An East London community center is not allowed to sell booze at events after parents from a nearby nursery school complain

An east London community center has had its license application refused after parents from a nearby nursery had “serious” concerns about its plans to serve alcohol near where children play.

Anita Foreman, secretary of Chandos Community Association, was applying for a new premises license for Chandos Community Center in Stratford, east London.

The community center previously held a club license under a charity called Chandos Center Social Club Limited. However, it was struck off the charity register in May 2023 and by January 2024 the license had expired. Under the plans, the centre’s opening hours have been set to be 12pm to 11pm (Monday to Thursday), 10am to midnight (Friday and Saturday) and 10.30am to at 22:30 (Sunday).

The supply of alcohol has been set between 17:00 and 23:00 (Monday to Thursday), 17:00 to midnight (Friday), 10:00 to midnight (Saturday) and 10:30 to at 22:30 (Sunday). Ms Foreman described the center in council documents as a “vibrant hub” for the local community, which offers a range of activities throughout the week, including karate lessons for children, salsa dancing classes for adults and a karaoke night on Sundays.

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The community center and nursery share the same parking lot (Image: Google Street View)

She went on to say that the center hosts charity events for important causes such as Help for Heroes and Macmillan Cancer Support and there are bingo sessions for the elderly, which Mrs Foreman said helped to combat loneliness and isolation. She said the center would host most events in the evenings and at weekends and Busy Angels Day Nursery, which is nearby, would be closed during that time.

A number of residents backing the plans said the center should be allowed to reach its “full potential” after hosting a range of diverse events that bought the community together. However, dozens of parents signed letters calling for the plans to be refused because they were “incompatible and conflicting” with the nursery.

Parents were concerned that the car park and building are shared by the center and nursery and were concerned about “serious” safeguarding issues and anti-social behavior (ASB) that could be caused by people drinking alcohol. During a meeting with Newham Council’s licensing sub-committee last week (April 30), Environmental Health’s Ian McConnell said he had concerns about residents being affected by loud noise coming from the venue, which has single-glazed windows.

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