Agenda item

Mama V's, 10 Voltaire Road, London, SW4 6DH (Clapham Town Ward)

Minutes:

Presentation by the Licensing Officer

 

The Sub-Committee was informed that this was an application for a variation to the current premises licence. The Sub-Committee’s attention was drawn to Chapters 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 of the Statutory Guidance, and to Chapter 5, Principals and Policy 7 and Policy 1 Applications, Appendices 1, 2, 3, 4 and Principles and Policies 13, and Policy 7 Cumulative Impact 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 paragraphs 5.7 and 5.8 the report on pages 15 and 16.

 

The Licensing Officer confirmed:

 

  • This was an application for variation of a premises licence for Mama V’s, 10 Voltaire Road.
  • The application had been submitted by Mr Stuart Gibson on behalf of the licensee Ms Vanessa Lancelloti.
  • The variation sought to allow the premises to utilise the outside seating area of the front patio of the premises.
  • The use of the outdoor area would be for the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises Sunday-Thursday 11:00 to 20:00 and Friday-Saturday 11:00 to 22:00.
  • Two representations had been received against the application from the Licensing Authority and the Metropolitan Police Licensing Unit.
  • In attendance for the applicant was Mr Stuart Dixon; Miss Bina Patel and PC Hannah Eldridge.

 

Presentation by the Applicant

 

Mr Stuart Gibson, representing the applicant Ms Vanessa Lancelloti informed the Sub-Committee that:

 

  • The current licence allowed alcohol to be sold up until 10.00 pm seven days’ week and on-sales of to take place inside the premises.  However, the objections received mentioned extended hours but there were no extended hours in the application.
  • The application seeks to utilise the outside forecourt area outside the front of the premises to allow people to sit outside until 8.30pm Sunday to Thursday and 10pm Friday to Saturday.
  • Alcohol could only be consumed with food.
  • The outside area was currently being used by customers.  Therefore, the Sub-Committee needed to determine whether serving alcohol outside would undermine the four licensing objectives, despite the applicant’s belief that it would not. 
  • A request had been made to remove condition 12 from Annex 3 on the current premises licence which relates to alcohol not being consumed outside the premises at any time, should be removed.
  • The premises had operated with a licence since 6 November 2018 and despite objections made by responsible authorities, the application was granted.
  • Since its operation, no problems had been reported. 
  • No evidence had been submitted to suggest that because people sat outside most of the week, problems would arise.
  • Prior to the application being granted on 6 November 2018, the premises was granted 19 Temporary Event Notices (TENs) which included use of the outside area for patrons to drink and eat for longer hours than what had been requested.  No issues had been reported in relation to the TENs.  This clearly showed that the type of clientele that frequented the premises would not compromise the licensing objectives.
  • He appreciated that the premises was located within the cumulative impact area zone but the premises had caused no problems to undermine the licensing objectives.  No noise issues would result as patrons already used the outside area.
  • Residential properties existed opposite the premises and a railway line frequently ran above the premises.  The trains made more noise than customers and operated for longer hours than 10pm.
  • The hours sought by the premises were moderate as a bar nearby utilised their outside area until 11pm, seven days a week and people could be seen only drinking.  Therefore, the impact of people using the premises was minimal and would not undermine the licensing objectives.
  • Only a maximum of 20 persons sitting outside on tables would be allowed at any one time. 
  • The premises could only operate as per licensing conditions and if the applicant wished to handover the premises to anyone else they would be required to operate under the present licensing conditions.  The conditions could only be changed if they applied for different licence with the Council.
  • The premises was becoming more popular but did not attract a rowdy crowd.  The outside area would be used to cater for the existing demand and allow the business to develop.
  • The representation provided by the Police mentioned high crime due to high intoxication levels of people in Clapham High Street.  However, the Police confirmed that the premises did not contribute to the problems.
  • He was advised that Clapham’s night time economy normally commenced at approximately midnight on Friday and Saturday but the premises would be closed two hours beforehand.
  • The applicant had no desire to turn the premises into an off-sale premises but only to utilise outside space. 
  • CCTV would cover the outside seating area at the front of the premises.
  • For the reasons stated, he requested that the application be granted.

 

In response to questions from Members, Mr Gibson and Ms Lancellotti confirmed:

 

  • The premises did have a licence for tables and chairs but issues existed regarding payment for this licence. 
  • Ms Lancellotti had applied on-line for the licence on 23 May 2019 but despite contacting the Council on three occasions for an update, she was yet to receive a response.  She had recently received a fine for having tables and chairs outside the premises because the Council could find no evidence that the fee had been paid. 
  • Ms Lancellotti had paid the fee for two benches and five tables (one included free of charge for smoking outside the premises).  Every table had two chairs and the tables could be folded at the end of the day.
  • The TENs applied for was for events held in the summer and events associated with SW4.  The latest event held took place on 29 June 2019 for a party.
  • The premises had been operating as a café since 8 December 2014.
  • The premises was very small and compact with the inside counter located very close to the outside area.  If any customers became rowdy they would be advised to keep the noise and if they refused they would be asked to leave the premises.  However, the premises did not attract rowdy clientele.
  • It was recognised that patrons would get accustomed to the background noise from the trains but a bar nearby had outside activity any day of the week.
  • Patrons preferred to attend the club located nearby due to its capacity, even if drinks were cheaper at the premises.  Customers who visited the premises on the weekend would like to eat and have an alcohol beverage with their food.

 

Presentation by Interested Parties

 

Miss Bina Patel, Licensing Manager, said that:

 

·         The 19 TENs referred to were in relation to the original application submitted in 2018 and had no bearing or relevance to this application before the Sub-Committee.

·         Only three TENs had been submitted this year and the Licensing Service could not confirm whether the TENs had taken place but had no record of noise complaints.

·         The application sought to use the outside area for the sale of alcohol in a cumulative impact area zone. 

·         The application was rejected because it was located within the cumulative impact area zone and there was a rebuttable presumption to reject unless applicant could demonstrate that it would not add to the cumulative impact. 

·         The application provided no information on how the impact would be managed.  She had just learned at this meeting that the alcohol outside would be ancillary and only served with food which was not provided as part of the application.  However, this was not considered sufficient to satisfy why the application should be granted.

 

In response to questions from Members, Miss Patel confirmed:

 

  • The current licence allowed for on-sale only, so any alcohol must be sold ancillary to any food sold within the premises.  That condition did not apply to the outside area.
  • The applicant was seeking off-sales of alcohol to be sold in the outside area.  The application presented failed to state that the outside area would be ancillary to food.  Therefore it gave the presumption that alcohol would be consumed only without food within the cumulative impact zone area.  However, based on what has been heard, if the Sub-Committee were minded to grant, she would be able to provide a suitable condition. 

 

The Chair invited the Mr Gibson to answer a further question.  He confirmed that the current conditions would remain on the licence.  One of the conditions stated that alcohol would only be served ancillary to food.  He made reference to page 61 of the application and read out the condition which clearly stated that alcohol must be served with food.  Therefore, he felt the representation made by Miss Patel about that condition was incorrect.

 

In response to further questions from Members, Miss Patel confirmed:

 

·         No plans were submitted with the application.  The original plans attached to the licence did not show an outside area nor did it form part of the licensing area for on-sales to take place and continue within an outside area.

·         The applicant would need to apply for off-sales for it be conditioned to be ancillary to food. 

·         There appeared to be a misunderstanding as details pertaining to the outside area should have been supplied.

 

At this point, the Legal Adviser confirmed that he agreed with Miss Patel as one would expect, when reviewing the conditions, to see in the operating schedule an amended condition or details pertaining to the outside areas be expressed more clearly and no plans showing the boundary of the outside area had been supplied.  Unless the conditions could be slightly reworded a reference to a plan to provide certainty about the condition which would benefit the licence and also the enforcers, should be supplied.

 

Miss Patel then suggested that the applicant could submit a revised plan to show the outside area.  A condition could be added to read:

 

“The sale and supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises shall be restricted to persons who are seated in an area appropriately authorised for the use of tables and chairs on the highway and taking a substantial meal there and where the consumption of alcohol by any such person is ancillary to a meal and where the supply of alcohol by way of that service only.”  

 

Mr Gibson confirmed that the premises would be happy to submit a plan within a matter of days showing the outside area that the premises was responsible for.

 

Finally, Miss Patel clarified the following:

·         The use of the outside area must be under a tables and chair licence.  That licence would indicate the exact layout of the area and the number of tables and chairs permitted under that licence.

·         The licence would then be enforceable at any time and the outside area would not be able to be used by the licence holders unless there is an appropriate licence in place.

·         The plans could then be substituted if required.  Checks could also be made with the Highways team to ascertain the size of the premises if the applicant was minded to submit a minor variation application that showed a plan of the outside area and to have a relevant licence in place to avoid any breaches.

 

In response to a question from PC Hannah Eldridge regarding the terminal hour for the premises, Mr Gibson clarified that the terminal hour on the licence should be 22:30 Tuesday to Sunday and not 22:00 and was a misprint.  The extra half an hour had been provided to allow patrons to leave the premises but this was never exercised which was confirmed by Miss Lancellotti.

 

PC Hannah Eldridge, Lambeth Police Licensing, said that:

 

·         The premises was situated within the cumulative impact zone. 

·         The area was well known to the Police as a result of issues that occurred during the day and night time. 

·         The Police service tended to concentrate more on the night time economy as more anti-social behaviour usually occurred at that time. 

·         It was recognised that the premises was not associated with any of the issues that occurred in the area as the venue appeared to be well managed.  However, unless the premises could justify rebuttable presumption that there would be no negative impact on any of the licensing objectives, the Police would continue to make representations against it.

·         No evidence by the premises had been submitted to suggest that a negative impact would not occur on Clapham High Street which had a very busy day and night time economy.

·         It had only just been brought to her attention that alcohol would be ancillary to food.  If the Sub-Committee were minded to grant the application she welcomed a well written condition for that.  She also requested that a condition to only allow a maximum of 20 patrons outside the premises at any time should be made to control the amount of patrons outside the area. 

·         Due to the high intoxication levels and crime associated with Clapham High Street, the Police would prefer that the application was not granted to avoid any further problems in the area.   

 

In response to questions from Members, PC Eldridge confirmed that any impact whatsoever within the cumulative zone was not considered acceptable regardless the size of the premises, to deter further anti-social behaviour issues. 

 

In response to a question from Members,Mr Gibson confirmed that he would be happy accept a condition for allowing no more than 20 persons outside, if the Sub-Committee were minded to grant the application.  He reminded the Sub-Committee that when the application was granted 9 months ago, Members raised no concerns regarding any impact that would be caused.

Members reminded Mr Gibson that each application was considered on its own merits and dealt with differently. 

 

Adjournment and Decision

 

At 9.46pm, the Sub-Committee withdrew from the meeting together with the Legal Advisor and clerk to deliberate in private.

 

The Sub-Committee had heard and considered representations from Mr Gibson, Ms Lancellotti, Miss Patel and PC Eldridge.

 

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 with additional conditions.

 

RESOLVED: To grant the application with additional conditions.

 

Announcement of Decision

 

Members returned to the meeting and the Chair informed those present of the decision to grant the application with additional conditions.  The Sub-Committee had considered all the options available to them and ultimately felt that the licensee met the concerns which had been raised. The Chair confirmed that written notification of the decision would be sent in due course.

 

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