The permanent licence for a new private members club in Herne Hill is at risk after a council officer accused the venue’s owners of a “blatant disregard for licensing rules” following four separate noise complaints.
Off The Cuff bar, in Railton Road, was set up by owners Antony Porter and Jennifer Labbett. It had been open on evenings throughout May thanks to Temporary Events Notices (TENs), a form of temporary licence.
But Lambeth’s noise officers have objected to any further TENs, saying they were called to the archway after complaints about loud music at 11.45pm on Sunday May 4, on May 8, at 12.30am on May 10 and at again at 10.55pm on May 16.
The bar also fears these complaints will jeopardise its permanent licence application, currently under consideration by Lambeth council.
Council officer Calvin McLean said the behaviour of the owners of Off The Cuff so far showed a “blatant disregard” for licensing rules. In a statement to the licensing sub committee he wrote: “Previous events at this venue and by the applicant has [sic] disturbed residents in this neighbourhood.
“This is particularly troubling considering the applicant is currently seeking a permanent premises licence.”
McLean also accused the owners of being open on May 16 despite having their Temporary Events Notice for that date rejected.
A Lambeth council committee will consider the latest TEN application, for the period from June 12 until June 15, at a Lambeth Town Hall meeting on June 11.
Off The Cuff says it specialises in “niche wines”, cheese and all the furniture is also for sale.
The bar – occupying an archway next to Herne Hill Station, claims on to be “South London’s only private members bar open on Friday and Saturday nights.”
The website goes on: “Providing an exclusive space for you and your friends to enjoy live music, special member’s wine tastings and much more, at only £100 per year, we know you’ll welcome the secure, fun and inviting environment the OTC after dark members only experience offers.”
Posting on an online petition signed by 189 people, Off The Cuff (OTC) owners said: “OTC is offering the community a diverse space that is set back from any residential housing; [it] is a place to experience live music, new talent, art exhibitions, comedy evenings & a generally good, eclectic crowd of all ages who come in for an evening and want to stay until close.”
It continued: “We believe that not only are we catering to a more avant garde crowd, but that we do not create any disturbance in the square and the level of music we play is perfectly acceptable and next to inaudible outside our premises. We believe that OTC will add to the community.”
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