Complaints lead to Twickenham concert restrictions

London’s Twickenham Stadium has had a number of restrictions placed on its licence following complaints from local residents relating to events held at the venue.

The Richmond and Twickenham Times newspaper reported that locals complained of drug-taking, public urination and littering during events at the stadium. A meeting held by the local council this week resulted in several conditions being added to Twickenham’s licence.

According to the newspaper, at least two of Twickenham’s three concerts each year must now be held on a Saturday. Further conditions include street cleaning efforts and a rule stating that drinks be sold until 1am rather than 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Twickenham’s concert capacity is 55,000 and this will not change. Twickenham has however voluntarily agreed to reduce the capacity at which additional conditions kick in from 30,000 to 25,000.

These additional conditions include body-worn video being worn by SIA supervisors working on response teams; the premises license holder employing suitable numbers of welfare stewards who are trained to deal with issues of vulnerability caused by drink or drugs, and monitoring the ‘four alcoholic drinks per person’ rule; all sales of alcohol ceasing (at the latest) 2.5 hours after the end of the event; a minimum of two external stewards being designated to steward the area in Whitton Road; stewards being briefed to remind pedestrians of temporary event barriers; and the event day helpline to assist local residents being manned two hours before until two hours after the event.

The Eminem concert in July was a particular cause for concern among residents, who felt the rapper’s gigs led to more anti-social behaviour than usual. An RFU representative was present at the council meeting and apologised for the issues. The RFU had applied to include its newly-renovated east stand in its licence.

Councillor Helen Lee-Parsons, chairwoman of the committee that granted Twickenham’s new license, said: “The licensing sub-committee determined the RFU’s licence should be granted subject to a number of conditions.

“In doing so, the committee took into account the substantial representations from the local community who expressed concerns about anti-social behaviour and nuisance arising from events.

“The committee welcomes the applicants offering extra conditions on its licence in response to residents’ concerns. We are satisfied that the granted licence strikes the right balance.”

An RFU spokeswoman added: “The local community is really important to us as is being a good neighbour. We look at all complaints individually, take each one seriously and make sure that we address any concerns.

“We worked extremely constructively with the council on the licence conditions and will continue to collaborate with them on our activity.”

This article was amended on September 24 to clarify that Twickenham’s concert capacity remains 55,000 and not 25,000 as originally reported.

Image: Diliff