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 Policies 7, Appendices 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 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:
Presentation by the Applicant
Mr Hugo Ushida, Founder and Director, informed the Sub-Committee that:
In response to questions from Members, Mr Ushida confirmed:
· At present customers were able to sit down to eat their meal. It was his understanding that the licence had A5 use (take-away food) and A3 use (sale of food or drink for consumption on/off the premises) but this was dependant on the recommendations from licensing.
· Customers preferred to visit the restaurant to purchase their food but the premises also undertook deliveries.
· Staff currently picked up litter during the morning outside the premises but arrangements could be made for staff to clear any rubbish before the premises closed.
At this point, the Legal Adviser referred the Sub-Committee to condition 23, page 111 of the agenda papers which stated that the premises should undertake routine litter picks throughout the day.
In response to further questions from Members, Mr Ushida confirmed:
· Polite signage requesting customers to respect the neighbours when they dispersed from the premises, would be displayed outside the premises.
· Any customers that appeared to be disorderly would be refused drinks and asked to leave the premises. Any issues would also be reported by staff to the Police. If security were engaged at the premises they would be expected to control any anti-social behaviour.
· The premises had established a good relationship with neighbours at the first site and no issues of anti-social behaviour were reported. He recognised that anti-social behaviour could occur at this site but the premises aimed to be responsible restaurant.
· He hoped that a take-away service at the premises from 00:00 would operate, depending on the recommendations.
· One disabled toilet was available at the premises but all toilets would be closed-off to prevent anti-social issues, similar to KFC in Brixton. However, customers would be allowed to use the toilets.
Presentation by Interested Parties
Miss Bina Patel, Licensing Manager, said that:
· The hours applied for by the applicant was greater than the terminal hour recommended in the Licensing Policy of 01:00 Friday to Saturday and 00:00 Sunday to Thursday.
· Whilst she appreciated that mediation had taken place with licensing, another licensed premises that provided late night refreshment already existed in the area.
· She was concerned that the toilets would be closed as a result of anti-social behaviour at the premises.
· Nothing had been provided in the application to justify why the additional hours were required.
· As the licence for this premises had only been granted on 23 May 2019, the applicant had not had enough time to ensure the promotion of the licensing objectives.
· Sufficient measures had not been put in place by the application, especially if the premises were seeking assistance from licensing. The applicant should be able to submit the application on its own merits.
· She recommended that the application be refused.
In response to questions from Members, Miss Patel confirmed:
· There was no evidence showing that the premises had not complied with their licence. Nevertheless, she had concerns whether the applicant complied with the conditions on the licence, especially as the Legal Adviser had to clarify the condition regarding litter picking on the licence.
· If the Sub-Committee were minded to grant the application, provided that the Policy hours were applied, a condition be added to state that “the premises should operate as a take-away establishment between the hours of 00:00 and 01:00 Friday to Saturday and the premises should be closed for dining”, or something similar.
· Although she was uncertain regarding the layout of the premises, she suggested that barriers could be provided to prevent the seating area being used.
· The premises needed to consider access to the public facilities for patrons. However, the premises need to take into account that late night refreshment establishments could lead to anti-social behaviour issues and prevent crime and disorder.
In response to questions from Members, Mr Ushida confirmed:
· He was aware that litter pick-up was required to be undertaken at the premises.
· All staff were trained and cleaned both inside and outside the premises to adhere to the licensing objectives.
· He referred to page 111 of the papers as being the condition stated for litter picking. However, it was clarified by Members that the relevant condition was outlined on page 101.
· He was aware of all conditions on the licence and adhered to all of them.
· He clarified that the toilets were closed to deter anti-social behaviour and did not state that anti-social issues occurred at the premises.
· An email had been sent to Mrs Riley regarding security and requesting recommendations from Miss Patel (page 117 of the agenda papers) but no response to his request had been received. Hiring extra security at the premises was one of the measures suggested. Therefore, he would be happy to provide additional security if required for the safety of the public and staff.
In response to the point raised above regarding security, Miss Patel confirmed that no details had been provided to ascertain the number of security guards required and their hours of work. She raised concern regarding cost implications for the premises and the need to uphold that condition on a permanent basis by affording security to be at the premises. Those matters had not been provided by the applicant which she would have expected to see in the operating schedule as opposed to seeking advice from the Council. The information would have demonstrated that the applicant had knowledge of the area before submitting the application to vary their licence. These issues would be a matter for the applicant to address for any future applications.
Adjournment and Decision
At 10.55 pm, 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 Ushida and Miss Patel.
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 for the following reasons:
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 and provided reasons for the decision as outlined above. The Chair confirmed that written notification and full written reasons for the decision would be sent in due course.