Clerkenwell charity gets go-ahead for late nights

�A charity staging live music and dance events has gained permission to sell alcohol despite protests from residents and the crackdown on such late licenses in Clerkenwell.

At a meeting on Monday, members of the Islington Council licensing committee granted a licence to The Goldsmith’s Centre in Britton Street.

It can now sell alcoholic beverages everyday up to 10.30pm except on Sunday and also up to 6pm in a ground floor caf� during the same period.

The Goldsmiths’ Company, a City of London livery organisation, plans to use the venue for workshops, exhibitions, films, education training and conferences.

A policy was introduced in 2009 called the Clerkenwell Cumulative Impact Area which makes it harder for businesses to gain approval to sell alcohol in Clerkenwell unless they can convince Islington Council it will not lead to rowdiness from party goers which would disturb local residents.

Several people living in Britton Street wrote letters to the council opposing The Goldsmith Centre proposal worried about noise keeping them awake and potential trouble when visitors leave after drinking.

One complainant said: “Our family would be affected by an increase in anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.

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“Britton Street and the adjoining small streets have managed to preserve a relatively quiet and community feel but this licence would tip the balance of our street away from the needs of its residents and in favour of visiting drinkers.”

Andrew Birk, facilities manager at The Goldsmiths Centre, said: “Because of the nature of the work being carried out in the centre it will be a secure building with 24 hour security presence.

“As such this should make the possibility of crime and disorder emanating from the building highly unlikely and we would do our utmost to prevent anything of this nature occurring.

“There are three guiding principles for the centre which are creativity, craftsmanship and community.

“The last thing we would wish to do is to cause a nuisance or disturb our neighbours.”