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 to sections 5, 6 and 14 and Appendices 1-7, 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 6.2 of the report on pages 70 of the agenda papers.
The Licensing Officer confirmed:
· The applicant wished to operate the premises as a takeaway.
· Representations had been made by Licensing and Public Protection.
· Following an agreement with the Licensing team, the applicant had agreed to amend the hours so as to align this aspect of the application with the ‘preferred hours’ outlined in the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy. Accordingly, the applicant was now seeking a terminal hour for licensable activity until 00:00 Sunday to Thursday and until 01:00 Friday and Saturday.
· Licensing had since withdrawn their representation against the application.
· The representation made by Public Protection was the only remaining representation.
· The application could be found on pages 73 – 93 of the agenda papers.
· The representation made by Public Protection could be found on pages 93-99 of the agenda papers.
· Proposed conditions could be found on page 101.
Presentation by the applicant
Mr Keith Magenda and Mr Varnham informed the Sub-Committee that:
· The premises had started operating on 5 August 2019 after expensive work had been carried out at the premises.
· The premises was managed by Mr Ghandi who had 13 years’ experience, including working at KFC for five years.
· In view of the cost of running the business and running it in the local area, the applicant had applied for a licence for late night refreshment.
· The applicant was only requesting a short extension to its hours.
· An establishment near the premises had a licence until 01:00 Sunday to Saturday. There was also an off-licence which had a licence to sell alcohol until 02:00.
· The applicant was simply attempting to meet the demands of the community.
· The premises staff would comply with all conditions on the licence, particularly with regard to CCTV.
· CCTV was displayed in the premises, notices would be displayed to customers and staff would be briefed on how to handle serving intoxicated individuals.
· Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult whilst licensable activity was taking place (after 23:00).
· Staff would be told to inform the duty manager in case of any irregularities.
· No cooking fumes would affect the community.
· The premises was a small unit which had been running since 5 August 2019.
· The application had received no complaints from any residents or members of the public in the area.
· A meeting had taken place yesterday with the applicant and Public Protection.
· The applicants were upstanding citizens.
· If there were any problems, then the applicant was open to maintaining a positive dialogue with the responsible authorities.
In response to questions from Members, Mr Magenda and Mr Varnham informed the Sub-Committee that:
· All deliveries would take place during working hours and there would be no deliveries in the evening.
· There was no scooter service at the premises. If any delivery service was to occur, such vehicles would be asked to park away from the premises.
· With regard to the licensable activity witnessed on 3 October 2019, premises staff were cleaning the premises after closing and a patron had knocked on the door. In future, lights would be turned off after the premises was closed and the public would be kept away.
Presentation by interested parties
Mr Michael Anderson, Public Protection Officer, informed the Sub-Committee that:
· The representation was based on public nuisance.
· Currently, the premises did not have a licence to carry on late night refreshment.
· Public Protection had witnessed notable infringements on the licence on 3, 4 and 5 October 2019. Officers had witnessed hot meals such as chicken burgers being sold after 11pm without a licence.
· Public Protection had no confidence in the applicant’s ability to uphold the licensing objectives.
· The applicant had informed that they would not be part of a delivery service. However, there appeared to be some information online stating that the premises offered such services until 23:59.
· The premises had been observed to be open until 00:30 without a licence.
In response to questions from Members, Mr Anderson informed the Sub-Committee that:
· The applicant had stated that they already had a licence when questioned about why they were carrying out licensable activity without one. Upon being asked why they were applying for a licence, the applicants could not provide a reasonable answer.
· The applicant did not appear to be aware of what was going on at the premises.
The applicant was recalled to address matters arising. In response to questions from Members, Mr Magenda and Mr Varnam informed the Sub-Committee that:
· The applicant had discussed matters with the Licensing Officer on 10 November 2019.
· The applicant’s husband, who was the manager, had not been allowed to attend the meeting with Public Protection.
· Since the applicant had been informed of the breach of the licensing act, there had not been a repetition of such an incidents at the premises.
· The previous occupiers of the premises made deliveries to homes and that was why there was some delivery information online that could be found regarding the premises. The information on the websites needed to be amended.
· The applicant had felt intimidated by the meeting with Public Protection.
· Only deliveries to the premises would be made. There would not be any deliveries made from the premises to another location.
At this point in the proceedings, Mr Anderson informed the Sub-Committee that deliveries made from the premises were advertised online and extended to later hours than that specified in the application.
In response to further questions from Members, Mr Magenda and Mr Varnam informed the Sub-Committee that:
· The applicant would operate within the confines of the licence.
· Any discrepancies shown on websites would be amended.
· The applicant would comply with the conditions set by the Sub-Committee.
Adjournment and Decision
At 2.25pm, 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 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 considered that the evidence showed repeated breaches of the Licensing Act 2003. To the applicant’s credit, efforts were made to try and put things right but the Sub-Committee could not be satisfied that the applicant would uphold the licensing objectives and considered that granting the application would likely result in the crime and disorder licensing objective being undermined. Full written reasons for this decision would follow in due course.