Woodford Green’s The Vault bar can now sell alcohol in its ground floor tea room following licensing victory

A Woodford Green champagne and wine bar can now sell alcohol in its ground floor tea-room, despite opposition from the MP who opened it.

The Vault, in The Broadway, has run as a basement-level bar since 2010 and will now be able to extend its alcohol sales to its tea-room following a Redbridge Council licensing committee meeting last night.

Iain Duncan Smith, the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green who officially opened the bar, had written to the committee opposing the new application and a group of residents voiced concerns at the meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, about potential noise and disturbance.

But the residents were branded as “pathetic doom-mongers” today by Monkhams councillor Jim O’Shea who spoke in favour of the application.

He said: “If you can tell me one other establishment that’s been open for two years without having to call the police for anything, I’d love to know where it is.

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“There’s been no problems with noise and the objectors who spoke acknowledged that. They’re a tiny minority that in no way represents the community.”

The original licensing application for the venue drew a petition signed by 200 residents in opposition, but owner Peter Southgate argued that those objections had been “overcome”.

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Customers can take their drinks into an outside seating area at the ground floor rear level and Darren Masters, of Monkhams Drive, fears it will become, in effect, “a street level bar operation”.

He said: “The whole set-up of a tea room was a complete red herring.

“All the other premises on The Broadway are restaurants, but this is where drink is a key driver.”

In his statement, Mr Duncan Smith said: “The existence of a street level bar would cause considerable noise and disturbance to the surrounding area.”

The venue will be able to sell alcohol on both floors until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and will close half an hour after those times.

A number of conditions, including a final approval by the fire authority, were included.

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