Residents at Limehouse fear open air bar accompanying Olympic boat service will lead to noise and anti-social behaviour

Residents fear a late night open air bar for people travelling on a water taxi between Limehouse and the Olympic Park will lead to increased noise and anti-social behaviour.

Limehouse Community Forum, set up by residents concerned about anti social behaviour in the area, are objecting to a licence being given for the bar to serve alcohol and provide music and entertainment during the London Games.

The licence application by Old Ford Lock River Services to set up the bar under the archways at Limehouse DLR station, is going before Tower Hamlets Council on Tuesday.

The company is owned by Peter Coleman, who also owns Water Chariots, which will run a canal boat service from Limehouse during the Games.

His company was originally seeking a licence to serve alcohol until 1am, but following negotiations with police has offered to stop selling alcohol at 11.30pm and finish entertainment by 10pm. They still hope to open every weekday until 2am during the Games.

Chair of Limehouse Community Forum, Mark Slankard, said: “We still think this is unacceptable. This is a transport service but what they are proposing amounts to a late night open air bar in a residential area. Because of the nature of Limehouse Basin the sound will travel around the surrounding masonry buildings with the water providing an echo.

“Limehouse has a history of problems with drinking and anti-social behaviour, and we worry this will also encourage some to go to the super market to buy beer and sit by the waterside drinking.”

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Chief Executive of Water Chariots, William Doughty, said he was sorry to learn about the concerns and urged residents to come to the bar.

He said: ““Residents can hopefully rest assured that as our events management arm has extensive experience in running licensed operations with a first class track record in safety and security that the enjoyment of clients will not disturb neighbouring residents and businesses.”

A licence application by Forman and Field, part of a salmon smokery venue, on Fish Island in Bow, to provide alcohol and entertainment up to 2am during the Games is also going before the council on Tuesday.

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