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Camden New Journal - By CHARLOTTE CHAMBERS
Published: 3 January 2008
Pineapple in new controversy over bid for late-night garden

Victorian pub saved by campaigners angers neighbours with licensing plea

A PUB once saved from redevelopment by a campaign involving a number of high-profile celebrities has become involved in a new row after it applied to keep its garden area open later.
Six years ago the thespian Rufus Sewell, the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, and TV newsreader Jon Snow all fought for the Pineapple pub in Leverton Street, Kentish Town.
But the Pineapple’s new owners have fallen out of favour with residents living nearby after they asked for permission to open their garden later and play music on the first floor.
More than 20 neighbours of the Victorian pub have written to Camden’s licensing team demanding its application be rejected.
Objectors fear a variation in its licence will add to anti-social behaviour that already takes place in surrounding streets.
Applicants Paul Davies and Kirk James McGrath – who bought the Pineapple six months ago – want to remove a caveat from the licence that currently only allows customers to drink upstairs if they are eating.
“It’s a completely out- of-date supper licence,” said Mr Davies, who also owns the Sir Richard Steeles pub in Belsize Park.
“Once you finish your meal and there’s still a bottle of wine on the table, I’m technically breaking the law.”
Mr Davies, who has spent £200,000 on refurbishing the pub, said: “There’s been all sorts of words used like ‘disco’, ‘vomiting’, and ‘knifings’. It’s a storm in a teacup. We just want some background music to accompany people eating. Every bar in the world has music.”
He added: “Don’t worry, we’re not trying to change the style of the pub and there won’t be a bar upstairs. It’s a community pub.”
Plans to open the pub garden an hour later through to 11pm was to move smokers away from the street and into his “jurisdiction”, he said.
The owners have also applied to open half an hour later on Sundays and later on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Sgt Bob Dear, of Camden police, suggested drinking could be allowed upstairs provided punters were sitting down. He recommended private parties be ruled out.
While two neighbours have written letters of support for the application, objectors have complained Pineapple’s popularity had already made life hard for neighbours.
“This quiet, back-street pub has been expanded out of all proportion, and its size is no longer in keeping with a backstreet residential area,” said Myra Daley, who lives opposite the pub.
Richard Tompkinson warned that if the garden stayed open later his family’s sleep would be ruined.
“We are currently woken up once or twice a week, every week,” he said.
The application will be heard at the Town Hall on Monday.

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