A pub owner fears that he could be months away from having to close down if a popular viewpoint car park remains closed.
The Case is Altered, situated at the Old Redding beside Harrow Viewpoint, is a popular destination as it offers a tranquil view and is based by the viewpoint.
However, the car park at the viewpoint has been closed on an on-off basis since 2019 due to suggested reports of anti-social behaviour.
The car park now operates from 8am to 4pm – giving such a limited period for people to either visit the viewpoint or to go to The Case is Altered pub.
The parking situation for the pub and visitors to the viewpoint worsened when Harrow Council installed double yellow lines on both sides of Old Redding road in October this year.
Due to the limited parking availability, the pub has been forced to operate in a limited window between 12pm to 4pm, with a large chunk of customers being from around Hertfordshire, Hillingdon and parts of north west London who require a car to reach there.
The director, speaking on behalf of the pub said: “If trading hours are longer, we can take the money to employ the staff we have, pay the bills – trading from 12 to 4pm seven days a week is unheard of.
“How can a business have a turnover or think of having a profit?
“Even if people have no intentions of coming to the pub, they park up and go for a walk and then after that they think ‘there’s a pub there, let’s go pop in for a coffee or something’.”
However, he adds that by shutting the car park early, it has meant the pub would be nearly empty after 4pm.
The director also questioned Harrow Council’s explanation that the viewpoint was a hotspot of anti-social behaviour and required council intervention to prevent police from having to deal with such crimes.
According to the Metropolitan Police’s crime map, while there have been anti-social behaviour reports recorded in the area, there has been nothing to suggest a rise in crimes.
In one instance the viewpoint shut down in December 2020, after it reopened just months ago in September.
Data recorded shows that within that period there were two crimes in September – other theft and vehicle crime – and one public order in November.
The director said: “We’re not disagreeing there is anti-social behaviour – there is everywhere – but there are ways of tackling it.”
He said that he is more than willing to work with the council to help them find a solution, but notes that a consultation took place without the involvement of the pub.
If Harrow Council shows that no plan of action will be taken, the pub could be months away from having to close down, claims the director.
The pub previously criticised the council’s decision to close the car park, which is about 150 metres down the road, at 6pm each night to curb anti-social behaviour at the site.
Staff argued most reports of any illegal activity take place after midnight and suggested a “less drastic” closing time of 11pm, even offering to close the gates themselves.
They added all these measures were harming a local business and its position as a “family, community pub that Harrow should be proud of”.
A member of the public has launched a new petition, following other petition attempts, calling for Harrow Council to change the car park restrictions.
A previous petition gained more than 4,600 signatures and the new one launched has gained nearly 1,000 signatures in around 48 hours.
A spokesperson for Harrow Council said: “Operating times are restricted to prevent serious anti-social and criminal activities, in order to protect public safety.
“The situation is being monitored and opening times will be reviewed in due course.”
To sign the latest petition, visit: https://www.change.org/p/reinstate-the-right-for-people-to-visit-old-redding-viewpoint-and-the-case-is-altered-pub-after-4-pm?redirect=false