A toast to success

Preparation is everything in business, and we were reminded of this twice in recent licence applications.

Shelly’s Bar is a well-established, popular venue in Hornchurch, where east London and Essex meet. A recent application to Havering Borough Council for an extension to weekend hours had been rejected, so Complete Licensing was asked to fix the problem.

The bar-nightclub is within the Havering ‘stress’ area, where the council’s policy is generally unfavourable to late night extensions. We took a good, hard look at the extension request and liaised with the venue before submitting a revised application.

Clearly, we’d done our homework. Not only did the conditions attached to Shelly’s application reduce from 56 to 21, the weekend licence extension to 2am was accepted by council officers and granted without the need for a hearing.

We also represented the Schooner Bar – located in the recently-opened Ram Quarter in the south London borough of Wandsworth. The Schooner has proved an integral element in this redeveloped area of warehouses and artisan building close to the River Thames.

We were all happy with our original application for the Schooner, which involved satisfying the local licensing authority and working closely with the development’s landlords. So securing an exception to policy and gaining a midnight to 2am licence extension on Fridays and Saturdays was a real feather in our cap. Obviously, the venue’s record of good practice was crucial to the successful application, but that was put in place with Complete Licensing, and – as ever – our ongoing compliance service has played its part.

We all like to share success stories, but the important message here is that doing thorough groundwork and following good practice pays dividends.