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Local Issues

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Cumulative Impact Zone

Lewisham’s current licensing policy comes up for review in 2010, and the process is already under way. This will cover the 27 premises on the Lewisham side of Blackheath which are licensed under the 2003 Licensing Act. Premises on the Greenwich side, which is roughly from the Concert Halls down that side of the road to the railway line, are of course not covered by this review.

What does this mean for Blackheath Village? One of the major achievments of the BVRG has been getting in place a Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ). A CIZ means that, by default, Lewisham Council will now refuse licensing applications if the applicant cannot demonstrate that there will not be an adverse impact on the people living in the CIZ. (Without a CIZ, the default is to grant applications).

The CIZ comes up for review as part of the licensing policy. If it is not renewed, the position will revert to what we had a few years ago, when we had to spend considerable time and effort fighting applications for ever-later licences. The BVRG along with the Blackheath Society recently held a meeting with Lewisham Licensing. They are looking for evidence in the form of statements, photos or similar as to whether the CIZ has reduced alcohol-related public nuisance, but not eliminated it. Or indeed any of the four licensing objectives in the 2003 Act:

* The prevention of crime and disorder

* The prevention of public nuisance

* The protection of children from harm

* Public safety

The paradox is that there is a possibility that, if there is no public nuisance, the argument may be put that there is no need for a CIZ, so we need to have evidence of the actual situation.

We will be contacting members in the next couple of months to ask for their input to this important process.