Agenda, decisions and minutes

Licensing Sub-committee - Thursday, 10th September, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Remote Meeting - Remote. View directions

Contact: Joanne Wildsmith Tel: 9283 4057  Email: Democratic@Portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

17.

Appointment of Chair

Minutes:

Councillor Udy was nominated by Cllr Madden and appointed as Chair for the meeting.

18.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of members' interests.

19.

Licensing Act 2003 - Application for grant of a premises licence - Old Pier Hut, Unit 10, South Parade Pier, South Parade pdf icon PDF 261 KB

The purpose of the Licensing Manager's report is for the committee to consider an application for the grant of a new premises licence pursuant to section 18 of the Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act").

 

The matter has been referred to the committee for determination following receipt of

relevant representations from a local residents and a ward councillor.

Further detail about the representations received is shown at paragraph 4 of the report.

 

THE COMMITTEE IS REQUESTED TO DETERMINE THE APPLICATION.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

The Sub Committee has considered very carefully the application for a premises licence at the Old Pier Hut.  It gave due regard to the Licensing Act 2003, the Licensing Objectives, statutory guidance and the adopted statement of licensing policy.

 

The Sub Committee considered the relevant representations, both written and given at the hearing, by all parties.  Human rights legislation and the public sector equality duty has been borne in mind whilst making the decision.

The Sub Committee noted that there had been representations from residents (a total of 36) and a local ward councillor (also representing 5 of the 36 residents) raising concerns broadly in relation to the licensing objectives of nuisance, crime and disorder and the protection of children from harm. No formal representations had been made by responsible authorities. In particular it was noted that neither the police nor environmental health had raised any concern with the application. The application was confirmed as being for a fast-food takeaway premises on the East side of the pier and to allow the provision of off-sales of alcohol.  The pier has five licensed premises. It was established that the premises is currently operating and conducting non-licensable activities and that TENs had been utilised without reported issue.

After having heard all of the above evidence the Sub Committee determined to grant the proposed application in the terms sought.

 

Reasons

 

The Sub Committee heard evidence raised by residents raising strong concern in relation to the availability of alcohol at this particular location. Strong fears were expressed including but not limited to the following issues:

 

-       Public nuisance

-       Protecting children from exposure to alcohol

-       Planning permission for construction and use of a decking area

-       Noise from the pier, arcade and rides

-       The potential for late night disturbance and anti-social behaviour - including from large groups of drinkers and drinking on the beach

-       A potential for return to a late night economy in the area

-       The impact upon property prices

-       A potential ruination of the atmoshphere of the area

-       The impact upon Covid safe-distancing and behaviours if alcohol is more readily available

-       The proximity to residential areas

-       It being a family area

-       Lack of toilet provision / distance to public toilets

-       Parking

-       Increased waste

-       Public safety where alcohol is mixed with swimming

It is understood from the residents' representations that a flyer entitled "drinking on the beach" had been disseminated. There was also very clear confusion in the representations as to the applicability of planning issues and the potential use of the decking area.

Legal advice provided during the course of the hearing and reaffirmed during private deliberations, made it clear that use of the decking area, noise from other premises at the pier (e.g. arcade), planning issues, parking, the impact upon property prices, potential precedent, the "need" for additional premises etc. cannot be taken into consideration whilst the Sub Committee is determining the application.

 

The applicant in evidence given  ...  view the full decision text for item 19.

Minutes:

Mr Wallsgrove explained that he would be representing the applicant (Mr Anik) as his solicitor.

 

Mr Stone, Principal Licensing Officer, presented the Licensing Manager's report and he reported that of the 36 residents who had made representations 10 had replied to say that they were not attending and 5 had asked Councillor Symes to make representations on their behalf. There was a clarification from Ms D Sait who said her objection was regarding the decking, which it was explained was not linked to this application.

 

Members' questions covered the lack of objections from Responsible Authorities, which included the police, Environmental Health and Public Health. It was established that the hut had been operating to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks with tables and chairs outside (as evidenced in the pictures). The decking had been part of a completely separate planning application. Mr Stone confirmed that consumption of alcohol itself is not a licenced activity but the sale of it is. The applicant had successfully operated under four Temporary Event Notices over the summer weekends in August.

 

There were no further questions of the Principal Licensing Officer.

 

Mr Wallsgrove then presented the applicant's case, stating that Mr Anik is an experienced operator (having other restaurants in the area), and that the sale of alcohol during the temporary periods in August had not led to problems. There were 6 tables for a maximum of 24 persons if needed. No responsible authority had submitted objections. Some of the representations cited the decking which was not linked to the Old Pier Hut (it had planning permission applied for by the owner of South Parade Pier) so should not form part of consideration of this licensing application. There were other units on the pier that were, however, licensed to sell alcohol for off sales but were not currently operating in this way.  He reiterated the suitability of his client to manage the sale of alcohol.

 

Questions were asked of the applicant's representative by the panel members. It was reiterated that Mr Anik had not been involved in the separate application for decking. Whilst the application was for all year trade, it may be operated seasonally.  The previous conversation between Cllr Symes and Mr Anik was examined regarding opening hours running until 9pm rather than 11pm; Mr Anik had offered to cease the sale of alcohol at the earlier time if objections were withdrawn, so as to get the licence approved earlier for summer trading, but this had not been agreed to by Cllr Symes. Mr Wallsgrove felt there was no evidence to suggest why hours should be cut to 9pm and the application was, as stated, with opening hours until 11pm.  He explained that negotiations with objectors was common practice to see if a compromise could be reached that would not necessitate a committee hearing (which was confirmed by the Legal Adviser).  There were agreed conditions with the police as within the operating schedule (e.g. no high strength beers). Mr Wallsgrove explained the operation of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Licensing Act 2003 - Application for grant of a premises licence - Highland Express Convenience Store, 121 Highland Road, Southsea, PO4 9EY (to be heard from 2pm or later) pdf icon PDF 258 KB

 

The purpose of the Licensing Manager's report is for the committee to consider an application for the grant of a new premises licence pursuant to section 18 of the Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act").

The matter has been referred to the committee for determination following receipt of relevant representations from 'other persons' namely local residents. Further detail about the representations received is shown at paragraph 4 of the report.

 

THE COMMITTEE IS REQUESTED TO DETERMINE THE APPLICATION

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

The Sub Committee has considered very carefully the application for a premises licence at the Highland Express Convenience Store, 121 Highland Road.  It gave due regard to the Licensing Act 2003, the Licensing Objectives, statutory guidance and the adopted statement of licensing policy.

 

The Sub Committee considered the relevant representations, both written and given at the hearing, by all parties.  Human rights legislation and the public sector equality duty has been borne in mind whilst making the decision.

The Sub Committee noted that there had been representations from residents, with the majority having signed a petition. Residents are raising concerns broadly in relation to the licensing objectives of nuisance and crime and disorder.

 

After having heard all of the above evidence the Sub Committee determined to grant the proposed application in the terms sought.

 

Reasons

 

Residents raised, amongst others, the following issues by way of objection:

-       Public nuisance - fears reference noise and loitering

-       Parking

-       Waste (during the course of the hearing)

-       Need / necessity of additional alcohol sales premises

-       Impact upon families and children's sleep

-       Noise / lack of soundproofing

It is understood from the oral representation given at the hearing that residents object to a convenience store with such extensive hours of opening and sale of alcohol.

 

The applicant in evidence given today made it clear that the premises will be a small convenience store and it will be 6-8 weeks before the store opens. There has been substantial investment to purchase and further to fit out the store. The shop will provide employment. The applicant already owns and runs a Costcutter store in Southsea which has opening hours until 2am on certain nights.

 

The applicant stated that people purchasing alcohol after leaving other licensed venues / premises is not something he experiences at his other store.

 

The aim of the applicant is to provide a convenience store where customers are able to purchase all their groceries in one go, including alcohol.

The applicant reassured the Sub Committee that the fact he has another store means he is well aware of the measures that can be undertaken in the event that his premises is the cause of nuisance or crime and disorder. The applicant is aware that if granted and taken away this would have a massive impact upon his business given the level of investment and reduction in trade.

Whilst it was acknowledged by the Sub Committee that there are a number of stores offering alcohol at similar hours, that commercial "need" is not a relevant factor when making licensing decisions.

 

Statutory guidance, issued in accordance with s.182 of the Licensing Act 2003 states (para 10.15) that shops should normally be able to sell alcohol at hours the business is normally open unless there is good reason not to.

 

The Sub Committee noted that there were no representations from responsible authorities and accepted the applicant's assertion that due weight had to be given to that fact given that responsible authorities  ...  view the full decision text for item 20.

Minutes:

Derek Stone, Principal Licensing Officer, presented the Licensing Manager's report.  The application had resulted in 11 representations (there was some duplication of these and the petition) and for information two further representations had been circulated to the panel members from Mrs Warren and Mrs Jones.

 

Questions were raised by members, including the notification process - it was confirmed that this was in order and would not be a ground for refusal. It was also confirmed that there had been no objections raised by any of the Responsible Authorities.

 

A resident ("other person"), Ms D Staker, wished to raise concerns and was advised by the Chair that she had the opportunity to do so after questions to the relevant parties.  

 

Mr Wallsgrove the applicant's solicitor had no questions of Mr Stone.

 

Applicant's case - Mr Wallsgrove presented the case on behalf of Mr Uthayatharan (also referred to as Kumar), outlining the plans for this small convenience store, which would take 6-8 weeks to fit out if approved. The unit had been empty for months and would provide employment.  The applicant is an experienced operator, owning a convenience store in Outram Road.  The premises licence and the late hours were essential to convenience retail operation, and the use would be subject to review if there was evidence to support it. He pointed out that the Responsible Authorities had not submitted objections; they had discussed the hours with the police who did not raise concern but did not want opening later than midnight. There would be due diligence measures, such as CCTV and staff would receive the appropriate training to make alcohol sales challenges. The applicant expected there to be a local customer base rather than customers driving there.

 

Mr Wallsgrove responded to the mention of rubbish and emergency exit by Ms Staker, which were not linked to the licensable activities. He asked Mr Kumar to outline the rubbish storage arrangements, with wholesalers taking back packaging and storage inside and a commercial collection of waste.

Only a few people had signed the petition and it was not known how many had been approached by the organiser.

 

Questions were then asked by members who asked about soundproofing to protect the flat above and storage areas on the plan.  The noise issue would be a matter for environmental health.  It was also asked if there had been complaints regarding the other shops owned by the applicant.  The applicant had helped the police with queries regarding incidents outside with access to CCTV.  The planning use was clarified as permitted development from Class A1 to retail use.

 

In response to a question from Mrs Staker (for residents) Mr Wallsgrove confirmed on behalf of the applicant that rubbish would not be stored outside. Mrs Staker also raised problems with the lack of soundproofing but raised no further questions.

 

Other Persons

Mrs Staker stated that she was also representing the other 2 objectors.  She raised problems of noise, being in a residential area with children living  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.