Agenda item

Savannah Marie, 14 Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7UT (Larkhall)

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 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15 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 11 of the agenda papers.

 

The Licensing Officer explained that the applicant did not appear to be present at the meeting, that the application had been previously adjourned at the applicant’s request and that the Licensing team had not received any contact from the applicant since 4 October 2018.

 

The Sub-Committee decided to go ahead with the proceedings as the applicant had been notified and had given no indication that they wished to attend the meeting and had been made aware that this meeting would take place this evening. Furthermore, the applicant was informed at the meeting on 4 October 2018 when they made the application to adjourn that the application would be heard at this meeting.

 

The Licensing Officer confirmed:

 

·      This was a new application, seeking authorisation for live music and performance of dance from 17:00-22:00 Monday to Sunday.

·      The applicant had also applied for the supply of alcohol 12:00 – 22:00 Monday to Thursday, 12:00 – 00:00 Friday and Saturday and 12:00- 21:00 on Sunday. 

 

Presentation from interested parties

 

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

 

·      This application was for a restaurant with a bar facility and was located in a cumulative impact zone.

·      The applicant had not specified how they would operate the premises to tackle the existing problems in the area.

·      The application proposed that the premises would operate as a café and restaurant but could also operate as a bar and this would significantly impact the area.

·      Noise nuisance would be caused by patrons drinking all day and it was therefore important to have adequate conditions in place. However, the applicant had not indicated if they agreed to the conditions or not.

·      It was difficult to get hold of the applicant to reach an agreement.

·      Pages 37-39 of the agenda papers outlined the proposed conditions including a condition which would allow the premises only to serve alcohol ancillary to a table meal.

·      Page 33 of the agenda papers displayed a plan showing that patrons would have to go through the kitchen in order to access the toilet and that was not acceptable.

·      An acceptable toilet facility for patrons was one of the conditions proposed by the Licensing team.

 

Mr Henry Umeh, Public Protection Officer, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      As the application was located in a cumulative impact zone, it was the duty of the Sub-Committee to presume that the application would be refused unless the applicant could demonstrate that the application would have no negative impact on the licensing objectives.

·      The application could have a significant impact on the licensing objectives as there were other licensed premises in the area which would be occupied by other patrons.

·      The applicant had not provided any detail on how they would promote the licensing objectives other than saying that they would abide by drinking laws and by providing a policy for anti-social behaviour.

·      The applicant had not put enough thought into the application to convince him that the applicant would be able to uphold the licensing objectives.

·      The applicant could pass the licence to another operator which could have a detrimental effect in the future and this could have an impact the licensing objectives.

·      He objected to the application. However, if the Sub-Committee was minded to grant the application the Sub-Committee should place appropriate conditions.

 

At this point in the proceedings the Sub-Committee were made aware that the applicant’s representative had arrived at the meeting.

 

Presentation by the applicant

 

Mr Imran Ahmed representing the applicant and the applicant’s son informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      Mr Ahmed was representing the applicant and was occupied by the applicant’s son who was the owner of premises and the potential DPS of the premises if the application was granted. 

·      They were not late to the meeting. They had arrived at 6:45pm and been told to wait in reception until called. 

·      The premises had operated since 28 February 2018 as a Caribbean dining restaurant.

·      The family had operated the premises for the past five years primarily as a take away restaurant.

·      A decision was taken to close the previous business in order to refurbish the premises as a Caribbean restaurant.

·      Approximately £100,000 had been spent refurbishing the premises to make it an ambient restaurant.

·      The purpose of the application was to serve drinks and food.

·      At present, no alcoholic drinks were being served but the applicant would like to serve alcoholic drinks and the premises could occupy approximately 20 covers.

·      The premises was not involved in major operations and was a small, family run restaurant.

·      Alcohol would be served ancillary to food at the premises.

·      The applicant did not believe that there would be an adverse impact on the community although there were a number of licensed premises in the area.

 

In response to questions from Members, Mr Ahmed informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      When one drank alcohol, one could not control how people would drink it, save for the environment in which they drink it.

·      The premises would occupy no more than 20 people and the opening hours had been precisely considered. Patrons would be drinking only with a table meal.  This would assist in meeting the licensing objectives.

·      The applicant had not filled in some of the relevant areas of the application which would demonstrate how they would meet the licensing objectives and the licensing policy. The applicant would control the operation inside the premises. The applicant submitted that the operating schedule was of more application to premises such as nightclubs.

·      The concerns for public safety and public nuisance was related to the serving of alcohol and the timing in which the alcohol would be served. It was not clear how a small restaurant was going to have a negative impact within the cumulative impact zone.

·      The applicant was a premises licence holder in the borough and he would implement a system whereby people would only be able to drink alcohol with a meal.The serving of alcohol would be proportionate to the number of people ordering the alcohol.

·      Upon entering the premises, the tables would be placed on the right, a servicing bar would be on the left and opposite the bar before entering the kitchen area, there would be a toilet.

At this point in the proceedings, the Licensing Officer informed the Sub-Committee that the applicant had outlined areas in the plan which had not been submitted. The application could only be determined on the plans submitted by the applicant.

 

The Chair stated that the application had been specifically adjourned on 4 October 2018 to allow the applicant to demonstrate that they would be able to meet requirements of cumulative impact zone. The Chair expressed dissatisfaction with the submission of incomplete or incorrect plans given that the purpose of the previous adjournment was for the Sub-Committee and the Licensing team to be able to consider the application appropriately.

 

In response to further questions from Members, Mr Ahmed informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      He was not aware of the reasons why the application had been previously adjourned. However, if the Sub-Committee would allow him to show the new plans, then the Licensing officers could confirm that the visitations made by the Licensing team were congruent to the newly proposed plans.

·      He was not aware why the new plans had not been submitted and apologised for this.

 

The Legal Officer informed the Sub-Committee that if the plans had not been submitted then the options open to the Sub-Committee were to determine the application based on the information before them and, if granted, the applicant would then need to make a variation application for the approval of the new plans, or the Sub-Committee could consider adjourning the hearing. 

 

In response to further questions from Members, Mr Ahmed informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      He would ask for the hearing of the application to be adjourned in order to be able to properly address the applicant and the application.  

 

The Sub-Committee sought the views of those who had made a representation regarding the application and were present at the meeting.

 

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

 

·      The applicant had already been given the opportunity to rectify any issues with the application, but if the Sub-Committee was minded to adjourn, he would not object. 

In response to further questions from Members, Mr Umeh informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      He would not object to an application to adjourn but the applicant had been given enough time to fully submit their application.

Adjournment and Decision

 

At 7.48pm, 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 to adjourn.

 

RESOLVED: To refuse the application to adjourn.

 

Announcement of Decision

 

Members returned to the meeting and the Chair informed those present of the decision to refuse the application to adjourn. The application had been in process since 11 June 2018 and the Sub-Committee had not seen any reasonable evidence or heard any reasonable explanation to adjourn the hearing. The hearing of the application had already been adjourned and this was done for the specific reason to allow the applicant to re-prepare his application and he had been informed that the application would be heard at this meeting.

 

For the benefit of the applicant, the Chair felt it was appropriate to hear from those who had objected to the application and had made their representation prior to the applicant entering the meeting.

 

Mr Henry Umeh, Public Protection Officer, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      It was disappointing that the applicant had not made any contact with the Council and had not provided any further detail regarding how the licensing objectives would be upheld.

·      It was also disappointing that the applicant could not speak to the fullest extent of the application as the application had not been submitted with the right plans.

·      The Sub-Committee had made the right decision in proceeding to hear the application.  

 

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

 

·      The applicant had the opportunity to engage with many of the responsible authorities present at this meeting and had decided not to do so.

·      It was up to the Sub-Committee to make a decision on the application. 

 

Adjournment and Decision

 

At 7.56pm, 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

 

Members returned to the meeting and the Chair informed those present of the decision to refuse the application. The Sub-Committee did not feel that the applicant had satisfied the necessary requirements under the Licensing policy to operate the premises, particularly a premises located in a cumulative impact zone. Full written reasons would be provided in due course. 

 

Supporting documents: