Northern Lights could have licence restricted

Posted On 24 Feb 2015 at 3:20 pm

Popular Brighton bar Northern Lights faces having its licence restricted after police made a series of complaints about the way it is operating.

Northern Lights pubBut landlady Pauliina Talvensaari has launched a blistering counterpoint to the accusations.

The issue will be aired in full at a meeting of Brighton and City Council’s licensing committee at Brighton Town Hall next Tuesday.

In a report to the committee, Brighton police say they have observed breaches of the Little East Street bar’s licence on a number of occasions.

The bar’s licence states it should be run as a food-led venue, but police contend it is operating more as a “vertical drinking” establishment, with people standing drinking in large numbers.

It also says customers frequently stand outside the bar, which is also in breach of its licence.

Ms Talvensaari strongly denies this, saying that the police report is riddled with inaccuracies.

It also points out that it has only called police twice in seven years, with trouble caused by dining customers on both occasions.

And it points out that its CCTV coverage, which is criticised for only having a 28-day archive not 31-day, is more reliable than the Town Hall’s, and has been used by police investigating crimes nearby more than once.

Last year, Northern Lights launched a successful campaign against the council’s plans for weekday pedestrianisation of East Street, which would have seen heavy traffic routed past its front door.

  1. Jason Clifton Reply

    It seems to me there’s an agenda here to get the Northern Lights closed so that the Council can have their bypass on Little East Street. The Northern Lights is one of the few genuinely friendly, non-chain pubs in central Brighton, it has the kind of character, sophistication and charm that has largely disappeared from central Brighton drinking culture. It also is an important focal point for the Scandinavian people of Brighton, of which there are many– and for non-Scandinavians, it’s a great place to meet people of that culture. It really should be treated as a treasure rather than be picked on out of existence.

  2. Stephen Reply

    It’s a disgrace that such a charming bar should be targeted in this way. Maybe a city whose supposedly ‘green’ council has approved a hideous characterless tower has no space for such bars. Really sad and you would hope the police would target real criminals rather than wasting time on this. It all feels quite right wing…people in Brighton need to start making their voices heard and make it clear they won’t stand for this.

  3. Tim Reply

    To lose Northern Lights would be a massive shame. I always take visitors there as its friendly and unique. In the times I’ve been I’ve never once encountered any aggro whatsoever. I love this place.

  4. Leo Stillman Reply

    I visited Northern Lights with my band and we played one of our best shows ever there!
    One of the most best bars I’ve ever visited!
    Really good food, drinks and lovely people!
    All the best for you guys! <3

    Greetings from Finland!

    – L

  5. Word On the Street Reply

    Probably linked to the council wanting to sell Priory House off as housing. Directly opposite the bar, wouldn’t want a successful pub putting off investors and new residents and reducing their income would they? All this pressure on Northern Lights has only happened since Priory House went to market – i’m sure Sussex Police are in cahoots too.

  6. Brian Warren Reply

    Now this is ridiculous. I’ve been to this place a couple of times and walked past at night often. You never see any problems. If the police want suggestions for other places that are higher priorities for this kind of heavy-handed treatment, I’m sure they only have to ask and they’ll get plenty of suggestions quickly.

  7. yakmaninoff Reply

    I couldnt agree more, the northern lights is one of the only places left where the local community still feels comfortable and safe amongst the chaos of the weekend crowds. It stands for all the reasons why me and my friends decided to reside in the city over 10 years ago and to see it disappear would be really sad.

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