Councillors to debate Royal Armouries licence applications

Councillors to debate Royal Armouries licence applications

The Royal Armories Museum at Leeds Dock in Hunslet has submitted new license applications for premises for the museum and the New Dock Hall, which will be presented to Council Subcommittee on Licensing on Tuesday (December 20, 2022).

The new filings were made after Royal Armories International plc, the company that owned the licenses, filed for bankruptcy. The first requests were contested by both West Yorkshire Police and Leeds City Council’s environmental protection team. There were also three written objections from local residents.

After negotiations, the applications were revised. The application for serving alcohol and late-night refreshments until 2 a.m. was scaled back to 1 a.m.; and from 3:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. for licensed events such as films, plays, live music and boxing matches. The times originally requested corresponded to those of the expired license, which was originally granted in 2005.

Local residents have complained of noise pollution from people leaving venues, both at the end of events and when visiting the Tesco store to buy cheaper alcohol or to smoke. They also complain about broken glasses and bottles left by revelers.

Commenting on the bid, Cllr Paul Wray (Labour, Hunslet & Riverside) said:

“I welcome the concessions made by both the Royal Armories and the New Dock, accepting all the recommendations from the West Yorkshire Police, the Environmental Protection Team and some local residents.

“They will see a reduction in the licensable hours they have applied for, from 2am to 1am for the sale of alcohol and late night refreshments and from 3am to 1am for other regulated events such as plays, boxing etc.

“These new times are significantly better than their original application, which simply attempted to copy the old conditions – conditions that are now out of place given Leeds Dock’s predominantly residential character.

“However, it will be crucial that they do more to reduce the anti-social noise generated in the public square by customers of both venues, to ensure they act as good neighbors to the buildings and residents around them.

“I hope the Licensing Sub-Committee will consider this last point and make recommendations accordingly.”

Cllr Ed Carlisle (Green, Hunslet & Riverside) added:

“The Neue Dockhalle and similar venues play a valuable role in the economic and cultural life of our city. But these facilities, especially those in close proximity to community communities, need to show real commitment to minimizing their impact on their neighborhoods. There is ample evidence that New Dock Hall has not always done this – so we need to see concrete evidence that they are listening and how they want to improve operations.”

The Licensing Sub-Committee will meet on Tuesday 20th December at Leeds Civic Hall. You can read the full committee papers here.

Photo: New Dock Hall (left) and the Royal Armories Museum (right) via Google Streetview

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