Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Residents win fight against Albert Hall boxing plans

Royal Albert Hall
Boxing and wrestling events took place at the Royal Albert Hall a decade ago

Residents living near London's Royal Albert Hall have won a High Court order to end licensing approval for boxing and wrestling to be held at the venue.

It comes after plans by Westminster City Council to vary the licence governing the use of the hall.

The tenants of Albert Court in Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, feared such events would attract "anti-social elements" and noise to the area.

They complained that the council failed to notify them of the proposed changes.

In January last year, the council sent out about 100 letters notifying nearby residents who were selected by computer of the plans to bring the sports back, but no letters were sent to Albert Court residents.

'Immediate vicinity'

Mr Justice McCombe told the High Court that this was because even though the premises were "touched" by the circle around the hall within which residents could expect to be notified, this was not sufficient "to cause computer software to react" and trigger letters.

He said the council had set up its own procedure for notifying those living in the "immediate vicinity" of the hall of any proposed changes.

But the judge said it had "allowed its computer programme to dictate the notification process" even though a brief glance at the programme showed not all residents in the immediate vicinity would be notified.

In May 2009, Westminster City Council, acting as licensing authority, decided to vary the licence adding boxing and wrestling to the list of permitted activities.

The variation paved the way for the return of boxing and wrestling to the hall for the first time in around a decade



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