Following completion of the Licensing Officer’s report some additional material was submitted by the applicant – this material has been attached at Annex 8.
The Licensing Officer introduced the matter for determination and informed the Licensing Sub-Committee that Lidl had applied for a New Premises Licence to permit the sale by retail of alcohol for consumption off the premises, from 07:00 hours to 23:00 hours daily, in respect of the premises known as Lidl, 153-161 London Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 6NU.
The Licensing Officer informed the Licensing Sub-Committee that the proposed hours of operation were laid out in Annex 2.
The Licensing Officer explained that the applicant had advertised the application, as required, by way of a public notice displayed at the premises, and in a local newspaper. The application had also been made available on the Council’s website for the full consultation period. In addition, some 685 addresses were consulted in writing and informed that an application had been received. One valid representation was received from Other Persons. The representation referred to matters that related to the Prevention of Public Nuisance and the Prevention of Crime and Disorder Licensing Objectives. A copy of the representation was attached at Annex 4. Following submission of the representation the applicant made direct contact with the objector in an attempt to alleviate their concerns and a copy of this was contained within the late material provided to the Licensing Sub-Committee.
It was confirmed that all Responsible Authorities received a copy of the Application and the Metropolitan Police as the Responsible Authority for the Prevention of Crime and Disorder Licensing Objective initially raised concerns regarding the Application. Following further consultation the Applicant had addressed the concerns by making amendments to their Operating Schedule. These amendments were reflected in the conditions shown in Annex 3 of the report before the Licensing Sub-Committee. In light of these amendments, the representations made by Responsible Authorities had been satisfied.
The Licensing Sub-Committee first heard from the Applicant who stated it was important to note that no representations were received from the Responsible Authorities. The Police had contacted Lidl on receipt of the application and had asked for additional conditions that were readily agreed.
The Applicant referred to concerns raised by the Objector in relation to street drinking, drugs and litter in the area known as Orchard Walk. The Applicant stated that Lidl would be spending in excess of £2 million on refurbishing the area including the internal and external areas and referred the Licensing Sub-Committee to the email sent to the Objector that detailed further work that would be carried out to the area.
The Applicant explained the processes and procedures that were in place at all Lidl stores to address the Licensing Objectives, to ensure alcohol was not sold to street drinkers or those under the ages of 18. All staff were trained in under age sales, how to identify proxy sales and street drinkers and how to deal with conflict. The Applicant referred the Licensing Sub-Committee to pages A36-A54 of the report containing extracts of training documentation and asked that particular attention be paid to page A38 regarding the way in which sales are refused by referral to a manager making that decision to take that away from conflict with the till staff.
The Applicant explained the layout of the premises was designed to avoid problems with shoplifting and to avoid encouraging street drinkers to enter to purchase alcohol. One of the conditions agreed with the Police was that no alcohol would be displayed within 3 metres of the entrance or exit of the premises. The Applicant explained that Lidl were experienced with working with the Police in the community to address issues of street drinking and gave an example relating to another store. It was explained that Lidl was also a funding partner of the Community Alcohol Partnership, was a member of the Retail and Alcohol Standards Group, work with Drink Aware and support local and national charities.
The Licensing Sub-Committee sought clarification from the Applicant on how planted areas would not attract littering and how local residents would not suffer any disproportionate disturbance from lighting and deliveries. The Applicant confirmed an external company would visit twice a week to deep clean the car park and shrubbed areas. The lighting would be set on a timer aligned with the activation of the store alarm and would also be equipped with sensors. Lidl would also work to ensure residents were not disturbed by deliveries.
The Licensing Sub-Committee sought clarification on the Applicant’s store- focused approach. The Applicant confirmed there was constant supervision and assessment of what was happening at a particular store, and excellent relationships were maintained with local police forces. The Applicant gave an example of a store in Shepherds Bush and how they had liaised with the Police to resolve issues of concern.
In their closing remarks the Applicant referred to concerns raised by the Objector in that if the Police had concerns about the area known as Orchard Walk, they would have continued with an objection to the application. The Applicant also highlighted the substantial investment that would be made in the area and the policies, procedures and training in place to ensure the licensing objectives would be addressed.
Reasoning and decision
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 considered the steps which were appropriate and proportionate to promote the Licensing Objectives, and after taking account of all relevant issues that had been raised in the application and by the written representations, decided to grant the application for a New Premise Licence subject to conditions as set out below.
The Sub-Committee decided to grant the application for a NEW PREMISES LICENCE authorising the sale by retail of alcohol for consumption off the premises from 07:00 to 23:00 daily, subject to conditions set out in the Applicant’s Operating Schedule in Annex 3 of the report before the Licensing Sub-Committee, as follows:
The prevention of crime & disorder
Closed Circuit television System (CCTV)
1. A comprehensive digital CCTV system to be installed internally and maintained in effective working order. The CCTV system shall be in operation at all times the premises is open to the public, and coverage will include the entrance/exit, alcohol display areas and the checkouts. Images will be stored for a period of not less than 28 days will be provided on to removable media to authorised bodies with 48 hours of a request being made.
Storage/display of alcohol
2. No alcohol products will be displayed for sale within 3 meters of the entrance/ exit of the store
3. Alcohol will not be sold in an open container and the consumption of alcohol on the premises will not be permitted
Personal licence holders
4. A Personal Licence Holder will ordinarily be on the premises during trading hours
The protection of children from harm
Challenge 25 policy
5. There will be a Challenge 25 policy operating at the premises. The holder of the premises licence shall ensure that every individual, who visually appears to be under 25 years of age and is seeking to purchase or be supplied with alcohol at the premises or from the premises, shall produce identification proving that individual to be 18 years of age or older. Acceptable identification for the purposes of age verification will include a driving licence, passport or photographic identification bearing the “PASS” logo and the person’s date of birth. If the person seeking alcohol is unable to produce acceptable means of identification, no sale or supply of alcohol will be made to or for that person.
6. In the event that an employee suspects that a person attempting to purchase alcohol is under the age of 25, is a street drinker or is attempting a proxy purchase they will immediately call the duty manager. The duty manager will make appropriate enquiries and will determine whether the sale should be permitted.
7. ‘Challenge 25’ posters shall be displayed in prominent positions at the premises.
8. An automated till prompt shall be set up so that the operator has to positively confirm that Challenge 25 has been complied with when the first item of alcohol has been scanned.
9. Staff will be trained regarding appropriate precautions to prevent the sale of alcohol to persons under the age of 18, the signs and symptoms of drunk persons and the refusal of sale due to intoxication. Staff will also be trained to recognise the signs of proxy purchases.
10. Records will be kept of such training for the member of staff who has received that training.
11.All staff will receive refresher training every six months as a minimum and records are to be kept of this refresher training.
12.Confirmation of training shall be made available to the Licensing Authority or Police within 7 days of a request.