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 Sections 1, 3, 4, 8 and 17 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 of the report on pages 10 and 11.
In response to questions from Members, Mr Ola Owojori, Licensing Officer, confirmed:
· This is an application for a premises licence, seeking authorisation for the Sale of Alcohol (consumption on and off the premises), Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 23:00.
· The opening hours for the premises were proposed as Monday to Sunday, 08:00 to 23:30.
· Eight representations had been received against the application from local residents, based on the licensing objectives of prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm.
· Mr Manuel Rocha was present as the agent representing the applicant and Mr Carlos Yepes, the applicant, was also present.
· Copies of the representations were provided to the applicant and attached as Annex B.
Presentation by the Applicant,
Mr Manuel Rocha, representing the applicant, Mr Carlos Yepes, informed the Sub-Committee that:
· As a restaurant, El Rancho De LALO required the Sale of Alcohol to assist the business and the applicant employed approximately 14 staff members who depended on the business for income.
· The applicant operated a similar premises in Brixton Market, which had had no issues with upholding the licensing objectives.
· Local customers supported the business’ licensing obligations, and an outstanding service was evident in positive reviews.
· The management had considered and understood the objectors’ concerns and had issued a written response. The applicant was satisfied with the proposed conditions to address these concerns.
In response to questions from Members, Mr Manuel Rocha and Mr Carlos Yepes confirmed:
· Vertical drinking was not permitted on the premises.
· The new license sought to cover both delivery and takeaway for the Sale of Alcohol, as well as ordering alcohol to drink seated in the premises.
· The intention was not to promote the sale of alcohol and conditions for food requirements covered off license sales as well.
· There was an incident of noise nuisance on 6 November 2021 that had taken place during the day and the music or any complaints had also been regarding daytime music.
· The applicant agreed to amend a condition set in conjunction with the Council’s noise technical requirements.
· The area was prone to antisocial behaviour, but the staff members would not serve intoxicated clients.
· As the premises was in proximity to residential homes, security training will be provided to staff, to assess the state of patrons and ensure no alcohol would leave the premises.
· The applicant agreed to an additional condition that would not permit open containers outside the restaurant, which included smokers outside during dining.
· Maximum capacity of the restaurant was approximately 50 people, so a condition was agreed to impose only 5 people outside smoking at one time.
· The applicant would agree to provide SIA accredited door staff if that should be a requirement at any time.
Presentation by Interested Parties
Resident Ms Jennifer Grigel-Rucker said that:
· There were eight bedrooms situated directly above the restaurant.
· The applicant had made an investment and residents wanted to make sure he could do business in a way that worked for everyone.
· Many local residents worked from home in the daytime and it was meant to be a peaceful environment. Yet, delivery noise from waste disposal vehicles and bottles, as well as outdoor seating, caused disruption.
· It was clarified that the back entrance to Brixton Electric was situated on Buckner Road and the venue was insulated, ensuring residents had not experienced significant noise levels during concerts. This venue had also installed security lighting at night, which had generally been seen as good.
· Residents wanted to know the applicant’s plan for dealing with waste, deliveries and this disposal of bottles.
· An exhaust fan had been installed below the bedroom windows, which had caused disturbance.
· Residents wanted a direct communication with the restaurant, in case of any issues.
Resident, Mr Nick Powell, said that:
· His main concern was noise nuisance from outside seating.
· Having visited the premises recently, he noted six cars parked outside and this would be exacerbated by deliveries.
· The proposed closing hour of 23:30 was not considered a reasonable time as children slept above the restaurant and proposed 22:00 as an alternative.
· The idea that the Sale of Alcohol would cover deliveries meant increasing the congestion at an already busy venue.
· The sound system was disruptive and made use of his balcony impossible.
· Introducing the Sale of Alcohol would mean an increase in noise nuisance in a residential area for people who needed rest.
At this point in proceedings, the Chair went over the additional four conditions the applicant had agreed to for consideration of the Sub-Committee. These were in relation to:
· The limitation to food would apply to takeaways, whether delivery or collection, so it would not be possible to buy alcohol that was not ancillary to a meal.
· The sound limiter would be monitored by council noise officers and set to deal with the building.
· Patrons would not be permitted to leave the premises with open containers.
· No more than five people could be standing outside smoking at any one time.
At this point in proceedings, the Legal Advisor, Selina Wiafe clarified that to operate outside, they would need to apply for a chairs and tables license and that the applicant would have to apply for outside seating through the Business and Planning Act 2020.
In response to questions from Members, Mr Manuel Rocha and Mr Carlos Yepes confirmed:
· When disposing of bottles, the applicant followed guidelines from Lambeth Council’s Health and Safety team, never exceeding 19:00 to 20:00.
· It was confirmed there would be a designated parking area that could be agreed for delivery vehicles, away from the premises along Acre Lane.
· In terms of opening windows to manage the noise levels, air circulation was necessary, however it was agreed that a restriction could be imposed after certain hours, which was agreed as 21:00.
· The exhaust system had been tested and would be maintained by a professional contractor every six months and the applicant had installed an extractor fan with a silencer to mitigate the noise levels.
· The applicant agreed to provide a contact number to residents, to resolve any disputes.
· Condition 26 stated that bottle disposal could not take place between 23:00 and 09:00, but residents requested that be amended to 21:00 to 09:00
· Deliveries to the restaurant would be limited as read on Condition 29.
At this point in proceedings, Mr Nick Powell stated that limiting takeaway hours could address concerns of the residents and the applicant agreed this as a 20:00 maximum.
Mr Manuel Rocha informed the Sub-Committee that reducing the hours of delivery would reduce the competitive nature of the restaurant in comparison to others in the area as during the week, the business was quieter.
Adjournment and Decision
At 20:13, 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 Nick Powell and Ms Jennifer Grigel-Rucker.
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 license subject to the following imposed conditions:
Standard wording for the imposed conditions would be sent by the Licensing Authority in due course.
The Sub-Committee considered that reducing the terminal hour of the off license and on license function meant that the licensable activities applied for would take place in a venue which would be noise limited along with the conditions as agreed.
RESOLVED: To grant the license with the imposed conditions as outlined above.
Announcement of Decision
Members returned to the meeting and the Chair informed those present of the decision to grant the license subject to the agreed conditions between the Licensing Authority and the applicant, and the additional conditions as outlined above. The Sub-Committee had considered all the options available to them and ultimately felt that the conditions met the concerns which had been raised. The Chair confirmed that written notification of the decision would be sent in due course.