Agenda item

Dumplin Factory, Unit 1, 6-12 Tulse Hill, London, SW2 2BD (Tulse Hill)

Minutes:

Presentation by the Licensing Officer

The Sub-Committee was informed that this was an application for a new a premises licence. The Sub-Committee’s attention was drawn to chapters 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 of the Statutory Guidance and Sections 4, 5, 6, 8 and 16 of the Statement of Licensing Policy as the ones particularly relevant to this application. The options available to the Sub- Committee were set out in paragraph 6.2 of the report on page 10-11 of the agenda papers.

The Licensing Officer confirmed that:

·           This was an application for a new premises licence to permit late-night refreshment on Thursday to Saturday from 2300 -0500 hours.

·           Representations had been received from 23 residents and the Licensing team.

·           Ten residents that had objected to the application were in attendance at the meeting. 

·           The application could be found on pages 13-23 of the agenda papers.

·           The layout of the premises could be found on page 31 of the agenda papers.

·           The representations could be found from pages 37-65 of the agenda papers. Redacted copies of representations provided to the applicant could be found on Annex C of the agenda papers.

·           The applicant had written to the objectors but they had maintained their objections.

·           The applicant had agreed to conditions proposed by the Police. These could be found at Annex D of the agenda papers.

·           The applicant had not agreed to reduce or change the hours proposed.

 

Presentation by the applicant

The applicant, Mr Damian Cardoso Freitas, informed the Sub-Committee that:

·           At age 23, this was his first business venture.

·           He wanted to create a healthy option for local residents and the general public.

·           His target audience were public servants.

·           He had been a bus driver for two and half years and found that there was a struggle with rota patterns for bus drivers. This resulted in a lack of healthy food options for the bus drivers. The only food options for them tended to be kebabs and fast food.

·           He had read through the objections and had set provisions to prevent issues from occurring at the premises.

·           Objectors had raised concerns about parking and parking directly outside premises would not be tolerated. Parking was available across the road and around the corner.

·           In relation to the noise issues raised, he had just opened this past Saturday and found that most of the patrons were ordering takeaway, rather than eating on the premises.

·           He took pride in the premises and did not want any littering around the area and would pick up litter himself if he observed it.

·           Pest control measures will be taken and stock for the premises would be delivered from 10:00 to 11:00.

·           A phone number would be made available for residents who observed any issues with the premises. 

 

In response to questions from members,Mr Cardoso Freitas informed the Sub-Committee that:

·           The premises would sell dumplings, bagels, smoothies and milkshakes. There would also be coffee and tea in the near future.

·           The food and drink would be kept at edible temperature levels or heated in a microwave.

·           He would set up a CCTV system and maintain a logbook.

·           He would keep open and organised communications with the Police.

·           He had sent a letter to residents apologising for the lack of consultation.

·           He had engaged with residents incorrectly and should have contacted them at the initial stages of his application. He had sent a letter to the residents that had objected to try and address their concerns.

·           He understood that in planning terms, the premises was entitled to operate within the A1 use class and as such, he  was allowed to maintain food at a certain temperature or re-heat food under that class.

 

At this point in proceedings, the Legal officer advised that planning issues were not relevant to the Licensing Sub-Committee.  The questions that were asked by the Sub-Committee were simply to understand the applicant’s intentions in relation to the use of the premises.

In response to questions from members,Mr Cardoso Freitas informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·           Only staff were allowed in the kitchen area.

·           A toilet was allocated to staff members near the kitchen area.

·           Food was stored on the shop floor not in the kitchen.

·           The premises had a counter cooler, so no food was displayed in the kitchen.

·           The food was prepared and sourced from a company (or from his own home) but in the future the food may be sourced from a resident that lived very close to the premises.

·           He was aware that one of the conditions restricted the hours of delivery to the premises and if the licence was granted then he would be bound by this condition.

·           He was aware that if the premises was running low on food stock at anytime, he would not be able to allow for deliveries to be made at the premises outside of the agreed hours for delivery.

·           He had requested a terminal hour of 05:00 as bus drivers had unusual working patterns. Bus drivers worked extensively from Thursday to Saturday and had four days off every three weeks. Drivers often would have to work longer than their official shifts as they would have to drive the bus back to the station and this would take more time. The terminal hour of 05:00 would give drivers more time to buy food.

·           He had worked at Stockwell bus garage and the premises was a ten minute drive away from there. The premises would seek its patrons from the Stockwell Bus garage (which had 500 bus drivers) and the Brixton Police Station. 

·           CCTV would be fully in operation and activities would be logged and recorded.

·           He had lived in Brixton and Tulse Hill for 18 years and understood the community and was good at communicating with them.

·           If an incident was to occur outside the premises or near the premises then he would attempt to intervene and resolve the issue. However, if it was something that he considered to be out of his control he would contact the Police.

 

 

Presentation from interested parties:

Mr Ola Owojori, Licensing Manager, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·           The hours sought by the applicant were beyond the policy hours. 

·           No alcohol was being served but the implication of having the premises located in a residential area and nearby other licensed premises could create several issues.

·           Patrons leaving the other licensed premises in the area could simply enter at the premises potentially creating nuisance.

·           Patrons, whilst waiting to be served and generally inhabiting the area, could cause noise and loud levels of conversation.

·           If the business was successful, then this would attract greater levels of patrons leading to greater levels of nuisance.

·           Although the applicant had agreed to conditions proposed by the Licensing team, the terminal hour of 05:00 was not suitable for the area.

·           The conditions proposed by the Licensing team would be able to mitigate some concerns but could not guarantee that residents would not be disturbed.

 

In response to questions from members, Mr Owojori informed the Sub-Committee that:

·           The policy would allow for licensing activity until 01:00 but he would prefer a terminal hour of 23:00. In this scenario, the applicant would not need a premises licence and residents would not be disturbed.

 

 

The Sub-Committee was then addressed by residents. Mr Michael Rybacki informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·           He hoped that the business would be successful whilst operating normal working hours. Objectors were simply objecting to the extended opening times.

·           If the Sub-Committee allowed this application to be granted as sought then they would be in contradiction of the planning regulations set for the premises.

 

At this point in the proceedings, the Legal Officer advised that the Sub-Committee was guided by the Licensing Act 2003 and that it would be outside of the remit of the Sub-Committee to consider the application of planning law when determining an applications for a premises licence.  If the application was successful, then any contravention in planning regulations would be a matter of planning law and for the planning department to enforce.

 

 

MrRybacki further informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·                                   It was unclear how the applicant would be able to intervene in any incidents that took place at the premises if he was busy serving food.

·                                   He was not convinced that the CCTV recorded the visual profile of everybody entering the premises.

·                                   Patrons entering or returning with larger groups of people could feel threatening.

·                                   The application was not suitable to the area.

 

Mr Theo Devaney informed the Sub-Committee that:

·         He supported the previous representation.

·         When the entrance way would be blocked by a vehicle, it would be difficult to track down the individual whose vehicle it was in order to ask them to move it.

·         The applicant needed to employ an individual to simply manage the behaviour of the patrons.

·         He ran a coaching practice from his apartment and his clients were usually people who worked between Monday to Friday. Therefore he would start early on Saturdays and Sundays and if he was unable to sleep due to the noise in the area he may not be able to sleep until 05:00.

·         His bedroom window directly overlooked the driveway near the premises. 

 

Mr Mark Mitchison informed the Sub-Committee that:

·                     He agreed with the previous speakers.

·                     The issues in the area would become unavoidable due to noise, litter and traffic in the driveway and no precautionary measures could be taken to rectify the situation.

·                     The majority of the patrons attending the premises late at night consuming alcohol would be less considerate to residents in the area.

·                     On 15 September 2018, the premises was open past 23:00 with cars blocking the driveway. This could be a sign of things to come if the licence was granted.

 

Ms Laura Moorcraft informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·                          She respected and admired the applicant's ambition start a business but the premises should operate hours that were regularly operated by cafes.

·                          She lived directly above the entrance to the premises and the resulting loitering and antisocial behaviour would have a significant detrimental effect on the area.

·                          Two years ago, similar issues occurred with another premises which was open beyond 23:00.

·                          The loitering of people was a concern particularly for female individuals coming home.

·                          Noise and intoxicated individuals were hard to control.

·                          The fact that the premises had already held an event where large volume of cars had blocked gates in the area before the licence had even been granted was a cause for concern.

 

In response to questions from members, Ms Moorcroft, Mr Mitchison, Mr Rybacki, Mr Devaney informedthe Sub-Committee that:

 

·         Even the terminal hour of 23:00 was very late for a café. It was possible that if the café only proposed to open until 23:00, then residents would object to this anyway.

·         There was a large group of people who were gathered at the event held at the premises on 15 September 2018. In future, there could be a large group of people attending the premises who could become aggressive.

·         On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, another premises nearby, the Hootenanny, would operate late into the night and it was attended by many people. Therefore, a new licensed premises would simply cause more people to enter into the area creating further nuisance.

 

At this point in the proceedings, the Legal officer clarified that according to the councils statement of licensing policy the terminal hour for a premises of the kind applied for by the applicant was 23:00 Monday to Sunday and not as otherwise indicated by Mr Owojori. Furthermore, had the applicant sought hours that were inside these policy hours, then the premises would not by law require a licence.

The applicant was recalled to address matters arising.In response to questions from members, Mr Cardoso Freitas informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·         The event held on 15 September 2018 was food testing for friends and family members and not for the general public. The premises closed at 23:00 when the event was over.

·         The premises was officially opened yesterday.

 

 

Adjournment and Decision

At 7.47pm, the Sub-Committee withdrew from the meeting together with the legal adviser and clerk to deliberate in private. The Sub-Committee had heard and considered representations from all those who spoke. Legal advice was given to the Sub-Committee on the options open to them and the need for any decision to be proportionate. The Sub- Committee decided to refuse the application.

 

RESOLVED: To refuse the application.

           

Announcement of Decision

The Sub-Committee considered the evidence and the submissions made by all parties and determined to refuse the application. The Sub-Committee stated that this was an application for late night refreshment on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The premises would be able to operate until 23:00 without a premises licence. The Sub-Committee, having considered the evidence decided to refuse the application. The application was against policy hours, it was located in a residential area, above residential propertiesand not located in major town centre. It was reasonable that these should premises have a terminal hour of 23:00 Monday to Sunday. If the Sub-Committee was to depart from the policy then it was the responsibility of the applicant to put in place measures in his operating schedule to address concerns regarding public nuisance that might accrue in this residential area particularly given the close proximity of the premises to other licensed premises. The Sub-Committee had to be mindful of the location and the risk of public nuisance partly due to the applicant’s business model as patrons would be arriving in cars from Stockwell bus garage. The Sub-Committee felt the decision to refuse the application in these circumstances was appropriate and proportionate tothe application. 

 

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