Residents raise noise concerns over Highgate pub licence

Local residents campaigning in 2019 to reopen old the Winchester Tavern, in Archway Road, as a pub.

Local residents campaigning in 2019 to reopen the old Winchester Tavern, in Archway Road, as a pub - Credit: Polly Hancock

Noise and public nuisance concerns were raised by residents at a Haringey licensing meeting on the future of Highgate’s The Winchester Tavern on Monday (January 10). 

A licensing application was submitted by Northern Union Pub Company director Sam Moss, who has had recent successes reviving the fortunes of north London pubs The Albert in Primrose Hill, the Haverstock Tavern in Haverstock Hill, and Hampstead’s Old White Bear. 

The company wants to reopen The Winchester Tavern which closed in 2016 but gained asset of community value (ACV) status last year following proposals to turn into housing.

Introducing residents’ objections to the application, which includes live and recorded music, as well as the sale of alcohol, Richard Scavetta said there were concerns about soundproofing, opening hours, and the fact the premises is now primarily residential. 

He raised the potential for additional public nuisance if the licence is granted. 

A neighbour, whose flat is beneath one of the floors the pub would occupy, said they could hear footsteps with only two people upstairs. 

Both the freeholder and the residents had commissioned assessments of the quality of sound insulation in the building but they differed in their results, fuelling concerns from residents of the impact a pub would have. 

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In response, Sam said if granted the licence, The Winchester would not become a loud establishment, saying: “It’s not the sort of pub we run." 

On the issue of public nuisance, he added that: “In our experience, it (having a pub) has mainly improved the area in which they operate."

He said increased lighting and having staff had had positive effects on the environment at his other locations. 

Noise concerns persisted, though it was noted that the issue may be outside the remit of the licensing decision.

In summing up, resident Helen Napoli said that having adequate soundproofing is required “so we can all live harmoniously”, while Sam said his desire is to turn The Winchester Tavern into a “thriving pub”. 

A decision by the licensing sub-committee is expected within five days.