Friday, 27 July 2012

The impact of the Victoria Park Live Site on Mile End

Tonight is the start of lots of people wanting to access public transport at Mile End late at night - for 17 nights in a row (until 12th August 2012).

Back in April, MERA reps attended the Tower Hamlets Licensing Sub Committee to object to the licensing application for the Live Site in Victoria Park along with fellow objectors who included Councillors Joshua Peck and Mark Francis.

The bulk of the meeting was taken up with the hearing of evidence relating to the Application for a Time Limited Premises Licence, Victoria Park, Bow, E3 - Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd pdf icon PDF 89 KB (Additional documents: 2b. LiveNation2012 RED All Appx's, item 4.3 pdf icon PDF 8 MB)

The preparation of the application by the organisers had completely failed to address some very significant concerns relating to the impact of the events on local residents in Bow and Mile End.

From MERA's perspective:
  • our major concern related to people leaving the Live Site late at night and attempting to get home via public transport at Mile End.
  • We shared concerns about the impact on the sleep of working people of late night disruptions night after night for 17 nights in a row.
It was very clear that the original application had paid absolutely no attention whatsoever to the impact on the Mile End area late at night.

Specifically the licensing application was completely silent on how people leaving Victoria Park late at night would be managed and where they would wait to access public transport.  

While some people may be local and able to walk home, it was very clear that many thousands of people would have to wait a very long time to get on tube trains leaving Mile End Station (The tube trains will be full of people leaving the Olympic Park).  It would also be neither possible nor safe for thousands of people to access and wait for trains on the platforms of the Station. We suggested it was imperative that another Bethnal Green Tube Disaster was avoided.

In the end the Council had to extend the meeting in order to hear and discuss all the evidence.

We were presented with four new documents when we got to the Licensing Committee – none of which had been sent to us in advance of the meeting. 

One was a very weak Transport Plan. 
  • Dispersal from the site was acknowledged to be critical – and yet they had no crowd management plans or egress marshalling plans to show us how this will be managed in Grove Road and around Mile End
  • There were very significant holes in the data and conclusions of the Transport Plan.
Licence granted with major conditions

In the end the licence was granted by the Council (see end of this post for complete transcript of the licence) but with some very significant changes:
  • the site capacity at any one time is now limited to 20,000 people.  After representations by  MERA and others plus further investigation, the Council recognised there was no way – as we predicted – that local transport could cope with 30,000 leaving the Park very late at night.
  • There are no changes to the proposals for the Opening (27th July) and Closing (12th August) nights of the main Olympic Games.  These were recognised to be special one-off events.
  • The hours for licensed activities on other nights have been changed to ensure these finish earlier. The aim is to get more people to leave even earlier which will help with the pressure points re Bethnal Green and Mile End tubes. For the rest of the Olympic Games period (ie 28th July - 11th August 2012)
    • Sunday to Thursday: all entertainment and music (live and recorded) to stop at 10pm and alcohol to stop at 11pm 
    • Friday and Saturday: all entertainment and Music (live and recorded) to stop at 11pm and alcohol to stop at 11.30. 
  • Changes to the allowed times for set-up and take-down so that further disruption to nearby residents is minimised.  These now relate more closely to the hours normally allowed for building works in a residential area.
  • Scope granted for the Council to change level re decibels limits to sound heard in Waterlow Crescent if residents complain and say situation is untenable 
So why do BT London Live Site publicise incorrect information?

This is the BT London Live Site website page which provides FREE TO ACCESS DAYS DETAILED EVENT INFORMATION.

Specifically these is what THEY state are the Victoria Park opening hours (see below for evidence as per screendump from the site)

The BT London Live Site completely fails to mention (see below) when the music stops and at what time they will stop serving alcohol on all evenings apart from the Opening and Closing Nights. 

The aim of the licence was to get people to leave earlier to spread the load on the tube.  At the moment it would appear London Live Site want to send out completely different - and misleading - messages.......

We will be monitoring.....

BT London Live, TfL and Tower Hamlets Council may like to note that tonight we will be monitoring what happens tonight in the vicinity of Mile End Tube Station - and the homes of members of this Residents Association.

If necessary, we will be photographing and videoing the management of the arrangements relating to the health and safety of people trying to access Mile End Tube Station - and uploading these to Flickr for discussion with bodies responsible for the enforcement of licensing conditions and the health and safety of people trying to use public transport.

MEMBERS - Please contacts us (see side column as to how to do this) if you are adversely affected after 1am by tonight's celebrations.

REFERENCE: Full text of Item 4.3 of Minutes of Licensing Sub Committee on 26 April 2012 and and Licence

Application for a Time Limited Premises Licence, Victoria Park, Bow, E3 - Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd

The Licensing Sub-Committee was being asked to grant a an application for a Time Limited Premises License by Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd at Victoria Park
London E3 from 26th July 2012 to 13th August 2012 for a capacity of 29,999 persons.  The hearing was triggered by representations made by interested parties, namely two local Councillors and local residents, in relation to their concerns arising in respect of the licensing objectives of:
i)          the prevention of crime and disorder
ii)         public safety
iii)        the prevention of public nuisance

At the invitation of the Chair , Members heard representations from Mr Crier the Applicant’s Solicitor and evidence from experts in event management, health and safety and transport called by the Solicitor to respond to questions from the Sub-Committee and objectors comprising two local Councillors and residents. The Solicitor informed the Sub-Committee that the emphasis of the event was sport, introductory coaching sessions and entertainment activities.  There will be opportunities to view Olympic events free of charge, to take part in introductory sessions and information to pursue interests in these activities after the festival through local organisations.

Information concerning the following matters was provided.

  • Concerning reducing nuisance; there will be a ‘hard finish’ to the programme on the days of the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.  At other times during the festival there will be a staggered finish to ensure egress nuisance is reduced.

  • Concerning public safety; staggered activity finish times will provide more transport options.  Bethnal Green and Mile End underground Stations will be prioritised as dispersal hubs.  There will be CCTV coverage and MPS response services.  The crowd management plan is being developed and will soon be publicly available.  There will be up to 2000 staff servicing the event.  Emergency evacuation can if necessary be accomplished in under five minutes.

  • The applicant offered that a single point of contact number be made available to residents.

  • Concerning crime and disorder; stewarding and marshalling levels and security are supported by the Metropolitan Police.

Members also heard the representations detailing the measures that would be implemented to ensure that nuisance and crime and disorder are addressed through stewarding and marshalling measures at ingress and egress, through a staggered activity finish plan and through the traffic and pedestrian management plan.  With the agreement of all parties, the Transport Impact Statement, Site Vision and Proposed conditions were circulated at the meeting and discussed.

At the invitation of the Chair, Members also listened to evidence from objectors.  The key representations concern noise nuisance, late night disturbance and antisocial behaviour arising from patrons leaving the events, nuisance caused by lack of dispersal capacity at transport nodes and failure to consult with the local community or Ward Councillors.  They noted that there was no objection to the proposal in principle nor to the events planned on the days of the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. 

The objectors argued that nuisance would arise during the post opening and pre-closing event days in which it the applicant has sought to provide daily live music until 23:00 hours, recorded music until 00:00 hours and sale of alcohol until 00:00 hours respectively would result in local residents experiencing unacceptable noise nuisance and public nuisance (including antisocial behaviours in their residential area) arising from customers access to, and egress from, the Victoria Park, particularly given their close proximity to the Park and the widespread impacts of crowd dispersal on the surrounding areas. And therefore they object to the application and request that the hours in which live music and sale of alcohol take place be reduced.

Members also noted objectors’ arguments that there had been failure to consult with local residents until recently.

Concerning a complaint that it was unfair that noise levels in Waterford Close were higher than elsewhere, Members noted the arguments made but were not able to address this matter within the context of the meeting as this concerned technical matters associated with sound transmission.  However the Chair agreed that this was a persistent complaint and agreed to write to Environmental Health to seek mitigation on this matter.

In reaching a decision Members had regard to the Licensing Guidance (noting that revised Licensing Guidance published on 25 April 2012 is in the main not applicable to this application since it has been made prior to the date that the amendments to the Licensing Act 2003 took effect) and the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy.

Members considered the full application and the reduced hours requested by the objectors. 

Members believed that reducing the hours of opening would not be appropriate as this would adversely affect the successful delivery of the Live Site events.  However given the duration of the festival and the hours applied for, Members believe that granting the application as sought would place an unacceptable burden on the local community in terms of nuisance and potential antisocial behaviour.  They therefore considered  it was necessary and proportionate for the purpose of promoting the licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and the prevention of public nuisance that the permitted times of a number of the licensable activities be reduced.

In coming to their decision members have sought to enable those who wish to view the Olympic events to fully do so and to mitigate the potentially extreme effects of the festival on the neighbouring community.


That the Application for a Time Limited Premises Licence, Victoria Park, Bow, E3 - Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd be GRANTED with 21 additional conditions offered by the applicant below and further additional conditions imposed by the Sub-committee and listed also:

Conditions offered by the Applicant

1.             The licence shall cover the area as shown on the site plan dated 18.4.12 v.5.
2.             The Premises will at all times be managed in accordance and compliance with an Event Management Plan which shall be approved by the Licensing Safety Advisory Group.
3.             The amended capacity shall not exceed 20,000 at any one time (amended at the meeting)

4.             No entry shall be permitted to the Event Site after 22.00 each day and no re-entry will be allowed except by permission of the Event Liaison Team or in case of emergency.

5.             All bars will operate a strict Challenge 21 age verification policy in relation to the sale of alcohol.

6.             Alcohol will only be sold in plastic or paper/cardboard containers or vessels except in clearly designated artists and approved hospitality areas with stewarding control.
For the Prevention of Public Nuisance

7.      The “Live Music Noise Level” (LMNL) measured as an LAeq over any 15-minute period 1 metre from the façade of a residential premises shall not exceed 70 dBA, apart from Waterside Close where the LMNL shall not exceed LAeq 75 dB 15-minutes, for a maximum of 180 minutes over any day 12:00 hrs – 23:00 hrs apart from condition 8. below.

8.      The “Live Music Noise Level” (LMNL) measured as an LAeq over any 5-minute period 1 metre from the façade of a residential premises may continue on the Opening and Closing Ceremony days from 23:00 hrs – 00:30 hrs (90 minutes) and during that time shall not exceed 70 dBA, apart from Waterside Close where the LMNL shall not exceed LAeq 75 dB 5-minutes*.

9.      Other than the "Live Music Noise Level" (LMNL) in conditions 7. and 8. above, the “Music Noise Level” (MNL) between the hours of 08:30 hrs and 23:00 hrs measured as an LAeq over any 15-minute period 1 metre from the façade of a residential premises shall not exceed 68 dBA, apart from Waterside Close where the MNL shall not exceed LAeq 73 dB 15-minutes.

10.    Low frequency noise shall be controlled so as not to cause a nuisance at residential premises.

11.    A competent Noise Consultant (as defined in the Noise Council’s “Code of Practice on Environmental Noise Control at Concerts”) shall be appointed by the licensee of the event. This means a person with the ability to monitor noise competently and with the authority to control sound levels to ensure compliance with these noise conditions.

12.    A direct means of communication between the Noise Consultant and the Officers of the Environmental Health Department must be made available. There must also be a separate radio channel dedicated to noise control.

13.    The sound systems and other noise sources shall be positioned so as to minimise noise disturbance, in consultation with the Council’s Environmental Health Department.

14.    Sound tests shall be carried out in conjunction with the Councils Environmental Health Department before the event. This will determine the maximum noise levels that can prevail at agreed proxy monitoring positions so as to ensure compliance with the noise limits defined in conditions 7 and 8.

15.    A permanent noise monitor shall be placed at all “front of house” sound mixer positions, this must be able to measure 15 minute LAeq periods or less and print or store the results.  Officers must be able to view all the results at the mixer position during the event. A copy of all results measured must be forwarded as soon as reasonable practicable after the event to the Environmental Health Department. 

16.    The Noise Consultant shall be able to demonstrate an up to date calibration certificate for all noise meters used according to BS7580: 1997 and be a minimum type 2 grade instrument according to BS5969: 1981.

17.    Erection, dismantling and cleaning operations should only be undertaken during Council Policy working hours Mon. – Fri 8.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. and Saturday 8.00 a.m. – 1.00 p.m. unless otherwise agreed by prior consent. If work or operations are agreed outside of the above hours contact telephone number (not an answer phone) must be provided for the person in charge of these operations.

18.    White noise "Broadband" reversing alarms shall be used on any forklift truck or vehicle likely to affect any residential property.

19.    Complaints shall be directed to our Officers immediately by telephone or via the Council’s emergency gatehouse telephone number, not radio. The Council’s complaints procedure for taking and logging complaints must be followed at all times.

20.    The licensee shall comply with any reasonable instructions given by the licensing authority that seek to control noise nuisance.

21.    The noise-consultant must have a sufficient number of competent staff with the necessary authority, confirmed in writing by the licensee, to control the noise levels. This number should be agreed with Environmental Health in advance of the event.

Further Conditions Imposed by the Sub-Committee

22.       Permissions sought on the days of the opening and closing ceremonies shall be granted as applied for.

23.       For days other than the Opening and Closing Ceremony days, the terminal hours for provision of regulated entertainment as specified in sections E-K of the operating schedule be reduced to

                        Sunday – Thursday at 22:00 hours
                        Friday – Saturday at 23:00 hours

24.       For days other than the Opening and Closing Ceremony days, the terminal hour for supply of alcohol as specified in section M of the operating schedule be reduced to

                        Sunday – Thursday at 23:00 hours
                        Friday – Saturday at 23:30 hours

25.       The hours the premises are open to the public shall be as specified in section O of the operating schedule.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting piece in today's New York Times: ''A lawsuit has been filed against New York City and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts accusing them of limiting public access to Damrosch Park by using it for commercial purposes, including Fashion Week, for as many as 10 months of the year.........


We welcome comments however please note:
* All comments are MODERATED prior to publication (which means they are unlikely to be published straight away)
* Spam is NEVER published


Related Posts with Thumbnails