Time has been called on plans for The Atlantic Bar to become Thornton Heath’s premier late-night drinking venue before it has even served its first pint.
The empty Thomas Farley pub had been set to get a new lease of life as a late-night weekend drinking venue.
The Thomas Farley closed in 2016 when it was sold to Iconic Properties Ltd, who carved the upstairs and rear of the pub into a 10-bed HMO with seven flats – leaving just the bar area and basement remaining.
At one point pub chain Antic London had been in negotiations to take over the pub but that fell through. An application was put in to turn it into a parent assessment centre but that also didn’t come to fruition and last year it was refurbished and a new sign was put above the door.
The Atlantic which has a 150-person capacity had been advertised to reopen on Christmas Eve but the party didn’t go ahead because there was no licence.
It then emerged that Olukayode Aderemi Akinsanya who was behind the Atlantic Bar had resigned.
Mr Akinsanya, who gives his occupation as a barber was also a director of Jungle Bar Ltd, which owned Oceanic Bar in South Norwood and had its licence revoked in July by Croydon Council.
This followed an application made by the police on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety and the prevention of public nuisance.
Mr Akinsanya, resigned from Jungle Bar Ltd in September and Atlantic Bar Ltd on December 22 last year.
On February 28, Croydon Council’s licensing committee met to consider a licence application by a new applicant: Sherica Spence to bring back the Farley as a family-friendly pub which in time, could provide space for community events in a basement downstairs.
An alcohol licence was granted to Sherica Spence and had approval to close on Fridays and Saturdays at 2 am but Ms Spence has told The Chronicle that she cut ties with the owners of The Atlantic a month before the pub was taken back by Iconic Properties Ltd.
The sub-committee had initially reserved its judgement after hearing from the applicant’s representative and released that it had agreed to the licence requested via the council website.
It amended the proposed weekend closing hours from 2.30 am to 2 am. This was already an hour later than Thornton Heath’s other two pubs with The Prince George closing at 1 am and Railway Telegraph at 1.30 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
The sub-committee had queried the inclusion and observation of condition 33 in relation to the management responsibility and any involvement in the business by the previous owner of Oceanic Bar.
The applicant’s representative advised this had been agreed upon with the police in relation to their concerns and confirmed the applicant was solely responsible for the management of the Atlantic premises. The applicant advised the police would be contacted if the individual attended the premises.
Robert Sutherland, who spoke on behalf of Ms Spence, told the committee: “The aim very much is that it will be a family-friendly premise. It will be encouraging people within the local community to come into the premises.
“Certainly the basement area will form a space that can be used by groups within the community it is hoped there will be other types of events, including craft fairs.”
The pub planned to open from 8 am to allow the provision of non-licensable refreshments in the morning. The applicant advised the sub-committee of their work with local community organisations and the lack of affordable community venues available for hire. Sunday to Thursday evenings would be bookable by local organisations or groups to host events.
The proposals also included having extra door staff for fans on Crystal Palace match days. One resident at the meeting raised concerns about noise impact on locals, particularly for those living in flats above the pub.
Mr Sutherland said those living above the pub had been contacted about the proposed changes and had not formally objected to the application.
He added, “It is very much a community pub and it is important that it maintains a good relationship with those that live in the area.”
Several conditions were attached to the approval to ensure no nuisance to residents which had been agreed in conjunction with the police and council noise nuisance team. In discussions with the police, the applicant had agreed to provide a contact number to neighbours and suggested creating a WhatsApp group with local residents.