September 1 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 27, 2014
A hostel where backpackers allegedly masturbated out of a window has been refused an alcohol licence.
The application by Journey’s Hostel, in Caledonian Road, Kings Cross was turned down at a Licensing Sub-Committee meeting on Tuesday (February 25).
Angry neighbours wrote to the town hall when the application first surfaced, asking them to block the move, citing the “stressful reality” of guests brazenly having sex on the roof, playing music and smoking weed on the street outside.
But hostel owner Nick White says that the licence would have reduced the disruption caused around the property and said they were considering appealing the decision.
“If we don’t have a licence people will be drinking in the streets and bringing their own alcohol in to the hostel – if we’re not licensed we can’t control it,” he said.
“We have a mix of tourists from all over the world who come here and people who stay here while they are working in London.
“The council has got a stranglehold on Caledonian Road, they believe they are protecting residents and their house prices.”
But Cllr Paul Convery, executive member for community safety, said that the running of the hostel was “catastrophic”.
“We are not strangling Caledonian Road, and we’re not protecting house prices – in fact we’re very much against the rising house prices.
“In that area around Kings Cross we’re trying to control what would be an explosion of licensed premises, even if they were planning to open a regular pub it would probably get turned down. It’s totally controlled because it has reached saturation.
“We’re trying to stop the spread of drunken behaviour and high volume alcohol sales – we would like to see more restaurants than clubs.
“The hostel happens to be in a hugely popular area and they probably benefit from that by being full 52 weeks a year, but they have to respect where they are.
“It’s catastrophic, these people simply have no idea what they are doing.”