The Licensing Officer introduced the matter for determination and informed the Sub-Committee that Initially, the application sought to provide the provision of regulated entertainment (recorded music) and the sale by retail of alcohol (for consumption on and off the premises), Monday to Sunday from 11:00 to 01:00 the following morning, and the provision of late night refreshment, Monday to Sunday from 23:00 to 01:00 the following morning. Following discussions with Responsible Authorities, the application was amended and it now seeks to provide the sale by retail of alcohol (for consumption on and off the premises), Monday to Sunday from 11:00 to 23:00. (Due to deregulation a licence for playing recorded music is no longer required for these amended hours and the provision of late night refreshment is not licensable between 05:00 hours and 23:00 hours. It is noted from the applicant’s application that the intention is to play background music only).
The application sought the grant of the following:
? to provide the sale by retail of alcohol (for consumption on and off the premises), Monday to Sunday from 11:00 to 23:00.
The Licensing Officer informed the Sub-Committee that the proposed hours of licensable activities and operation were laid out in Annex 2 of the report to the Licensing Sub-Committee.
The Licensing Officer explained that the applicant had advertised the application, as required, by way of a poster 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 304 addresses were consulted in writing and informed that an application had been received. 36 valid representations were received from Other Persons, however 3 representations were subsequently withdrawn. The representations made reference to matters that relate to all four licensing objectives. Copies of the representations were attached at Annex 4 of the report to the Licensing Sub-Committee.
It was confirmed that all Responsible Authorities received a copy of the application and no representations were received from those Responsible Authorities. The Metropolitan Police, as the Responsible Authority for the Prevention of Crime and Disorder licensing objective, Trading Standards, as the Responsible Authority for The Protection of Children from Harm licensing objective, and the Council’s Environmental Health (Noise Pollution) Officer, as the Responsible Authority for the Prevention of Public Nuisance licensing objective, initially raised concerns regarding the application. Following further consultation, the applicant has addressed the concerns by making amendments to their operating schedule.
The Sub-Committee first heard from the applicant who explained that the business had been in operation since July 2020 and has operated a “bring your own bottle” policy. The applicant sought to address the concerns raised by other persons by clarifying the premises would close at 23:00 hours daily in line with other businesses in the area and that most of the objections received related to the initially proposed hours of operation, and that these hours had now been amended which they hoped would alleviate the concerns of objectors. Alcohol would only be allowed to leave the premises in sealed containers, with no glassware being permitted to be taken off the premises, which they hoped would address any concerns raised regarding an increase of litter and broken glass in the area. In relation to antisocial behaviour in the neighbourhood, the applicant felt it was unreasonable to claim it was only their customers that were responsible for problems as there were several other restaurants and off licences in the area with similar opening hours.
The applicant stated they understood the fears of objectors that another licensed premises would lead to an increase of problems in the area, but they did not expect the number of customers to increase substantially and had agreed to all conditions put forward by responsible authorities.
In relation to concerns raised by objectors regarding suspicious activity at the rear of the premises, the applicant explained that the people mentioned in the objections had no connection with the premises. The applicant also wanted to be clear that they had not received any fines for breaching Covid restrictions.
The applicant explained that the restaurant would not be an alcohol-led premises, and that robust arrangements were in place to limit any problems, for example the use of a closed-circuit television system (CCTV). In addition, the external area would not be used after 21:00 hours. If the CCTV was not working for any reason then alcohol would not be sold and staff would also be trained in alcohol sales every six months.
In relation to complaints about noise, the applicant apologised, and explained that no loud speakers would be placed in any external area of the premises and a suitable noise complaints procedure would be established and operated at the premises.
The Licensing Sub-Committee questioned the applicant on the significant number of complaints received from local residents about noise, including in relation to the back entrance to the premises, and whether anti-social behaviour in the area was attributed to them or other premises in the area. The applicant stated they believed the number of objections was high due to a single resident organising neighbours to make representations, and that the objections were not specifically in relation to their application but for the idea of what may happen in the area if they were successful, but if residents had any concerns they would be welcome to come and speak to them directly. The applicant explained they had not had any issues with their customers previously and that they had CCTV to prove that.
The Licensing Sub-Committee sought clarification on how residents could contact the applicant to report any concerns, and how the smoking area was monitored. The applicant explained residents were welcome to visit in person or could email or call the premises to discuss any concerns. The smoking area at the front of the premises was covered by the CCTV system and would be kept clean at all times. After 21:00 hours, the external area would be limited to three people smoking only.
The Licensing Sub-Committee then heard a representation from a local resident, who explained there had been an increase in noise disturbance since the premises had opened, including during the fit out phase, and alleged that staff had displayed aggressive behaviour with staff filming and laughing when neighbours had approached the premises to raise concerns. The resident informed the Licensing Sub-Committee that people were sitting in the front external area until 23:00 hours the night before, and had concerns that, if the premises could not deal with issues now, then they would not be able to in the future with a new licence. The resident also explained that other residents felt too scared to raise objections and that the issues with the premises had happened during covid restrictions and could only get worse after restrictions were eventually lifted.
The Licensing Sub-Committee queried the resident asking if they were aware of any noise or disturbance from other establishments in the area or whether it was just from the premises in question. The resident explained there had been similar disturbance issues with two other establishments but, after contacting them, those establishments resolved the issues, whereas in the case of the premises in question nothing had been done.
The Legal Advisor advised the Licensing Sub-Committee that in the standard pool of conditions, a condition is available, stating that “a contact number for the duty manager must be prominently displayed where it can be conveniently read from the exterior of the premises by members of the public” so this was something that could be considered.
The Licensing Sub-Committee asked the resident if the concerns around noise were specifically to do with outside the premises. The resident explained that there was a lot of coming and going and congregating at the front of the premises, and that people did not only stay in the smoking area but would also stand in the parking bays.
The Licensing Sub-Committee sought clarification on what the resident meant by aggressive behaviour specifically in relation to the premises staff. The resident explained a lot of the concern was to do with noise including the revving of cars and that she had recognised staff members involved in this, and that they would also film and point at residents when they came to their windows. The resident also explained that other neighbours felt scared to complain in case the noise levels increased as a result.
The Licensing Sub-Committee then heard a representation made by a second local resident who alleged that during the height of Covid he had witnessed people outside the premises on their phones taking instructions on how to enter the premises via the rear entrance, and that this should be a concern in relation to the granting of any licence.
The resident explained that, due to planning permission granted for the premises, they had built right up to the rear boundary, meaning the only outside area was at the front causing people to congregate. This also resulted in the bins for the business being stored in an alleyway meant to service neighbouring properties. People would also congregate around cars parked at the front of the premises causing a noise disturbance without regard to local residents.
The resident raised concerns about other neighbours feeling reluctant to speak out due to the examples of alleged aggressive behaviour given by the previous resident in her representation, and emphasised to the Licensing Sub-Committee that the premises was in a primarily residential area and the proposed extension to holiday hours would not be good for the area. The resident also explained that the area experienced heavy footfall late at night on a footbridge over the A3. Although they stated those people were not necessarily linked to the premises in question, anything that could potentially lead to an increase in noise disturbance in this area would not be good for local residents.
The Licensing Sub-Committee queried the resident’s comments regarding the footbridge over the A3, and asked the Legal Advisor to clarify at what point the licensee would be responsible for anti-social behaviour at that location. The Legal advisor explained that beyond the immediate vicinity of the premises the licence holder is not responsible and that those people would be responsible within their own right. However, it was stated that conditions could be imposed to regulate the smoking area and monitoring of the outside area.
It was noted by the Licensing Sub-Committee that the resident did not wish to see a precedent set for late night licensing in the area, and had concerns with even a standard licence being granted.
The Licensing Sub-Committee then heard a representation made by another local resident, who explained that he was generally supportive of restaurants and shops in the area but the owners of the premises in question needed to take responsibility for the situation they had created. The resident did not recognise the comments made by the applicant that one resident had organised the majority of representations, as the strength of feeling from residents had come from the original application to extend hours until 03:00 hours.
The resident informed the Licensing Sub Committee that he had concerns regarding the non-standard hours as it was not clear what closing times were specified and he would have concerns about them being extended, and wanted to know if shisha was being smoked at the premises. The resident also had concerns regarding the rear of the premises, as he had witnessed customers congregating there creating a noise disturbance. It was later confirmed by the applicant that there would be no shisha smoking at the premises.
The Licensing Sub Committee sought clarification on the resident’s comments relating to the rear of the premises, and whether customers were smoking in that area. The resident confirmed he had witnessed customers smoking there and that there was a lot of coming and going causing a noise disturbance.
The Legal Advisor responded to a question from the Licensing Sub Committee in relation to the non standard timings sought in the application. The Legal Advisor explained that these times had been amended following objections raised by Environmental Health in the original application. The applicant would be able to apply for Temporary Event Notices (TENs) for one off events which could be objected to by the Police or Environmental Health only and, if this led to a hearing before a Sub-Committee, these may be granted subject to the conditions imposed on the licence or refused.
In closing remarks the applicant explained he had not been aware of the majority of issues raised by objectors apart from the revving of car engines and an issue of one of the restaurant lights being too bright, but those issues had been resolved. The Applicant offered an apology for all of the issues raised by the other persons and provided his phone number so that residents could contact him directly if there were any concerns in the future.
Reasoning and decision
In making their decision, the 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 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 in part the application subject to conditions as set out below.
The Sub-Committee had regard to the relevant written representations from thirty three residents which raised concerns relating to all four of the licensing objectives and agreed to impose some additional conditions with the aim of reducing the likelihood of any further issues arising.
The Sub-Committee decided to grant in part the application for a new PREMISES LICENCE, subject to conditions, as follows:
The prevention of crime & disorder
1. The premises shall install and maintain a comprehensive closed-circuit television system
a) All recordings shall be stored for a minimum of 31 days with date and time stamping.
b) Recordings shall be made available immediately upon the request of Police or authorised officer throughout the preceding 31 day period.
c) The digital CCTV will cover all areas to where public have access, including the external areas that the public have access too.
d) CCTV will be recording at all times when premises is open, and the recordings will be of evidential quality in all lighting conditions and be of a sufficient quality to produce in court of hearing.
e) All images downloaded from the CCTV must be provided in a format which can be viewed on regularly available equipment without the need for specialist software.
f) At all times the premises is open to the public a minimum of one member of staff on duty will be able to operate the CCTV.
g) The CCTV system shall be maintained in effective working order.
h) Suitable signage shall be displayed at the premises in a prominent position as customers enter the premises stating that CCTV is in operation.
2. There will be clear signs on display indicating it
will not be permitted for glass wear to leave the premises.
3. The premises will be used primarily as a restaurant.
4. Alcohol may only be sold to those persons who are seated and taking a table meal.
Alcohol, restrictions on sale
5. No vertical drinking will take place in the
premises at any time.
6. Alcohol sold for consumption off the premises may only be sold in sealed containers.
7. Off sales are only permitted with customer collections or home deliveries of a substantive meal and shall be limited to a maximum of 8 cans / bottles of beer, lager or cider and 2 bottles of wine.
8. An incident log shall be kept at the premises, and made available immediately upon request by an authorised officer of the Council or the Police, which will record the following:
a) all crimes reported to the venue;
b) all ejections of patrons;
c) any incidents of disorder;
d) any faults in the CCTV system;
e) any visit by a relevant authority or emergency service.
9. A plan dated 14/05/2021 is appended to and forms part of this licence detailing where the alcohol is to be displayed.
The prevention of public nuisance
10. The licence holder will promote the effective and quiet dispersal of patrons from the premises by, where appropriate, requesting them both verbally and by signage to leave and disperse in an orderly and quiet manner and refrain from loitering outside the premises so as not to disturb nearby residents.
11. All staff will be trained to ask customers to leave quietly in the evening when necessary.
12. Staff shall endeavour to move customers on and discourage them from congregating within the external area and the immediate vicinity of the premises.
13. There will be appropriate signage at the premises requesting customers to leave the premises quietly.
14. No customers or staff shall be permitted to utilise the front external area under the control of the licence holder between 21:00 hours and the end of opening hours on any day (save for smokers- see later condition imposed).
15. No loud speakers are to be located in any external area of the premises at any time.
16. The frontage of the premises shall be kept clean at all times.
17. The external area will be monitored by management at all times.
18. Clear and legible notices must be prominently displayed at any area used for smoking, requesting customers to respect the needs of local residents and use the area quietly.
Doors and windows
19. The roof light windows within the rear extension of the building shall be closed between 21:00 hours and the end of opening hours on any day.
20. All windows and doors will be kept shut during any indoor events.
21. A suitable complaints procedure must be established and in operation at the premises.
22. All staff must be familiar with the procedure and any complaint made in respect of the premises must be investigated and remedied so far as is reasonably practicable to prevent public nuisance.
Collection of waste and deliveries
23. No waste shall be collected from or deliveries made to the premises between 23:00 hours and 07:00 hours, including the removal outside of empty bottles, waste or kegs.
24. The licence holder shall ensure that all employees are made aware of the conditions attached to this licence through induction and refresher training procedures.
25. Lighting shall be installed in such a way as not to cause a disturbance or nuisance to nearby residents.
The protection of children from harm
Age verification – challenge 25
26. The premises will operate a challenge 25 policy.
a) Evidence of age in the form of photographic identification (ID) shall be requested from any person appearing to those selling or supplying alcohol to be under the age of 25 and who is attempting to buy alcohol.
b) Acceptable identification for the purpose of this condition is that issued by a government agency bearing a holographic mark with a photograph and date of birth, or the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) approved age cards.
c) Notices shall be strategically and prominently placed at points of sale advising customers that they may be asked to provide evidence of age.
d) A refusals book to record every instance that sales of alcohol are refused shall be maintained.
e) The refusals book shall document the date and time a refusal of sale is made and the member of staff refusing the sale.
f) The refusal book shall be available for inspection by the police or authorised local authority officers.
Notices, sales to children
27. Notices shall be strategically and prominently placed on the premises detailing the restrictions on sales to children.
28. All sales of alcohol for delivery must be paid at the time of ordering using a debit or credit card.
29. At the time an order including alcohol is placed, a declaration will be required from the person placing the order confirming that they are 18 years of age or older. Service must be declined to any person who does not sign the declaration.
30. Prior to completing the order, the customer is informed that on delivery an acceptable form of photographic ID proving that they are 18 years of age or over will be required.
31. All delivery persons must be aged 18 years or more.
32.The alcohol must be packaged separately from goods that aren’t subject to age related sales, so that it can easily be retrieved to prevent an illegal sale.
33. Details of the order (including the type, amount of alcohol, name and address of the customer) shall be kept at the licensed premises and must be shown on the printout despatched with the order.
34. All delivery drivers and riders must allow any police or authorised local authority officers to inspect any alcohol or order details on request.
35. The delivery of alcohol shall be made only to a residential or business address and the customer to be clearly resident inside the building. The delivery of alcohol will not be made or completed to a person in a public place (for example a street corner, park or bus stop).
36. The person taking the order and /or making the delivery must ensure that the recipient is 18 years of age. A check shall be made to ensure the person accepting the delivery has the debit/credit card used for the purchase. If they appear under 25 years of age, photographic ID will be required before the alcohol is handed over. Examples of appropriate ID include a passport, photographic driving licence, military ID and the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) approved age cards.
37. Where a third party courier is used to supply alcohol, they will be instructed to provide an age verification service or adopt a policy of checking age and ID at the time of delivery. The courier must adopt a policy of not allowing minors to sign for and accept deliveries. A record of all couriers used and the system that they use to verify age will be kept and produced upon request from the police or authorised local authority officers.
38. All staff shall be trained before they are allowed to sell any alcohol to the public.
a) Records of staff training along with any training material used must be kept by the Designated Premises Supervisor or Premises Licence Holder.
b) All training records shall be signed by the trainer and trainee in respect of training received.
c) The premises licence holder shall implement a training manual and all members of staff shall be suitably trained in underage sales prevention before making any sales
d) Refresher training shall be carried out every six months for all staff and documented within the training records.
e) The training records shall be available for inspection by the police or authorised local authority officers.
39. A refusal book will be maintained and made available to the Police and to an authorised officer of the Local Authority upon request.
40. The refusals book shall document the date and time a refusal of sale is made and the member of staff refusing the sale.
41. The log shall include the address to which alcohol was delivered but the sale refused, the reason(s) for refusal and a description of the individuals involved.
42. The log will be checked and signed by the
Designated Premises Supervisor on a weekly basis.
c ) Conditions imposed by the Licensing Sub-Committee: