Anger at decision to give restaurant near cemetery alcohol licence

Lino Queens Park Location

Lino Queens Park Location - Credit: Google Maps

Residents in a North West London neighbourhood said their council’s decision to approve an alcohol licence at a restaurant next to an historic cemetery will spoil its peaceful atmosphere. 

Brent Council approved an application by new Queens Park restaurant Lino, which will allow it to sell alcohol until 11.30pm Sunday to Wednesday and until midnight Thursday to Saturday. 

But locals argued it will harm the calm environment at the nearby Paddington Old Cemetery, which they said is used by both mourners and general visitors.

In his written submission to the council, local resident Shaun Griffiths described the area as a “quiet haven” that could be lost if the application was approved.

He said: “Backing onto the cemetery means there are no buildings to diffuse or absorb the music and noise from a 100-plus cover restaurant/bar. Rather than being able to listen to the birds in the cemetery – enjoyed not just by residents, but visitors to the green space as well – there is likely to be the constant drone of music and talking into the small hours when locals will want to rest.”

He added that new, high-quality restaurants in Queens Park should be welcomed but not at the cost to those living there when it comes to peace and quiet. A second resident objection agreed that there was a risk of a “naturally quiet open zone” being harmed by uninterrupted sounds from nearby restaurants.

They suggested noise along Lonsdale Road had “exploded in the past few years” and approving this licence will only add to the problems. 

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Sarah Clark, managing director of Wellfound, the company that will run Lino, said there would only be background music, while drinks would be served at the tables.

Craig Baylis, the solicitor representing the premises, said: “There’s no evidence that we’re going to cause problems.

"Conditions have been put in place, particularly with regards to closing the external area at 10pm."

Licensing officers from Brent Council and the Metropolitan Police said they would support the application provided the venue agreed to conditions around staff training and access to CCTV – something the restaurant was happy to do.

It also agreed to ensure people were cleared from the front of the venue by 10pm each night to reduce any late-night noise.

The council’s licensing sub-committee acknowledged residents’ concerns but said it was “impressed” by the approach put forward by Lino’s management and therefore approved the application.