The Licensing Officer introduced the matter for determination and informed the Licensing Sub-Committee that Kingston One Group Limited had applied for a variation of the Premises Licence for the premises known as The Kingston 1 Hotel, 88 London Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 6PX. The Application sought to remove condition 30 of the current Premises Licence (There shall be no consumption of alcohol or any bottles or glasses taken outside onto the pavement or other outside areas of the premises at any time) and replace it with conditions that allowed limited seating outside and consumption of alcohol outside with table meal conditions and to amend the plan attached to the premises licence to include that external seating area for use between 12:00 hours and 21:30 hours daily.
The application further sought to add a number of additional conditions to the Premises Licence in relation to the management and control of the external seating area.
The Licensing Officer informed the Licensing Sub-Committee that the current and proposed hours of licensable activities and operation were laid out in Annex 3.
The Licensing Officer explained that the applicant had advertised the application, as required, by way of a public notice at the premises and by advertisement in a local newspaper and that the application had also been advertised on the Council’s website for the full consultation period. In addition, some 968 addresses were consulted in writing and informed that an application had been received. 8 valid representations were received from Other Persons, 5 against and 3 in support of the application. One of the representations supporting the application was made on behalf of Tricorn Residents Association. The representations referred to matters that related to the Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Prevention of Public Nuisance and Protection of Children from Harm licensing objectives. Copies of the representations were attached at Annex 5.
It was confirmed that all Responsible Authorities received a copy of the application and no representations were received from those Responsible Authorities.
The Licensing Sub-Committee sought clarification from the Licensing Officer regarding the existing pavement licence, specifically when it was granted, how it differed if at all from what was being applied for, and if any complaints had been received regarding its operation. The Licensing Officer confirmed the pavement licence was issued on 22 March 2021, granted under the provisions of the Business and Planning Act 2020, which enabled trading on the highway for licensed premises. There were hours specified as part of the pavement licence in which tables and chairs could be placed outside (Monday to Sunday from 08:00 hours to 22:00 hours). The restrictions on the consumption of alcohol related to the Premises Licence and not the Pavement Licence. The Licensing Officer confirmed no complaints had been received since the Pavement Licence was granted and that conditions were attached relating to keeping the area tidy.
The Licensing Sub-Committee then heard from the Applicant who stated the amendments to the current Premises Licence were sought with the aim of customers being able to enjoy a drink outside while consuming a table meal.
The Applicant referred to concerns raised from Objectors about noise and stated there were only 12 seats in the outside area and that it was not a beer garden. In relation to the pavement, only 70cm of one side of the pavement was taken with the rest of the area on their premises. The Applicant stated they were aware of schools in the area and that is why they were also promoting a children’s menu, and had recently had a lot of families visit the premises with parents asking about the possibility of having an alcoholic drink with their food outside.
The Applicant referred to concerns from Objectors regarding public urination, stating that customers would be asked to finish their drinks or move back inside the premises when the outside area closes, and would be able to use the toilets inside the restaurant up until 23:00 hours so there would be no need for people to use the highway or private gardens. The Applicant observed that such behaviour was not the kind associated with the type of premises they were and want to run there.
In relation to concerns raised by Objectors that the character of the hotel would change to that of a pub, the Applicant referred to the drinks menu submitted to the Licensing Sub-Committee where bottled beers were not mentioned. The Applicant confirmed they had 4 types of beers on tap which are priced around £5.80 and are not popular beers that would target a particular type of clientele. The staff were also trained to refuse service to street drinkers as well as those already under the influence of alcohol. The Applicant also stated one waiter/waitress would be assigned to the outside area, and would check on it regularly during popular periods, such as Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
The Applicant concluded by stating they invest in the community by using local suppliers and by promoting Kingston as much as possible and informed the Licensing Sub-Committee of an upcoming article in The Telegraph.
Clarification was also sought by the Licensing Sub-Committee with regards to how the area was tidied up. The Applicant confirmed the tables were very light and could be cleared away in 5 minutes and put into a back room, with the rest of the area cleared and the pavement swept.
The Licensing Sub-Committee referred to concerns raised by the Objectors regarding the management of the outside area, specifically whether people had the option to get up and walk around and what supervision would be in place if people should walk around with their drinks, and whether glass or plastic receptacles would be used for drinks. The Applicant confirmed they had a bar supervisor in place trained in security and staff were also trained and able to address issues should they arise. The outside area was table service only; if people wanted to just have a drink they would be asked to go inside. Alcohol would be served in glass receptacles.
In their closing remarks the Applicant stated the reason for the application was so customers could enjoy a drink with a meal. They were not aiming to promote drunkenness or to serve people who are already intoxicated as it is against the law. Their philosophy was to develop a quality clientele that would visit their premises and visit Kingston.
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 and verbal representations, decided to grant the application to VARY the Premises Licence as sought and to remove condition 30 as sought subject to the new conditions as set out below.
The Licensing Sub-Committee noted that in the event of any future concerns, residents should discuss these in the first instance with the Premises Licence holder and that should this course of action not address these concerns, then a complaint could be made to the Licensing team or ultimately an application for Review of the Premises Licence could be submitted to the Licensing Sub-Committee for consideration.
The Licensing Sub-Committee decided to grant the application to VARY the PREMISES LICENCE as applied for and as detailed below:
? Remove condition 30 on the current premises licence, which restricts the consumption of alcohol in the external area;
? Amend the plan attached to the licence to include an external seating area;
? Add 7 conditions to the Premises Licence to control the external seating area. The conditions to be added are listed below.
Condition to be removed from the existing licence :
30. There shall be no consumption of alcohol or any bottles or glasses taken outside onto the pavement or other outside areas of the premises at any time.
Conditions to be added to the premises licence:
The prevention of crime & disorder
Control of external areas
1. The consumption of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks by patrons will not be allowed in any outdoor area other than the designated external seating area as shown on the plan attached to the premises licence.
2. Alcohol must not be sold, supplied, or consumed in the outside seating area otherwise than to persons who are taking substantial table meals and provided always that the consumption of alcohol by such persons is ancillary to taking such meals.
3. The external seating area will be cordoned-off with suitable barriers.
4. Capacity in the external seating area will be restricted to 12 seats only.
The prevention of public nuisance
Control of external areas
5. The external seating area will be checked every 15 minutes by the bar manager or supervisor to ensure that patrons behave in an orderly and neighbourly fashion.
6. One waiter/waitress will be tasked to serve and monitor the outside area exclusively.
7. The external drinking area shall not be used after 21:30 hours every day of the week.