Pimps and prostitutes roaring around Mayfair in ‘flaming Ferraris’
'Wealthy clientele visiting restaurants attract undesirable types', warn residents
27 October, 2017 — By William McLennan
RESIDENTS of a sought-after West End address have said their lives have been made “intolerable” by a surge in late-night venues, with high-end restaurants said to attract “undesirable types” targeting their wealthy customers.
Neighbours living in Berkeley Street, which connects the leafy Berkeley Square with Green Park, have said their area has become “saturated” with eateries and bars that open late into the evening.
They have written to Westminster Council demanding that any application to extend opening hours is turned down and fear that if just one venue is granted permission, it will set a precedent.
One resident said: “In the evenings especially at the end of the week Berkeley changes character and becomes unbearable for local residents.
“The wealthy clientele visiting restaurants attract undesirable types – beggars, prostitutes and pimps – making the street an unpleasant place to be when coming home in the evenings.”
Another wrote: “We have in recent years seen an ever-increasing issue with noise, anti-social behaviour and other such problems which arise due to the late night licensed premises in what is in fact a small area.”
So severe was the problem that planning adviser Dr Phil Hadfield was commissioned by the council to review the situation and compile a report entitled Mayfair Evening and Night-time Economy Behaviour Study.
Dr Hadfield and his researchers reported witnessing two “street brawls” during their visits to the area. Dr Hadfield said he had “found the operation of bar-restaurant, nightclub and members’ club premises to be highly notable and impactful on the area,” adding that they also attracted “Cornermen and flower sellers involved in the informal economy, as well as persons begging and rough sleeping.”
He also noted the impact of “trophy cars roaring around Berkeley Square and down Berkeley Street”. Conservative councillor Glenys Roberts said last night (Thursday) that it was an “awful” situation with “drunken, screaming yobos in flaming Ferraris”. “There are 300 residents living in those blocks, it might not look like a residential street but it is, and I think that’s not understood.”
Recent applications to extend opening hours have been declined and Cllr Roberts said she hoped the publication of the report had drawn a line in the sand.
She said: “Now we have the evidence from a leading academic who witnessed it anonymously and it’s down in black and white.”
In a written response, supporting residents, she said that Berkeley Street had “reached saturation point”.
And she added: “Therefore it is difficult to reconcile any extension of hours for any premises in the street with the licensing objectives including prevention of public disorder and disturbance and the protection of children.”