Floating Royal Docks bar’s bid to reopen leads to clashes

PUBLISHED: 15:58 17 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:37 18 March 2016

The Oiler Bar is located in Royal Victoria Docks

The Oiler Bar is located in Royal Victoria Docks


The future of a floating bar, shut down over noise complaints, remains uncertain after a meeting to decide its fate was postponed yet again.

Debates, which took place at Newham Town Hall in East Ham, were lively and, at times, heatedDebates, which took place at Newham Town Hall in East Ham, were lively and, at times, heated

Residents were visibly frustrated during Wednesday’s lively Licensing Sub-Committee hearing, held to decide whether The Oiler Bar in Royal Victoria Dock should be allowed to reopen.

David Dadds, representing The Oiler Bar’s director Drew Patterson, claimed that proceedings to determine whether the dockside venue should be allowed to operate were “unlawful” and called for a “fresh hearing”, involving new councillors.

Mr Dadds, of Dadds LLP Licensing Solicitors, told chairman Cllr Ian Corbett and committee members: “I am concerned that you are coming from a position of bias.”

The solicitor also queried the lawfulness of witnesses who had joined latter proceedings to offer additional supporting statements.

Cllr Corbett replied: “We would always encourage residents to be involved in this process. They are trying to bring some representative views and their evidence is quite acceptable.”

However, after Cllr Corbett was told to consult privately with the council’s legal advisor, Simon O’Toole, he said he would adjourn the hearing.

One resident also questioned Mr Dadds about why his “promise” to install a noise limiter after the meeting on February 25 had not been carried out.

He said there was “no promise” but added: “What has been done is that there won’t be any regulated entertainment until the noise limiter is installed.”

The meeting finished after the council’s licensing authority officer questioned whether Mr Patterson’s original license was valid because at the time of application he was not the director of the bar.

His solicitor now has 21 days to provide evidence that Mr Patterson was authorised to approve the license.

The Oiler Bar had its licence revoked by the council last October after residents’ complaints.

This decision was later sent back to the council to rehear by the magistrates court and Mr Patterson was offered a fresh review hearing with the council.

Set up in 2013 by water sports company WakeUp Docklands, the bar previously advertised on as “a dockside drinking experience like no other”.

There is now a new website with a “.com” domain stating that the Oiler Bar is “reopening April” with a “new website coming soon”.

A new hearing date is yet to be confirmed.

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