Agenda item

Sizzlers 7 Hopton Parade Streatham High Road London SW16 6EP (Streatham Wells)

Minutes:

The Legal officer informed the Sub-Committee that before the hearing, Councillor Malcolm Clark had sent an email to Councillor Fred Cowell, Councillor Emma Nye and Councillor Linda Bray (the original named Members of the Sub-Committee) regarding the application. This would be considered a late representation and was not allowed as any and all representations must be made within the scheduled time. Councillor Cowell and Councillor Chowdhury had not seen the email but Councillor Nye had seen it. His advice to her would be to disregard the email that was sent and not take it into account when the Sub-Committee makes its decision. 

 

Presentation by the Licensing Officer

 

The Sub-Committee was informed that this was an application for a new 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 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 25 of the agenda papers.

 

The Licensing Officer confirmed:

 

·      This was an application for a new premises licence.

·      The premises already held a licence and was seeking to extend permitted hours of licensable activity until 05:00 until Sunday.

·      Representations had been made by the Police, Licensing team, Public Protection and two residents.

·      The applicant had also submitted a petition in support of the application.

·      The application could be found on page 27-44 of the agenda papers.

·      Representations could be found on pages 33-47 of the agenda papers.

·      A list of signatories could be found on pages 59-76 of the agenda papers.

 

Presentation by the applicant

 

Mr Adil Amin and Ms Salma Aziz, the applicants, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      They owned the premises which was a small takeaway on Streatham High Road.

·      Any decision made by the Sub-Committee would affect the business and their families.

·      The applicants had worked hard over the last seven years to make the business successful and had considered making changes to the business so that it operated on quality production and efficiency.

·      They prided themselves on using quality ingredients.

·      They used their resources to make a sustainable income and had less food wastage and the business had become more sustainable as a result. This meant that they worked a lot of hours overnight.

·      Their family’s livelihood was dependant on their income.

·      They were parents who wanted to be at home at 23:00 at night, but in order to make a living, it was important to maintain a sustainable income.

·      The premises was in the immediate vicinity of Tesco (which operated 24 hours), a main bus garage (which operated 24 hours), a gym (which operated 24 hours) and an off licence (which operated 24 hours) and served alcohol.

·      Footfall in the area was low but consistent.

·      They could obtain the same income of a premises located in an area with high footfall if they could operate with extended hours.

·      They provided freshly cooked food for bus drivers, train drivers, firefighters, NHS doctors, Police and other professionals.

·      They respected the Police’s objection but wanted clarification as the application was made three months ago and the Police did not have any objections previously.

·      Since 2012, they never needed to call the Police regarding events at the premises.

·      They had no recorded incidents in the last 12 months at the premises.

·      All patrons were professionals and simply needed food to take away.

·      The premises did not provide seating and had full CCTV coverage including the front and back areas. All footage was available upon request.

·      They wanted to counter accusations of the premises trading past 02:00.

·      When the premises was examined by Council staff, they were simply waiting for an Uber Eats delivery. Since the incident had occurred, they had spoken to Licensing and had changed their Uber Eats delivery to 01:40 so drivers were clear that the premises could only be open until 02:00.

·      They were supporting the night-time economy.

·      The service was for people who needed hot fresh food. These were professionals and locals that needed the service that they provided.

·      There was no business without problems and they had demonstrated themselves to be responsible business owners.

·      They thought the application should be granted on its merits. 

·      The borough stretched 10 square miles and was diverse in nature.

·      The premises was located on a key arterial route with no residents living directly above the premises.

·      They did not feel the objections made were justified.

·      They had a pest control contract in place and were visited by them every six weeks. 

·      They cleaned the surrounding area in front of the premises to ensure that it was well kept.

·      They needed to operate extra hours and requested the objectors to reconsider its position.

·      They had two children and a mother they supported. 

 

In response to questions from Members, Mr Amin and Ms Aziz informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      Their food hygiene certificate had a 1 star rating.

·      They wanted to open the premises from 11:00 to 06:00. There would be a substantial amount of footfall during that period. This was evidenced by people who signed their petition.  

·      The nature of the premises was a kebab shop.

·      They had only started the Uber Eats delivery service offer after the premises started closing at 23:00.

·      Before the Uber Eats delivery service was offered, the premises opened at 04:00 on weekdays and at 06:00 on the weekends. However, most people did not want to eat a kebab in the morning.

·      Patrons after 00:00 included people who were just out shopping or people going to the gym. 

·      They preferred to close at 23:00 and go home but the business did not make enough money.

·      Closing the business early meant a loss of 50% revenue.

·      More revenue would be made after people finished their shifts and took buses that made stops near the premises.

·      People coming off the buses often interchanged to go to Croydon or Mitcham. 

·      They were not aware they needed a premises licence to run the business with extended hours in July 2018.

·      A letter may have been written to them but this had not gotten through to them.

·      They were granted a licence on 22 June 2018 and used TENs between 19 May 2018 and 10 June 2018 to trade until 05:00.

·      There was a 50% increase in trade when the premises was open for longer hours. The increase in opening hours was unlikely to make a difference in the area because other licensed premises were open for 24 hours. The footfall in the area would remain the same as before.

·      The adjustments regarding the Uber Eats delivery was made following a meeting with the Licensing team.

·      The premises had CCTV cameras and today never had to call the Police regarding drunk patrons or antisocial behaviour. Most patrons to the premises would be working people or people who were changing buses.

·      If a drunk person entered the premises, they would not be served.

·      They would be able to meet the conditions outlined from page 48 of the agenda papers.

 

 

Presentation from interested parties

 

Ms Bina Patel, Licensing Manager, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      Following a visit to the premises, a Licensing Officer had observed the premises trading beyond hours permitted on the licence.

·      Although changes in how the applicant would operate had been proposed, the applicant had not gone far enough to explain how their proposed hours would not have a negative impact on the area.

·      The application was outside policy hours.

·      The applicant already had a licence to operate until 02:00 Monday to Sunday.

·      If the Sub-Committee was minded to grant the application, the conditions imposed in the agenda papers would help mitigate the concerns but these needed to be maintained during the course of the applicants’ operation.

 

Mr Michael Anderson, Public Protection Officer, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      He did not want the application to be granted as sought as the policy stated that the premises should operate no later than 02:00.

·      The later operating hours would attract more people to frequent the area.

·      The premises had been seen operating outside its allocated hours.

·      It was not clear how the applicant could operate its business for 40 hours.

·      He would ask that the application be refused.

 

In response to questions from Members, Ms Patel and Mr Anderson informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      On 10 November 2018, the premises was open until 03:30 and this was because the premises was waiting for delivery drivers.

·      The premises then put in place a curfew of 01:30 before submitting an application for a new premises licence.

·      There had been no specific complaints regarding the premises but they did appear to be advertising deliveries until 04:30.

 

At this point in the proceedings, the Legal adviser informed Sub-Committee that condition 13 duplicated a part of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) and should not be imposed as licensing conditions need not duplicate other legal regulations. This also applied to condition 8, which partly duplicated the Health and Safety Work Act (1974).

 

Ms Patel stated that she felt the additional conditions were necessary as applicants usually were not aware of every piece of legislation that they needed to follow in order to uphold the licensing objectives.

 

Sgt David Smith informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      The later a fast food premises was open, the more likely it would attract difficult patrons to the premises.

·      The number of incidents relating to the premises was not high. Some of these had occurred in the early part of 2018.

·      On 2 May 2018, at 02:05, a patron in the neighbouring premises had argued with a staff member. At the time, the premises was open and operating but did not have a premises licence.

·      The applicant was spoken to and were advised to get a premises licence.

·      The applicant later used TENs.

·      On 27 May 2018, the Police received a phone call from the premises made by the applicant informing that gentleman had jumped over the counter. The incident had occurred at 03:14. The premises at that time was not using a TEN.

 

In response to questions from Members, Sgt David Smith informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      In relation to the incident that had occurred on 27 May 2018, the description of the incident was understood to have originated at another premises, but the number used to report the incident originated from Sizzlers.

·      There were no other detailed incidents regarding antisocial behaviour or criminal activity in relation to the premises.

Mr Alex Mckenna, resident, informed the Sub-Committee that:  

 

·      He recognised that it was the job of the Sub-Committee to balance the content on all sides of the argument, including the perspective of residents.

·      He had been a resident in the area for the last 35 years.

·      He would not submit an objection on a whim or a flimsy excuse.

·      His principle submission was related to a health hazard which he had witnessed directly. 

·      Residents in the area had experienced the effects of poorly kept standards of hygiene from licensed premises resulting in large size rats in the area  from the back gardens through to the car parks.

·      The alleyway was originally designed for the storage of refuse bins. However, the Council was collecting refuse from the highway which was happening more on the side of Hopton Road and refuse was being collected from the highway rather than in front of the properties. The business had taken up more space in the area and there was no place for refuse bins to be stored.

·      Depositing waste on the highway had a negative impact on the residents living in the area and resulted in other negative aspects of public safety.

·      There were no storage bins in the area. There should be facility to collect refuse bins.

 

Mr Konstantinos Parsalidis, resident, informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      The alleyway did not have any bins.

·      There was concern about the people that arrived into the area from Central London.

·      The area had a nightclub (the Hideaway) and some of the people frequenting the area were drunk.

·      Frequently, the forecourt of the building would have litter from Sizzlers and Morleys (also located in the area). Used litter would also be found in the area.

·      People often vomited, urinated, used the fence and defecated in the forecourt.

·      The later operating hours would Increase footfall and attract more people into the area.

·      Last year, residents had their storage system blocked up because residents shared a sewer blocked with fat. Thames Water was called to unblock it and having the shops in the area open for longer would have a further negative impact. 

·      He would oppose the application. 

 

In response to questions from Members, Mr Parsalidis and Mr McKenna informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      During the summertime, the problems experienced by residents was very high.

·      The residential area was accompanied by large rats.

·      The entire back gardens would be dug into by the rats.

·      In July 2017, Trading Standards were asked to visit the area and they did. One of the concerns they found was that the applicant was a commercial operation but no relevant documentation had been submitted to the Council. 

·      The premises was located near bus stops which was located near a taxi service and this would increase the potential for people to loiter and increase noise levels.

·      The premises was one of two takeaways located in the area.

·      Although it was important for a business to maximise its income, the disturbance caused to residents needed to be taken into account.

·      Additional policies may have helped the situation, but there did not seem to be a consistent approach regarding the operation of licenced premises in the area.

·      There did not appear to be much evidence that the applicants were responsible enough to abide by their permitted hours.

·      No surveys were carried out by the applicants on the residents living in the area.

·      They would be against any extension of licensable hours.

 

The applicant was recalled to address matters arising. In response to questions from Members, Mr Amin and Ms Aziz informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

·      On 10 November at 03:30, they were cleaning and waiting for the Uber Eats delivery. 

·      They would offer Uber Eats until 00:30.

·      They had gone off-line at 02:00 and did not work off-line.

·      They could change their delivery times as advertised on Google, and the premises was not trading at that time.

·      The premises took two and a half hours to clean. The shutters usually stayed open to help take Biffa bags outside.

·      The incident where someone had jumped over the counter had involved another premises located in the area and had nothing to do with them. However, the individual who had done it was one of their employees.

·      They did not operate outside the permitted hours on 2 May 2018.

·      They had a commercial waste contract with Biffa and received bags from them. 

·      They were unable to fit the Biffa bags into the big bins at the back and it was more practical to fully dispose of the rubbish everyday. 

·      Being open for longer hours may help assist with some of the issues in the area.

·      They were happy to add a condition to the licence whereby they would need to hold a commercial waste contract.

·      They had a contract with a company who managed their disposal for heavy fat.

·      Thames Water had advised them to place waste trap with regard to the incident involving drain blockage.

·      The alleyway was large and the area located immediately in front of the premises was generally clean but issues relating to hygiene in the area started towards the further end.

·      They generally concentrated in cleaning the area immediate to the premises. It was not possible to clean the whole alleyway.

·      They cleaned the front area. The side road was 5-6 meters in length. They could help to promote appropriately disposing of litter.

·      There was one bin in front of the premises, they could suggest having another bin for people to throw away their food.

·      They never previously had a problem with the Police and had helped other premises in the area who had requested their assistance. 

 

Adjournment and Decision

 

At 9.03pm, 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 grant the application subject to conditions.

 

RESOLVED: To grant the application subject to conditions listed on pages 48-50 of the agenda papers (except conditions 8 and 13).

 

Announcement of Decision

 

Members returned to the meeting and the Chair informed those present of the decision to grant the application subject to conditions. The Sub-Committee had carefully considered all the representations made and had decided to grant the application with conditions. The Sub-Committee stated that it had reviewed the application carefully and considered all the proposed conditions. The Sub-Committee was satisfied that if conditions listed on pages 48-50 of the agenda papers were added as part of the new licence, then the application could be granted. This excluded conditions 8 and 13 which was the responsibility of the appropriate Environmental Authorities to enforce. Condition 14 required licence holders to maintain a cleaning schedule around the premises and this schedule would need to be detailed. The Sub-Committee was satisfied that the applicant had an exemplary record dealing with anti- social behaviour and that despite serious reservations regarding the Uber Eats delivery process, the applicant had worked to rectify the issue. The applicant needed to show a similar attitude regarding the remainder of the conditions and, in future, needed to be clear about the opening hours of the premises and that they were followed. Although, there were concerns regarding waste management, the Sub-Committee felt that the applicant was working to maintain the premises appropriately. The additional conditions, such as condition 15 would ensure that the applicant had in place a requisite commercial cleaning contract and was working to be help the situation. The applicant was advised to read the conditions carefully. The Sub-Committee felt that issues raised by residents would be rectified if the conditions were followed. Full written reasons would follow in due course.

 

 

Supporting documents: