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Greggs to seek mediation in Westminster licensing case Published Date: 23/04/2023

Bakery chain Greggs is seeking mediation over a licensing dispute with Westminster City Council ahead of court action due next month.

A spokesperson told Local Government Lawyer that a three-day court hearing had been scheduled for mid-May, where Greggs would appeal against Westminster’s refusal to allow it to serve hot food after 11pm at its Leicester Square branch.

Greggs said, though, it hoped negotiations before that might avert the need for a court hearing.

Westminster last July refused the late hot food licence application after objections by both nearby residents and the Metropolitan Police, which feared potential disorder.

The council declined to comment on Greggs’ current legal action but referred to a statement last July by cabinet member for licensing and communities Aicha Less, which said: 

"We're as excited as anybody about the arrival of Greggs in Leicester Square and I'm sure people across the West End will flock to get themselves a sausage roll, steak bake or jam doughnut.

"However, legitimate concerns have been raised by the police and local people that these plans are half-baked.

"There are worries that businesses serving 24/7 in the city centre creates challenges and that the bakery could become a hot spot for late night disturbances and anti-social behaviour.”

Greggs has pointed to potential confusion among customers over what food it can serve in the early hours of the morning if it is still denied a hot food licence.

It said the pasties were made at external bakeries and re-heated and so no licence was needed, whereas cooked products, such as bacon baps, sausage rolls and potato wedges did need licensing.