Zanzibar Appeal

Zanzibar Respect

The Zanzibar Nite Club is appealing Lewisham’s decision to curtail its licence ending at 5am to 2am. Lewisham called a meeting to consult and ask for assistance with evidence for the appeal. For unclear reasons only 24 hours notice was given. The majority of the twenty or so residents who attended the meeting only did so by discovering directly or indirectly from Councillor Chris Best’s post in the Forum.

The four day appeal hearing will be at Bromley Magistrate’s Court from 16th to 20th September 2014.

The Lewisham team will plan to draw on around four residents as witnesses and ask that any continuing nuisance be reported to the nuisance team

  • Tel: 020 8314 2299
  • Email: noiseandnuisance@lewisham.gov.uk

Additionally any evidence pertinent to the appeal should go to licensing@lewisham.gov.uk.

The new Zanzibar manager braved the anger of the concerned residents to point out the measures he is putting in place to mitigate the nuisance. The following discussion was lively but thoughtful and the following facts and conclusions became apparent:

  • The capacity of the club is 890 (c 300 cars)
  • Larger events attract around 600 (c 200 cars)
  • Smaller events attract around 300 (c 100 cars)
  • Events will be held most Saturday nights
  • Events will be held on around 50% of Friday nights
  • The larger events are causing issues further afield inc Westwood Hill
  • The after 5pm issues include nuisance whilst awaiting first Overground train & 6am opening of the drink shop in Sydenham Road
  • Is Zanzibar doing all they can to control nuisance?
  • Would the best that can be done good enough?

The key question is whether a large club drawing audiences from far afield (mostly North London) should be located in the middle of a residential community where residents will have their sleep disturbed through the night all weekend?

The Zanzibar owner maintains the 5am license is crucial to his business model attracting visitors away from clubs that close earlier. The implication appeared to be that without the license it would close.

The issue of Zanzibar stewards requiring evidence for residents to be allowed into their own roads was deemed to be illegal and unacceptable to residents. However the manager maintained that without this control the residents would suffer from patrons parking and other nuisance.

So that’s it. Is it possible to have all night raves in a residential area without causing continued and significant nuisance? If not the court will confirm Lewisham’s order and the club will shut at 2am.

This time the decision will be immediate. The owner’s only further appeal would be for judicial review.

In view of the lack of notice of this event Lewisham will call another meeting with more notice, Watch for it in our Forum!

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