«Present: Councillors Councillors Silver (Chairman), Donne and Turner In attendance Councillor Swerling Officers H Patterson Interim Legal Services ...»
Minutes of the hearing for an application from Best Kebab, 1 Battlers Green
Drive, Radlett WD7 8NE under Section 17 of the Licensing Act 2003 for a
new premises licence held in the Council Chamber, Hertsmere Borough
Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts WD6 1WA on 29
October 2014 at 2.06 pm
Councillors Silver (Chairman), Donne and Turner
H Patterson Interim Legal Services Manager A Kamara Solicitor S Hardy Senior Licensing Officer A Ryan Technical Support Officer (Licensing) S Di Paolo Democratic Services Officer Supporting the application E Cemgil Applicant H Kinik Applicant S Sogut Applicant Making representations against the application K Garman Planning Authority K Gowda Local Resident A Premjithlal Local Resident Also in attendance D Michael Police Authority
-1Hearing Date - 29 October 2014 Name of premises - Best Kebab, 1 Battlers Green Drive, Radlett WD7 8NE (A) INTRODUCTION The Chairman introduced the Panel and explained that Councillor Swerling was present as an observer and would not have any part in the decision making process.
The Chairman then outlined the procedure to be followed. She advised those
present that the following maximum times would apply:
in which to present their case 10 minutes in which to put any questions through the Chair 5 minutes in which to make their closing statement 5 minutes No members had any interests to declare.
(B) REPORT OF LICENSING OFFICERThe Senior Licensing Officer presented her report. She summarised the application and the representations received, noting that the applicant was now applying for on sales only. The application for off sales had been withdrawn in response to the representations made by local residents. The application included a number of proposed conditions designed to meet the licensing objectives. However there was no reference to the adoption of a Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 policy, which was a mandatory condition of a premises licence.
The Senior Licensing Officer explained that, while five representations and a petition signed by members of the public had been received, the petition did not include any reference to the licensing objectives in its submission and so had to be disregarded. Also, the concerns about commercial damage expressed in one of the representations were not relevant to the proceedings and had to be disregarded. The application indicated that the premises would be open to the public until 23:30 however it was not licenced for the provision of hot food and drink after 23:00.
In response to questions from the Panel, the Senior Licensing Officer clarified that alcohol would only be sold with food, for consumption on the premises. The property was classed as A5 use as a takeaway but could also be run as a restaurant and included some seating.
(C) REPRESENTATIONS AGAINST THE APPLICATIONPlanning Authority The Senior Planning Officer stated that the proposed opening times were longer than those permitted under the planning permission granted on the premises in 1992, which stipulated closing times of 22:30 Sunday – Thursday and 23:00 Friday and Saturday in order to protect the amenity of nearby residents. Also, the planning permission did not include any separate hours for bank holidays.
Local residents Mr Gowda explained that the petition had been submitted before the applicant had withdrawn the off sales element of his application. He said that the area was quiet after 21:30 and he was concerned that the licence would attract more people to the area after this time and that this would result in noise nuisance. He queried how the applicant would check the ages of people ordering takeaways by phone and how it would be ensured that no alcohol was included in the bag. He noted that the premises had no toilet facility for the public, which could also result in nuisance for residents.
Mr Gowda also expressed concern that his business would be affected by the proposals. He was reminded by the Chairman that commercial interests could not be taken into account by the Panel; the Senior Licensing Officer confirmed that commercial interest was not relevant, as only the licensing objectives could be considered.
Mr Premjithlal explained that he lived in a flat above the premises. He could not understand why a kebab shop needed to sell alcohol. The premises was not a restaurant at present, and was not big enough to contain more than two tables.
There were two shops in the row with three flats above them. He was concerned that alcohol sales would lead to issues of public nuisance. There were two schools nearby; there had been problems of antisocial behaviour by children.
There was no way of preventing customers from taking their drinks outside.
There were pubs and restaurants selling alcohol in the area already, he did not see the point in having another one.
(D) REPRESENTATIONS IN FAVOUR OF THE APPLICATIONMr Cemgil, agent for the applicant, explained that identification would be required for the purchase of alcohol. The applicant had just become aware of the planning permission restrictions and would make an application to the planning authority for extended hours if the premises licence was granted. The applicant had 30 years’ experience of food business. The premises could run as a restaurant under A3 and A1 use.
In response to questions from the Panel:
Mr Sogut, the applicant, explained that there would be four tables with 16 seats.
Customers would be able to use the toilet provided for staff on the premises. He had many years’ experience of running restaurants. The intention was to provide a glass of wine or beer with meals.
-3Hearing Date - 29 October 2014 Name of premises - Best Kebab, 1 Battlers Green Drive, Radlett WD7 8NE Discussion followed as to whether the premises would be classed as a restaurant and whether separate toilet facilities would have to be provided to the public. It was noted that the floor plan submitted with the application had inadvertently been omitted from the agenda papers, and copies of this were provided to all parties present (attached at Appendix A to this record).
Mr Cemgil stated that:
• there would be space for 16 seats and the floor plan would be changed on refurbishment;
• it would not be difficult to prevent customers from taking alcohol out of the shop. There would be notices to say that alcohol could only be consumed on the premises, so customers would realise this before making a purchase. If there was a problem with this, the licence could be varied later.
Alcohol would only be supplied in small amounts (e.g. 330 ml bottle) so would not take long to drink;
• there would be a maximum of five members of staff on duty: two full-time and three part-time.
At 2.47 pm, the Chairman announced an adjournment in order to obtain advice from Environmental Health officers in respect of toilet requirements. The hearing reconvened at 3.07 pm.
At the request of the Chairman, the Interim Head of Legal Services explained that the business model as described by the applicant was for 16 covers. He had spoken to the food team in Environmental Health Services with regard to customer toilets. Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 the local authority can require, especially when food and drink is prepared on the premises for consumption on the premises, the provision of toilets for customers. In addition, there was a preference that staff toilets are reserved for staff members. Whether the Council would require the provision of customer toilets in any given case would depend on the nature and scale of the operation.
However, it was the view of Environmental Health that if the premises were seating 16 customers for the supply of hot food and alcohol, a separate customer toilet facility would be required.
The Chairman noted that there was confusion because the applicant was applying as a takeaway but talking about restaurant premises.
The Senior Licensing Officer clarified that the application was for a takeaway business which would be providing seats for up to 16 customers if they wished to eat on the premises. The plan provided with the application was to show that there could be seats, it was not a definitive final plan. No orders for alcohol would be taken by phone. There would be waiter/waitress service for the tables;
takeaway customers would go to the counter. Notices would be displayed to inform customers that alcohol would only be sold for consumption on the premises. There would be no off sales. During the adjournment, the applicant
(E) QUESTIONS Further questioning between the parties present took place and answers were given as follows.
Mr Cemgil confirmed that:
The Senior Licensing Officer confirmed that, as a responsible authority, the Fire Authority had been consulted on the application and floor plan (which showed the fire exit doors as opening inwards) and had not made any comments.
Mr Gowda commented that, with 16 seats, there would be no room inside for customers waiting for takeaways. Customers would wait outside, and could be drinking alcohol purchased elsewhere, causing a nuisance.
At the request of the Senior Planning Officer, Mr Cemgil agreed to contact the Planning Authority to clarify whether the premises use permitted covered A3 (restaurant/café) as well as A5 (hot food takeaway).
(F) CLOSING STATEMENTS The Chairman asked all parties if they wished to make a closing statement.
Mr Cemgill emphasised that the applicant had over 30 years’ business experience. £60K was being spent on refurbishment of the premises and a
The Senior Licensing Officer reminded the Panel of the licensing objectives, asking them to apply appropriate weight to the steps proposed to achieve them and to the representations received, in conjunction with the additional information provided and the guidance of the Secretary of State. She noted that the applicant had agreed to reduce the hours of operation/opening; there would be no off sales of alcohol either in person or by telephone; up to 16 seats would be provided; a Challenge 21 age policy would be operated; and there would be up to two personal licence holders. While she understood the Panel’s concern with regard to fire safety, the determination could not take this into consideration because no representation had been received from the fire authority. She asked the Panel to base its decision on the representations received and the evidence provided of the risks and benefits, and to justify its decision as being appropriate and proportionate.
(G) DETERMINATION At 3.32 pm the Panel adjourned to deliberate. The Chairman asked all those present to be in the Chamber at 3.47 pm in case further information was required.
At 4.05 pm the Panel returned to the Chamber.
The Chairman advised that, having regard to the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and the Guidance issued by the Secretary of State, the Panel had decided to grant the application for a premises licence for the sale of alcohol on the premises as amended by the applicant at the hearing, i.e. operating hours and opening hours reduced to comply with the planning condition on the
premises, subject to the following additional condition:
• Any change in the seating plan for customers as shown on the plan submitted with the application must be referred to the fire authority.
This condition is imposed in the interests of ensuring public safety.
Reasons for decision The application as amended and conditioned was considered to be compliant
with the promotion of the licensing objectives for the following reasons:
Prevention of Crime and Disorder – the applicant has undertaken to provide CCTV.
Public Safety – the Sub-Committee noted that the fire authority had raised no objection to the application based on the seating plan submitted with the application. However, at the hearing the applicant indicated that the seating plan was to be altered to enable more customers to be seated. The Sub-Committee therefore imposed a condition requiring the fire authority to be consulted in the
Prevention of Public Nuisance – the Sub-Committee took into account that the applicant had responded to the objection raised by the planning authority by amending the hours of operation and opening to correspond with the planning condition on the premises. It was considered that this would help to address the concerns voiced by residents in respect of public nuisance. The Sub-Committee noted that there are other powers available to the authorities should problems arise, such as environmental health legislation, and that the licence can be called in by residents or a responsible authority for a review by the Licensing Authority should problems occur.
Protection of Children from Harm – the Sub-Committee noted that the operation of a Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 policy was a mandatory condition of a premises licence and that, at the hearing, the applicant had undertaken to operate a Challenge 21 policy.
Appendix A: Floor Plan Appendix B: Decision Notice Closure: 4.05 pm (having commenced at 2.06 pm)