Plans for an East London church crypt to be turned into a bar have prompted one resident to brand the idea a ‘public nuisance’. The local said the proposals for a bar and function room underneath the active Anglican church in Bethnal Green would cause noise and disruption in the surrounding residential area. They told the local council: “A church service on a Sunday morning is one thing, but music until 11pm is entirely inappropriate.”
St Peter’s Church has applied to Tower Hamlets Council to sell alcohol at a bar in its underground crypt until 11pm each day. The church said in its application that the crypt would be used as a venue for various events with a small bar for guests. The applicant, Owen Kingston, also said that the crypt only had space for 50 people and that only ticket holders for events would be allowed in to buy alcohol.
The Bethnal Green Anglican church was built in the 19th century and still holds church services and other community events. The historic building is in a quiet residential area near Bethnal Green Tube station and is surrounded on all sides by flats and houses. One local who lives nearby said they were worried the church crypt hosting events and selling alcohol would bother residents.
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The resident argued in a letter to Tower Hamlets Council that creating a social hub in the neighbourhood was unfair to locals. They said: “Firstly, the immediate area surrounding the church is entirely residential.
“The times of opening that are being proposed in this application end at 11pm, seven nights a week. This seems hugely anti-social for anyone living within this vicinity to put up with regular disruption from events, every single night of the week.
“A church service on a Sunday morning is one thing, but booming and music until 11pm on Tuesday evening for example is entirely inappropriate, and again is a public nuisance.”
The resident added: “The supply of alcohol and encouragement of more individuals to head to the estate late at night will only exacerbate this issue and continue to drive a huge amount of anti-social behaviour and public nuisance.”
The application for the crypt bar said: “Noise or vibration from the premises will be maintained at a level that will not be audible at the façade of any neighbouring noise sensitive premises.”
The Tower Hamlets Council licensing sub-committee will meet on March 22 to consider the application for the bar at St Peter’s Church crypt. St Peter’s Church Bethnal Green was contacted for comment.