Islington mayor complains about ‘saturation’ of licenced venues in Archway

Islington's new mayor, Cllr Janet Burgess, who will open the Carers Rights Day event. Picture: Islington Council/ Em...

Islington's new mayor, Cllr Janet Burgess, who will open the Carers Rights Day event. Picture: Islington Council/ Em Fitzgerald Photography - Credit: Em Fitzgerald Photography

Islington’s mayor has joined a residents’ forum, pushing back against the addition of any more licenced venues in Archway, warning the area is “saturated”.

Cllr Janet Burgess and the Better Archway Forum are opposing plans by two new venues to open in the area – cafe/restaurant Norman’s in Junction Road, and Beni cafe in Holloway Road.

In response to both applications, Cllr Burgess said: “Several years ago Archway was designated a saturation area in terms of the number of licences that were then held by many businesses in the area. 

“Since that time the number of licences has actually increased. I maintain that we do not need any more such licences in this area.”

Residents involved in the Better Archway Forum are “very unhappy with the growth in alcohol licences”, claiming it has closely correlated with a rise in anti-social behaviour (ASB).

According to the council's policy, the “main issue of concern” in Archway is the number of off-licences, and the resulting impact in terms of nuisance, alcohol-related ambulance call-outs, crime and disorder.

Archway has the highest concentration of off-licences in the borough, with an average of one per 317 residents.

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In response to this, the Town Hall introduced special hours for off-licences there, and now encourages applications that "bring cultural opportunities for residents”.

Writing in support of his application for Norman’s, owner Elliott Kaye wrote: “We have worked in high-end places with Michelin stars over the past few years and have received a lot of positive attention from media outlets and locals.

“We have saved and planned for this cafe over the past eight years and we feel strongly that the establishment will be great for the area and bring a lot of positive attention to it.

"It is a cafe serving great quality food, and one where we hope people can meet and have a relaxed time over a nice meal." 

He said they were hoping to give locals jobs and the chance to gain skills, adding: "For instance, we have hired a young local who wants to train to be a chef.

"We have also hired a neighbour who lives across the road who wants to learn how to make coffee and this is our intention going forward – to give back to the community.”