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Row erupts over alcohol licence at Hampstead's Burgh House

PUBLISHED: 12:51 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:46 07 September 2010

The Terrace at Burgh House

The Terrace at Burgh House

© Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd,London,NW37QX. Phone 020 7794 3008. email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Susanna Wilkey ONE of Hampstead's oldest institutions has applied for a 14 hours a day alcohol licence. Burgh House bosses have requested the licence to run from 9am to 11pm every day, indoors and out. It would also entitle them to host musical events, al

Susanna Wilkey

ONE of Hampstead's oldest institutions has applied for a 14 hours a day alcohol licence.

Burgh House bosses have requested the licence to run from 9am to 11pm every day, indoors and out. It would also entitle them to host musical events, although insiders say there is no intention of turning the outdoor terrace into a stage.

Many trustees of the museum, which champions Hampstead's heritage, are also part of the Heath and Hampstead Society and the move has created a rift in the village, since the society has objected along with many residents.

Ruth Rach, who lives in Wells House, said: "I live three metres away from the garden and if the new application gets through it will be impossible to get any peace and quiet, especially if there is live music.

"This is a residential area and we already have four pubs very close by. I question the need to have another one. There will be more litter, noise, nuisance, people going home late and more cars.

"The timing of this application is also very interesting because it was delayed in the Christmas post and was delivered when many people were away."

Adrian Pritchard, who lives on New End, has had sleepless nights from milkshake bar Tinseltown and thinks another late-night licence in the area will exacerbate problems.

"Burgh House didn't consult anyone so it was a bit under the radar and there seems to be an awful lot more to this application than we first understood," he said.

"We have presented arguments based on what we have lived through before with Tinseltown - littering, vandalism, public safety, nuisance and crime."

New End Square resident Rob Henderson added: "We are worried about the application and think the hours are too long. That, coupled with the fact they have also applied for live music, made us object because we live just metres away. We have talked to all the residents in New End Square and everyone else feels the same."

Chairman of the Heath and Hampstead Society Tony Hillier, whose wife Sylvia is a Burgh House trustee, said: "It came as a bit of a surprise because the society wasn't consulted. Our main problem with it is licensing the gardens after a certain time in the evening.

"We believe 9.30pm is appropriate as a limit for people consuming alcohol in the garden and for music. Live music should also stop at 10pm inside the building otherwise there are potential problems for the neighbours.

"We are prepared to have a meeting with the trustees, the majority of whom are in this society. There is quite an overlap, so the chances are we should be able to sort it out.

"Having said that, there is a competition between the interests of Burgh House and the residents. The society represents the residents and its members."

Trustee of Burgh House and vice-chairman of the Heath and Hampstead Society, Tony Ghilchik, said: "The licence is for the buttery to serve drinks and we had to apply for a new one because of new people taking over the buttery. The idea is not to be any different from what has happened for many years and we do not plan to have music in the garden.

"We do not have any amplified music and there is no plan for anything different from what happened here one year ago, or 20 years ago.


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