood & Cross, have called for a review of the for the Hobgoblin, a sports & music bar opposite New Cross Gate Station.

The complaints have been documented over a large period, but are understood to have started when the current licensee took over the premises - and probably coincide with the smoking ban.

As the Hobgoblin is in my Ward, I was contacted by the licensee for advice or assistance on handling the formal review of his licence. I visited him at the pub at a lunchtime. I noted that the background noise levels in the New Cross area were very high - in particular the railway and road. However also noted that these sources of noise can become less important at night. It was interesting to note that not one person in Brockley Ward had complained about noise from the pub and in support of the review the licensee has provided a large petition.

This review throws up a number of issues that shows how difficult the judgement call that politicians have to make, can be. In sheer numbers we have probably hundreds of people wanting to have somewhere to go that they enjoy (the Hobgoblin), we have a man running what appears to be a profitable business, we have local residents disturbed by the noise. Added to this the committee will need to look at the evidence to see whether the noise is 'noisy enough' for action.

In the face of conflicting demands, the committee will need to be thorough in its review of the evidence - which certainly appears contradictory.

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