Agenda item

Passyunk Avenue Unit 5, 22 Leake Street, London SE1 7NN (Bishop's ward)

Minutes:

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, 10 and 16 of the Statutory Guidance, and to Section 5, Policies 1 and 8, Appendices 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 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 5.10 and 5.11 of the report on page 38 of the agenda papers.

 

The Licensing Officer confirmed:

  • This was an application for a new premises licence submitted by Liberty Cheesesteak LS Ltd., at Unit 5, 22 Leake Street.
  • The application was seeking permission for the provision of films, indoor sporting events, live music, recorded music and sale by retail of alcohol from Sunday to Thursday 10:00-00:00 and Friday to Saturday 10:00-01:00.
  • The application also sought late night refreshment Sunday to Thursday 23:00 to 00:00 and Friday and Saturday 23:00 to 01:00
  • The premises proposed to open from 10:00 to 00:30 Sunday to Thursday and 10:00-01:30 Friday and Saturday.
  • The applicant had requested non-standard hours to 02:00 on New Year’s Eve.
  • Three representations had been received against the application from residents, based on the prevention of public nuisance and crime and disorder.  The representations could be found from pages 65 to 70 of the agenda papers.
  • Following publication of the papers, the applicant submitted additional information which had been circulated to all parties and Members ahead of the meeting.  The papers included an overview of the business, a dispersal policy, amended application form with amended hours and conditions,  photographs of Leake Street, and a response to those who had made representations. 
  • The applicant, their licensing agent and two residents who made representations were in attendance.

 

A map and photographs of the premises was circulated to Members.

 

Presentation by the Applicant

 

In response to questions raised by the Chair in relation to the hours proposed and how issues raised by way of objections had been responded to, Mr Tom Bushnell, the applicant’s solicitor informed the Sub-Committee that:

  • Passyunk was a restaurant and bar celebrating the culture of Philadelphia - the City of Brotherly Love - by providing traditional food for a range of guests.
  • The venue had attracted restaurant critics and was valued by its customers.
  • The applicant took his premises licence very seriously and had established positive relationships with residents and housing associations, noting the dispersal policy and conditions that had been provided.
  • The proposed terminal hours had been reduced by one hour, which was earlier than the suggested terminal hours proposed in Lambeth’s Licensing Policy being 02:00 on Saturday.  The proposed hours were also in line with the preferred hour policy times of 00:00 on Sunday.
  • He suggested that some applicants would have insisted on keeping the original times proposed, especially as no objections from the responsible authorities had been received to the application.
  • The applicant wished to work with residents regarding noise issues and the decision had been made by the applicant to reduce the hours originally proposed.
  • The main guest entrance was located within the Leake Street Tunnel that consisted of a small dining area and faced outwards towards York Road, which was in close proximity to residential properties.  Therefore, a detailed dispersal policy and a raft of suitable conditions had been produced.

 

Mr J P Teti, applicant, informed the Sub-Committee that:

·         The idea behind the business was to fill a gap identified in the hospitality field by creating an American concept. 

·         The aim was to create an environment for customers to acquire a very intense regional experience of their interpretation of Philadelphia Americana.

·         The venue produced good authentic American cuisine and had received good feedback from customers regarding his other two venues.

·         A large venue existed in Stratford that attracted a wide range of consumers.

·         He wished to set up an establishment in Lambeth to make a difference to consumers.

 

In response to other questions from Members, Mr Teti and Mr Bushnell confirmed:

  • Mr Teti was very experienced and managed venues in far more dense residential neighbourhoods in London. 
  • Mr Teti had established good relationships with Neighbourhood Associations and Councils.
  • In the applicant’s other venues patrons were asked to remain inside the premises whilst waiting for their taxis to prevent noise disturbance to residents.  This would also be implemented in similar policies for this venue. 
  • All customers would be required to exit through Leake Street Tunnel.  Staff would advise customers of the nearest public transport or taxi options before they dispersed into the neighbourhood. 
  • The dispersal policy could be amended if the police or responsible authorities raised concerns.
  • The clientele that attended the venue would not attract noise.
  • The applicant was willing to speak to residents who had any issues.
  • The applicant would not be willing to reduce the hours further as the hours were less than that proposed in Lambeth’s Licensing Policy.
  • The terminal hour on a Sunday should be 00:00 and not 23:00 as outlined on page 41 of the main agenda papers, which was confirmed by the Licensing Officer.
  • The condition that customers should remain inside until their taxis arrived was not reflected in the premises licence for the other venues but outlined in their dispersal policies.
  • The applicant did not wish to propose a condition that patrons should only be served alcohol with food.  Although the establishment was food led, some customers would like to purchase drinks without buying food. 
  • The other venues had a revenue split 70% food v 30% alcohol sales, which would be expected at this venue. 
  • The applicant did not expect any major deviation in terms of its customer base since the business commenced three years ago. Therefore, it was felt that a similar customer base that attended the other establishments would mirror this venue.  

 

Presentation by Interested Parties

 

Ms Henrietta Voake, resident, informed the Sub-Committee that:

·         She resided in County Hall, situated a short distance from the venue.

·         Between 01:00 to 02:00 York Road was very quiet.

·         Patrons of the venue would be leaving the premises during the early hours with some intoxicated by the alcohol they had consumed. 

·         She queried why the venue wished to remain open until 02:00 considering that other venues in the area closed at 23:00. 

·         Whilst she appreciated that other venues existed in the area, most of the noise would result from patrons leaving Passyunk. 

·         Residents who lived nearby were already disturbed by other noise activities in Leake Street.  

·         She was familiar with the concept of the venue as she previously lived in America but, was concerned that residents would be faced with noise issues which would have a negative impact in the area.

 

Mr Stephen McGinley, resident, informed the Sub-Committee that:

·         York Road would be the primary access to and from the venue. 

·         Although the main entrance would be based in Leake Street Tunnel, the applicant would be unaware of the amount of people congregating outside the County Hall Block. 

·         Since Government restrictions had been lifted, residents were awoken by taxi doors slamming, loud music and urination, as a result of intoxicated patrons.

·         Security now patrolled with dogs to protect them until 03:00, as a result of anti-social behaviour.

·         Multiple venues already existed on the South Bank that served alcohol into the early hours of the morning.

·         The venue would be situated in a primary residential building and noise issues already existed in the area.

·         He had witnessed staff clearing tables at Banh Bao Brothers at 05:00.

 

In response to questions from Members, Ms Voakes and Mr McGinlay confirmed that:

  • They wished for the premises to close at 23:00.
  • Mr McGinlay objected to the noise nuisance that would be caused as a result of alcohol being served after 23:00, which he considered inappropriate, as his window faced directly onto York Road which was the main exit from Leake Street.

 

The Chair explained that he would be contacting the Licensing team to arrange for the matter regarding the other venue to be investigated, with an update provided to Mr McGinlay.  However, the Sub-Committee could not take that matter into consideration when making its decision.

 

The applicants were recalled to address matters arising.  In response to questions from Members, Mr Bushnell and Mr Teti informed the Sub-Committee that:

·         Mr Bushnell sympathised with the experiences described by residents but the applicant wished to keep the hours proposed as the venue would not be situated in a rural area.  No noise would be caused to residents until 05:00 as described by Mr McGinlay. 

·         It was doubted that the venue would empty at the same time as other venues in that location, as patrons tended to leave at different times.

·         No noise issues had been raised with the Noise team by Camden Council pertaining to the other venue at Cleveland Street. Noise issues had arisen as a result of mechanical equipment at the back of the premises but this had been rectified.

·         The applicant wished to operate his business for as many hours during the day as possible but would be willing to close at 23:00.  However, Mr Bushnell reminded the Sub-Committee that the hours should only be reduced if there was a need to promote the licensing objectives, which he felt was not relevant in this case.

 

At this point, the Chair suggested a new condition regarding the terminal hour for admission into the venue to minimise bar hopping and to prevent the egress of a large amount of people when the venue closed at 00:00 by a having no re-entry condition from 23:00 Sunday to Thursday and 00:00 Friday and Saturday.  The condition suggested was popular, aimed at crowd control.  Also, the condition was suggested as a result of concerns raised by residents.

 

Mr Teti responded that the venue was food-led and not a nightclub and patrons would not be consuming large amounts of alcohol.  Therefore, he felt that an additional condition regarding entry was not required, as less customers would attend the venue when the kitchen closed.  Patrons that attended his other venues were considered to be well-behaved.

 

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

·         He would be willing to have condition 17 amended to state that the dispersal policy should be revised annually.

·         The majority of customers would leave the venue following their meal but some customers would like to remain and have a vertical drink.  Therefore, he felt that a condition that alcohol should be ancillary with food was unnecessary.

 

Adjournment and Decision

 

At 3.50 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 Bushnell, Mr Teti, Ms Voakes and Mr McGinlay.

 

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 a revision to condition 17 on page 22 of the additional agenda papers that the dispersal policy be revised and refreshed annually.

 

The Sub-Committee were concerned about what residents told them in writing and addressing the Sub-Committee about the general area in which this business would be operating.  However, the Sub-Committee came to the decision for the for the following two reasons:

 

  1. The applicant had brought forward a series of measures to directly address and mitigate some of those challenges.

 

  1. The behaviours of other venues in the area, whilst concerning to the Sub-Committee, did not directly relate to or impact upon the running of this particular premises.

 

The Sub-Committee referred the matters raised by residents today to the appropriate authorities to be investigated further.  Nevertheless, on the basis of this application presented, the Sub-Committee were satisfied that granting this licence would not add to those problems.

 

The Sub-Committee did consider the proportionality of the hours suggested. The responses to the suggestion of imposing a terminal hour of 23:00 indicated that this would be disproportionate.  Nor could the Sub-Committee find a basis for applying such hours outside of the Lambeth preferred hours policy given the classification in planning terms of Waterloo as a Major Town Centre.  Therefore, the hours were felt to be a proportionate reflection of that.  However, the applicant must bear in mind the need to maintain the robust dispersal policy and all the other measures in the licence contained from condition 10 onwards and to deal with the crime and disorder objective of the licencing objectives for that proportionality assessment to hold true, which the Sub-Committee hoped they would do.

The Sub-Committee hoped that the applicant would be able to run the business in a way that did not add to residents’ existing problems.

 

RESOLVED: To grant the application with a revision to condition 17 on page 22 of the additional agenda papers that the dispersal policy be revised and refreshed annually.

 

Announcement of Decision

 

Members returned to the meeting and the Chair informed those present of the decision to grant the application and provided reasons for the decision as outlined above. The Sub-Committee had considered all the options available to them and ultimately felt that the applicant 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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