Residents object to Betty’s application for late licence at weekends

Image above: Betty’s bar

Residents living close to Betty, the bar-restaurant in Barley Mow Passage, have expressed concern about the restaurant’s application to extend their business opening hours. The owner of Betty Steve Novak has applied for later opening on Friday and Saturday nights.

Betty offers ‘casual dining’ – sharing platters and traditional pub standards, with a range of beers and cocktails and an extensive wine list. The premises also has a lively bar and hosts regular weekend events, which last year included a Halloween fancy dress party and a number of ‘December Discos’.

Since they opened in August Steve has positioned Betty to attract a younger crowd. He has applied to extend the hours in which he can sell alcohol and provide recorded music from 23.30 to 01.00am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Image above: Owner Steve Novak, at Betty’s bar

Residents complain about potential for noise

Margaret Chadderton, Director of Devonhurst Place, has objected to the application on grounds of protection of children from harm and prevention of public nuisance. Devonhurst Place consists of two blocks of flats next door but one Betty. According to Ms Chadderton there are 105 flats and a number of babies and children live there.

Writing to the council, she said:

‘It is not acceptable to have the noise and movement of drinkers extended well into the early hours when children (and adults!) need their sleep. It is bad enough now.

‘Residents have complained about the number of people congregating outside our gates here after they have left Betty. Things will get even worse in warmer weather when residents have their windows open and Betty drinkers will linger longer outside. Betty is surrounded by flats and the people who live in them should be allowed a reasonable quality of life.’

Jardine Appleton wrote that she had already made a couple of noise complaints against Betty premises, in particular during the last Anthony Joshua fight and on Halloween when they were open until 2am.

‘The passage way is basically a noise funnel as everything echos, particularly at night when there isn’t much other sound to block out the music coming from Betty.’

Ms Appleton also said she was concerned about her own safety as a single woman:

‘I am also concerned about public safety as I come home at all hours from my job as a landlady. I do not want random, intoxicated people directly outside my flat door until 3am on weekends. As a single female, I am concerned about my own safety.’

Image above: Devonhurst Place

Turnham Green Ward councillor Joanna Biddolph suggested Betty’s be required to ensure its customers leave quietly and leave the area completely. This would require ‘firm management to intervene’, not just signs put up.

‘There is great concern about disturbance from regular late nights’ she wrote, ‘the change has hit residents hard.

‘One of the difficulties is that this site has not before had a late night (other than very occasional) clientele. Both recent occupants, Sam’s and Foxlow, were more family orientated and / or attracted a quieter customer so demand for late night events was rare.

‘We want our night-time economy to thrive but, given that every road in Turnham Green ward is also a residential road, it is essential to have a mutually respectful coexistence between hospitality businesses and people trying to get a decent night’s sleep before work the next day.’

Images above: Betty, Barley Mow Passsage exterior and interior

‘No neighbours have been negatively affected’ since Betty opened, says owner

The Chiswick Calendar contacted Mr Novak to ask if he would like to respond to any of the representations submitted to the council. He said he would prefer not to comment on specific objections prior to the upcoming licensing panel hearing on Tuesday 11 January, where he will plead his case to councillors.

In his application he states:

– The premises has traded for nearly six months without incident.
– Temporary event notices have been used on several occasions without incident.
– No neighbours have been negatively affected by the operation of the premises and no police have attended any incident and this is expected to continue by adhering to professional operational standards

On preventing public nuisance should the licence be granted, Mr Novak said:

‘No increase in volume will be required in the later hours requested. No live music will be performed in the hours requested… All customers will be requested to leave quietly by staff and signage.’

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