Tobacco Dock Meeting

P1060896A few weeks ago, Tobacco Dock hosted a motorcycle event that disturbed a number of Wapping residents. This led to a series of complaints which Julia took up directly with Tobacco Dock to ensure they were aware of the impact on the local community.

Later that week she met the Tobacco Dock team and raised a number of concerns with them including the prospect of rooftop parties in the carpark, noise from the revving of motorcycles, traffic management around events, and littering and noise from guests.

Julia asked that the TD team put in writing some of the matters discussed and the correspondence is now below for interested local residents. For everyone’s information, the car park parties will no longer be going ahead this year. 

Hi Julia,

It was a pleasure to meet you last week and we are looking forward to working together over the coming years.

As mentioned in our meeting, Tobacco Dock Venue Ltd has an extensive Hirer’s policy as well as significant conditions which we volunteered as part of our Premises License to minimise inconvenience to the local residents and community. We believe that Tobacco Dock should be an attraction and asset to the local community and not detract from it and feedback from the overwhelming majority of local residents has been positive – they like to see the building in use.

Over the last 18 months we have worked with event organisers to provide complimentary and heavily discounted tickets to events such as The Lab, Meatopia, Taste Of Christmas, London Tattoo Convention and others. We have been proud to welcome HRH Prince Of Wales, the Mayor Of London and other dignitaries to the venue, as well as supporting a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations such as Age UK, Business in The Community, Winter Pride, Action Against Hunger and the Contemporary Art Society with some of their fundraising activities.

As promised, please see below for answers to your queries and outline of some of the procedures we have in place at Tobacco Dock to minimise disturbance to local residents.

Egress from the Venue

We have the following policy in place to ensure safe and quiet egress for our events:

  • A taxi rank service is set up and managed for events finishing after 21:00. This is set up in our internal car park, ensuring guests are queuing within Tobacco Dock. Event security are briefed to ensure that any taxis trying to collect from Pennington Street are moved on.
  • Guests wishing to leave by foot (after 21:00,) are asked to leave via our Porters Passage exit and directed up Chigwell Hill away from Wapping Lane.
  • All organisers are advised that coach drops offs and collections can only be from Pennington Street (not Wapping Lane).
  • Event Security are present until the guests have departed away from Tobacco Dock and surrounding streets.


  • An organisers manual is issued to each event organiser which they need to comply with.
  • A minimum of two operations meetings are held for every event. This is a detailed meeting where the Operations Team at TDVL run through the event plan with the organiser. TDVL will advise if security, cleaning, egress plans are not acceptable and this must be rectified before the event can take place.

Security and Venue Staffing

  • TDVL have a minimum of 5 event security staff for a build/break day. Security for the event is ascertained by our preferred suppliers, once a detailed event plan is issued and a risk assessment is completed.
  • Event security are the first to arrive on site and the last to leave the venue.
  • Each loading bay in use has a security guard and a traffic marshal present.
  • A Venue Operations Manager is always onsite, whose role is to ensure that all of TDVL policies are adhered to. They will monitor the event as a whole (ensure that event security are in the correct positions, shared loading bays are kept clear, noise levels are monitored, egress is managed well, load in/outs are managed safely and within the agreed hours).
  • A Technical Support Manager is always onsite to monitor sound levels outside of Tobacco Dock as agreed in our Premises License conditions.


  • All organisers are advised that there is no loading on Wapping Lane or Pennington Street. If an exhibitor breaks this rule event security are to immediately ensure they are moved on.
  • Loading in Loading Bay 2 – event security are briefed to ensure that all suppliers loading/unloading are advised to keep noise to a minimum where possible.
  • Each Loading Bay in use has a event security present and a traffic marshal.

Street Cleaning

  • TDVL are in contact with Tower Hamlets and have been advised of the cleaning schedule for Wapping Lane and Pennington Street. They are sent a schedule on a monthly basis which advises what events are taking place and the number of guests expected.
  • All organisers are advised that the surrounding pavements should be cleared of litter after an event.
  • Local residents are welcomed to advise TDVL if they have seen any event related litter and we will immediately attend to this with our contract cleaners.

Discovery Walk

  • We were advised about the light shining into the property in November 2013 (this was a working light put up on Quayside for an event) and this was taken down. We have not had any further complaints regarding this.

Meeting with Local Residents

  • TDVL have tried to arrange meetings with local residents, however this has not come to fruition. We encourage regular meetings to take place (as we currently do with the Tower Hamlets. Met Police and other authorities) in order to update local residents of changes/improvements to how we operate and most importantly receive feedback.

Website and Contact Details

  • Information of our previous and up and coming events can be found on our website under the News section
  • TDVL are setting up a direct line for out of office hours contact for any concerns during events taking place.

The Bike Shed

We will be having a de-brief with the organisers (as we do for each and every event, whether they plan to return to Tobacco Dock or not). During the de-brief we will be raising the issue of revving motorcycles and suggest the following to be put into place for next year.

  • Correspondence to all guests and exhibitors advising them that the event takes place in a residential area and to be respectful of their noise levels.
  • Additional security to be booked to monitor the loading bay and car park on Wapping Lane.
  • 2 extra traffic marshals to monitor Quayside (by the ships) and Wapping Lane.

Clearly this noise nuisance from revving motor bikes was completely unacceptable and although it was taking place in the Wapping Lane car park which TDVL do not operate or have responsibility for, our Duty Operations Manager addressed the issue as soon as it was drawn to his attention.

Best Regards,


Head of Operations


From: <DOCKERILL>, Julia
Date: Friday, 6 June 2014
Subject: RE:

Dear Serene, Jonathan and Josh,

Thank you very much for taking the time to meet me today and discuss some of the concerns that have been expressed by residents about the impact of events at Tobacco Dock.

I suggested that it would be helpful if you were to produce a written summary of some of the actions you have taken to mitigate the impact of your events on the surrounding residential area. I should therefore be most grateful if you could briefly outline your response to the following complaints that I raised with you verbally:

-          Motorcycle event, 24 – 25 May. As discussed, the noise from revving motorcycles from this event was heard by a number of Wapping residents and there was concern that Tobacco Dock was not taking seriously its broader responsibilities over visitors to Wapping. What steps did you take on the day to manage traffic and guests leaving the venue? If this event takes place again, what discussions will you be having with the event organisers to ensure that the noise from motorcycles is better managed?

-          Tobacco Dock is not taking sufficient responsibility for littering and anti-social behaviour, particularly around Eluna apartments and Kingsley Mews.

-          Tobacco Dock is happy to use Wapping as part of its marketing but has no sense of community responsibility

-          There is no presence on the streets after events and at Christmas Eluna residents reported drunken screaming, broken bottles and vomit immediately outside their building.

-          Light from one event was shining directly into a property on Discovery Walk.

-          Problems over the loading bay for Kingsley Mews residents.

As I advised at our meeting, my main aim is to build productive, helpful and positive relationships between local people. Do let me know if I can be of help in any way and let’s stay in touch so that any problems and misunderstandings can be ironed out quickly.

Best wishes,


Cllr Julia Dockerill



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