Residents rally in bid to reject pub music plans

RESIDENTS living near an historic Kentish Town pub are pulling together to stop changes to their favourite watering hole

Ed Thomas

RESIDENTS living near an historic Kentish Town pub are pulling together to stop changes to their favourite watering hole.

Dozens of letters have been submitted to Camden Council's licensing chiefs in opposition to a bid to extend opening hours at The Pineapple on Leverton Street.

Regulars including newsreader Jon Snow and actors Rufus Sewell and Roger Lloyd Pack clubbed together to keep the 136-year-old Victorian pub open when it faced redevelopment into flats in 2003.

Now the Grade II-listed pub wants to keep the garden open for longer and sell booze and play music between 10am and 11pm seven days a week both upstairs and downstairs.

Diners can currently only drink upstairs and Sundays has limited opening hours.

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But some neighbours fear this will add to anti-social behaviour in the area.

"The Pineapple pub is very closely surrounded on all four sides by residential properties, many of them family homes where young children are asleep in the evenings," said Robert Ketteridge from Leverton Street.

"We have been frequently woken up or prevented from going to sleep by the noisy cries and loud chatter of inebriated patrons leaving or arriving.

"We have witnessed fights, rows, screaming, tears, chases and other kinds of alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour."

In 29 letters to the council neighbours cited other problem such as littering, patrons sitting on the windowsills and doorsteps of homes to drink and smoke, and urinating and vomiting in gardens.

In a letter Christine and Ron Palmer said: "We are regularly intimidated by customers from the Pineapple - using our garden as a lavatory and also throwing beer bottles and empty glasses over our gate, smashing them on our path.

"We get scared and there is nothing we can do. By the time the police would get there, the people have moved up the street. I think it's harassment."

But landlord Paul Davies, who has overseen a recent £1.6million refurbishment of the pub, said he is actually trying to make residents' lives better.

"Our current licensing arrangement was made before the smoking ban," he said. "At the moment at 10.30pm we have to clear out the garden, and people have been congregating in the street to smoke. We have no jurisdiction over them if they are not drinking. By staying open until 11pm, we are doing the neighbours a favour by containing people here.

"With regards to the upstairs, we are not planning on having DJs or loud music. At the moment we cannot even play a bit of light jazz, and people like to have some music in the background."

The application will be approved or refused by Camden Council on Monday January 7.