Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Kurdish Community Centre - request for licence

It's quite useful to see the local Princes Ward planning requests on Labour's SE11 Action team blog since some of these would otherwise be missed.  The alert system I was using seems to have disbanded, making planning requests harder to track.

I normally wouldn't cover individual licensing planning applications because they're so small eg. Samsun Kebab shop requested one recently, and there are quite a few applications for tree pruning in the area, which don't have much impact and are rather dull to post about. However, one of my readers has asked me to comment further on the following (and I ought to declare an interest, since I don't live far away) .

It transpires that the Kurdish Cultural Centre on Stannary Street have requested a 7 day a week licence from 12 noon - 12 midnight for various functions eg. live music.  See here for more information. 

Were this building being used responsibly as a Community Centre, primarily by the Kurdish Centre, I might be tempted not to see any issue.  However, I'm told it's often used by loud church groups (on Sundays) as well as a whole variety of people in the evenings for various private parties, which often spill out into Stannary Street, and cause parking problems.  Many of the users would appear to be from the non SE11 community.

I don't know how much the Kurdish community would be using it at all, and I might ask whether it will exist primarily as a revenue stream, causing disturbance for local Stannary Street (and other) residents.  The Kurdish Communtiy Centre used to have a website, which I am now unable to locate (I believe it expired), and last time I had reason to make an enquiry there, I was informed that there had been a large internal dispute.  I'd be delighted to hear from anybody working for or at the Community Centre about the services they currently provide.

I am curious about whether the Kurdish Centre requires an alcohol licence when Wikipedia suggests that the majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslims.  It's legitimate, certainly to want to hire the hall out to other groups even if one personally does not drink.  But to request a 7 day a week alcohol licence until midnight every day seems questionable in a somewhat residential area.  I think that maybe a Friday - Sunday licence from 12:00 to 22:00 would cause less disturbance and would mean the hall could still be hired out to a variety of patrons.

Are there any local residents groups who might take this up?  I think there is a Heart of Kennington friends group, but if anybody knows who is on it, perhaps it might be flagged up.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, which is what I suspected (feared?). Relunctantly, I will oppose it. It would be interesting to know a) how it serves the LOCAL community (as most people Kurdish or otherwise drive in from elsewhere) and b) if it is being used now as a business to raise revenue through various rentals, which brings us back to point a. A true local community centre is one thing, a hired out venue for the whole of London on a residential street is another.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the final decision was - I believe that the hearing was on Tuesday this week?

Three wheeled one said...

Yes. I received information today to suggest that the licensing application was (unsurprisingly) refused.

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