Highgate pub landlords to appeal restrictive licence approval

The Dukes Head, Highgate High Street.Pictured Sinead Mulligan manager and Theo Hudson leaseowner.

Manager Sinead Mulligan and Theo Hudson, leaseholder of The Duke's Head in Highgate - Credit: Polly Hancock

Brothers running a Highgate pub have said they are "underwhelmed" to have won their premises licence and will appeal the restrictions. 

The Duke's Head, in Highgate High Street, can operate seven days a week after applying for a new premises licence – but last orders are now half an hour earlier, at 12.30am.

Theo and Ben Hudson were forced to apply for a new licence after the previous landlords went into administration, and wished to keep a replica licence attached to the pub since 2005.

Ben said: "We're underwhelmed by it. We are going to appeal the decision, we've done nothing wrong."

He said the pub already has CCTV and an incident log and a strict over-21 entrance policy.

"Haringey haven't listened, haven't heard anything, haven't cared," he said. "It's a frustrating end to a frustrating process."

As well as reduced opening hours, which Ben said would cause people to "all pile out at the same time at 1am", only two people can be outside smoking at one time.

"That's just very tricky," said Ben. "No one else has that restriction. 

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"All the time there will be people coming in or leaving, people walking up and down the high street. It's impossible to police.

"This isn't going to appease the main complainant and it doesn't make us happy. It's a no-win situation."

Next door neighbour Sarah Thorley, who is registered blind, and who moved in with her family in August 2020, during the pandemic, spoke at the meeting on May 18 .

She described "whooping and yelling" adding she just wanted "a peaceful life": "It's not constant but when it's loud it's really intrusive," she said. 

A Haringey Council spokesperson said "careful consideration" was made to approve the licence.

"In making this decision the licensing sub committee considered a number of objections from residents impacted by noise linked to the premises.

"To address these objections, conditions have been imposed to limit the number of patrons drinking and smoking outside the premises after 9pm, and ensure that the premises closes at 1am and that alcohol is not served after 12.30am.

“Other license conditions require the licensee to install a CCTV system, keep an incident log, operate a 'challenge 25' policy and provide appropriate staff training.”

An appeal to Highbury Magistrates Court can be launched within 21 days.