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Neighbours pan Geffrye Museum’s seven-day booze licence bid weeks after wine festival causes misery

PUBLISHED: 17:22 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 17:30 22 August 2017

The Geffrye Museum in Kingsland Road has applied for a seven-day alcohol licence. Picture: nicksarebi/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0

The Geffrye Museum in Kingsland Road has applied for a seven-day alcohol licence. Picture: nicksarebi/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0

nicksarebi/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0

Neighbours of the Geffrye Museum have objected to money-making plans to serve booze in its grounds and Grade I-listed building every day – and say a licence should not be granted if London’s inaugural “rosé festival” was anything to go by.

A cross-section of plans for the Geffrye Museum's £18m 'Unlocking the Geffrye' makeover. Picture: Geffrye MuseumA cross-section of plans for the Geffrye Museum's £18m 'Unlocking the Geffrye' makeover. Picture: Geffrye Museum

Managers at the museum of the home in Kingsland Road, Hoxton, say serving alcohol from 10am to 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30pm Sunday as part of an events programme would help “create a sustainable future” and improve its “financial resilience”. It is due to close for 18 months from January for an £18million makeover.

But neighbours were unimpressed by a wine festival held there last month, which they branded “careless and un-neighbourly”.

Some 3,000 visitors were invited to “share an abundance of rose wine” over three days, against the backdrop of the museum’s picturesque gardens.

"If such a din is allowed to occur only weeks before the licence hearing, it does not bode well for the Geffrye being willing and able to keep the noise levels reasonable in future"

Aggrieved neighbour

Organisers were granted permission to play “background music” through a temporary event notice (TEN).

But residents in Sovereign Mews and Kingsland Road were aggrieved at noise from the jazz bands and DJ sets entertaining partygoers throughout the day and night.

“Frankly if such a din is allowed to occur only weeks before the licence hearing, it does not bode well for the Geffrye being willing and able to keep the noise levels reasonable in future,” grumbled one of seven objectors to the licence, which is due to be heard by the licensing sub-committee on Thursday.

An artist's impression of plans for the Geffrye Museum's £18m 'Unlocking the Geffrye' makeover. Picture: Geffrye MuseumAn artist's impression of plans for the Geffrye Museum's £18m 'Unlocking the Geffrye' makeover. Picture: Geffrye Museum

Neighbours complained about the volume of the “deafening and obtrusive music” – which they said they claim could be heard in their homes with the doors and windows closed – but later realised the museum had no representative on site.

One person said: “The management reassured us that if it happened again we could ring the museum’s general number and they would sort out any problems. We rang several times that weekend, but they didn’t bother to pick up the phone or call us back as promised so we had to suffer in silence.”

Another neighbour wrote: “I chose my home here because it is residential and would never have purchased a property next door to an outside events space.” They were unhappy the museum had secured permission to hold further twice-weekly booze events during August, again through a TEN.

"We are responsible neighbours and will always consider any feedback from local residents and businesses"

Geffrye Museum spokeswoman

And another pointed out a daily booze licence was “incompatible with the functions of the building and the character of a Grade I-listed building”.

A spokeswoman for the Geffrye said the licence would not be put to use every day, adding the application supported their vision for visitors and the community to enjoy the buildings and gardens outside museum hours.

She added: “We are responsible neighbours and will always consider any feedback from local residents and businesses.”

The organisers of the rosé festival have been approached for comment.

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