Yesterday evening was the Licensing meeting to consider the application of Vue Cinema to stay open until 3am for up to 133 nights each year. Almost every single person speaking to the meeting mentioned how much they wanted the cinema to come to Eltham, but did not want to have the late opening hours which Vue were asking for.
The meeting was attended by Conservative Councillors for Eltham North and South wards with local MP Clive Efford leading the objections to the 3am closing time.
The applicant’s lawyer spoke fluently about why the late hours were needed, often making direct comparison to the Vue cinema in Worcester (something they also did at the recent residents’ meeting).
Mr Efford provided an overview of the concerns for residents focused on the noise pollution of people leaving in the early hours of the morning. Cllr Drury spoke on behalf of Eltham’s Conservative Councillors (no Labour ones attended to represent residents) and agreed with Mr Efford’s suggested restrictions on the licence. Cllr Drury also suggested that a direct comparison could be made to the Eltham Terrace Club where the Council had imposed substantial restrictions on the opening hours.
Other residents focused on the likely disturbance in their roads with speakers from Roper Street, Blunts Road and Archery Road all represented along with the Old Page Residents’ Association. Mr John Hayes of Roper Street summarised his points as welcoming the cinema but ‘totally opposed’ to the late night opening hours. He pointed out that people will wait for friends or family to come out of this cinema by waiting in Roper Street and provided plentiful examples of that happening currently.
After some discussion the three Councillors on the Licensing Committee decided that the appropriate hours would be that the cinema could remain open from:
- Sunday to Thursday – 7am til midnight
- Friday and Saturday – 7am til 2am
In addition, the Councillors agreed a further 12 openings til 2am subject to 72 hours notice which Vue had argued was necessary for premieres which they were often informed about at short notice.
After the meeting Mr Hayes commented that “This is a very disappointing outcome. The Councillors cited a similar licence in Woolwich. They clearly failed to listen to the concerns of local residents and their representatives.”