The Licensing Officer introduced the matter for determination and it was noted that the application provided for a variation to the existing premises licence to permit the provision of late night refreshment from 23:00 hours to 05:00 hours daily. The application, if granted, would in effect enable the premises to serve customers during all the licensable hours and be open 24 hours each day, seven days each week, if it chose to do so.
The Licensing Officer explained that the applicant had advertised the application, as required, by way of a public notice at the premises and that the application had been advertised on the Council’s website. All Responsible Authorities had received a copy of the application. The Metropolitan Police as the Responsible Authority for the prevention of crime and disorder and the Council’s Environmental Protection Officer (Pollution Control) as Responsible Authority for the prevention of public nuisance had made representations to the application. 445 addresses were consulted in writing and informed that an application had been received. Four valid representations were received from Other Parties. The representations made reference to matters that relate to the prevention of public nuisance and prevention of crime and disorder licensing objectives.
On behalf of the applicant, and in summary, Muhammed Bilal Meer confirmed the details of the application and the reasons for its submission, referring to the difficulty faced by businesses during the Covid pandemic and the assistance that would be given to Best Kebab and Pizza by the variation to the premises licence. Mr Meer referred to the street barrier in Chatham Road that separated the premises from the residential part of that road and also affected business conditions. In response to questions from the Sub-Committee, Mr Meer stated that take-away food deliveries from the premises are made by 2 cars only, parked at the rear of the shop, and that motorcycle delivery does not take place. Mr Meer also stated that Deliveroo would be able to collect and deliver food although this would also be by car only.
The Sub-Committee then heard the representations of Ryan Dowding (on behalf of the Metropolitan Police), along with PC Lee Hopkins and PC Robert Schofield. In summary, Mr Dowding put forward the objections of the Metropolitan Police to the variation in premises licence hours, referring to sympathies with the business impact of Covid, but contending that an expansion of the premises hours in this location until 05.00 would give rise to a negative cumulative impact on anti-social behaviour and the prevention of the crime and disorder licensing objective, citing crime statistics for the area which confirmed significant numbers of violence and drugs offences on Cambridge Road (and in Norbiton ward generally), along with multiple instances of littering, noise, rowdying and street drinking. It was noted that no other similar local premises were authorised to open until 05.00 and that a variation of the licence to Best Kebab and Pizza to provide this would be likely to exacerbate crime problems in the vicinity.
Mr Dowding went on to say that crime statistics also showed that drug and violence offences in the area peaked between 01.00 and 02.00. The Sub-Committee also noted the details of a warning letter sent to the previous Premises Licence Holder by the Licensing Officer, dated 26.1.21, that drew attention to unauthorised opening and deliveries until 03.30 and 05.30 respectively. Mr Dowding also drew attention to advertisements from online take-away delivery companies indicating that motorcycle delivery would be available from the premises. The Sub-Committee then asked questions and Mr Dowding, PC Hopkins and PC Schofield responded.
Richard Odell from the Environmental Protection Team at Royal Borough of Kingston then spoke to confirm his objections to the granting of the variation to the licence in view of concerns relating to the prevention of public nuisance licensing objective. Mr Odell confirmed that there is no parking outside the premises and that although the applicant stated that motorcycles were not used for delivery purposes it could not be assumed this situation would continue were business to increase. He also said that a variation to the licence to provide for additional hours of operation until 05.00 would be likely to increase noise disturbance to local residents in the area late at night as other local establishments did not open until this time.
The Sub-Committee noted that Other Persons that had submitted representations had not registered to speak at the hearing. The Sub-Committee duly noted the details of the representations submitted.
As the hearing proceeded toward a conclusion, Mr Meer then provided his closing remarks, during which he again confirmed that take-away delivery from the premises was only by car and that motorcycle delivery did not take place.
In making their decision, the Licensing Sub-Committee considered the merits of the application and had regard to the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and Guidance issued by the Secretary of State under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003. The Licensing Sub-Committee in promoting the Licensing Objectives considered the steps which were appropriate to promote the licensing objectives and, after taking account of all relevant issues that had been raised in the application and the written and verbal representations, decided to refuse the application for a variation of the Premises Licence, as detailed below.
In considering the application, the Licensing Sub-Committee took account of the oral representations put forward by the applicant, along with the oral and written representations submitted by the Responsible Authorities and the written representations submitted by Other Persons.
Having fully considered these matters, the Licensing Sub-Committee decided to refuse the application for a variation to the existing premises licence for Best Kebab and Pizza to permit the provision of late night refreshment from 23:00 hours to 05:00 hours daily.
In coming to this decision, the Sub-Committee has also taken account of the licensing hours of other nearby premises which do not trade until 05.00, and considers that granting the variation would be contrary to the prevention of crime and disorder and prevention of public nuisance licensing objectives in view of the concerns expressed regarding the possible detrimental impact on the already significant levels of crime offending in the area, and the possible detrimental impact on nearby residents of increased numbers of patrons frequenting Best Kebab and Pizza, or using its delivery service.
The Licensing Sub-Committee considered this decision to be appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives.
The Licensing Sub-Committee considered that the applicant had not been able to demonstrate that he would be in a position to address these concerns and that no suitable licensing conditions could be imposed, on a variation of the premises licence, to manage these concerns.
The Sub-Committee considers it would not be appropriate to vary the licence, applied for, in these circumstances.
Resolved, that the application from Mr Mohammed Bilal Meer be refused for a variation to the existing premises licence in respect of Best Kebab and Pizza, 29 Cambridge Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 3NQ to permit the provision of late night refreshment from 23:00 hours to 05:00 hours daily.