The licensing officer stated that the hours of application had been amended as follows:- The sale of alcohol from Monday to Sunday, 12 noon until 8pm and opening hours to be 8am to 8pm. The ground floor would not be licensed for alcohol and a revised layout plan for the first floor had been circulated and proposed condition 9 had been revised to reflect this. Planning implications had been raised by the interested parties.
Two local resident objectors spoke against the application. One resident stated that there was no objection to the nursery but it would be inappropriate for a nursery to serve alcohol. He was pleased that the hours had now been reduced in line with the planning consent. He did not consider that the application was compatible to nursery use only (D1) regarding the planning consent and considered that the application be deferred until the planning situation was rectified. A second resident agreed with this objection and added that the application should be refused for the reasons of public safety and the protection of children from harm and also that the premises was in the cumulative impact area.
The applicant’s representative stated that this was not a bar or a restaurant and would look like a nursery from the outside. There would be no functions in the premises. Alcohol would be limited to the first floor which contained a kitchen area, a small cinema room and a soft play area, which was indicated by a blue line on the tabled plan. Hours were limited in line with the planning permission. Play and education was the primary purpose of the facility. There were no licensable activities on the ground floor. The licensing hours were in line with licensing policy 6 for bars, which this was not. Management standards were high as required in licensing policy 8 and risk assessments would be carried out in line with licensing policy 27. The cumulative impact policy related to the night time economy and bars and restaurants and he considered that this application would fall under the exceptions to the policy in paragraph 47 as they were not alcohol led and the hours were within framework hours and in accordance with planning permission with the primary use of educating children. There had been no representations from the responsible authorities and conditions had been agreed with the police. They had run successful nursery premises in Kensington and Chelsea and in Chiswick for a number of years. The sale of alcohol would be ancillary to the main use of the premises as a nursery and was a small part of their revenue stream.
In response to questions it was noted that there were six designated classrooms with sleeping areas. Children were club members with a registered adult. The nursery was fully compliant with staff ratios as recommended by Ofsted. There were three managers on duty with a healthy ratio of staff and there were no issues over the last decade at their other premises. Gin was available in the Chiswick nursery and this would be served with a mixer. The space would not allow vertical drinking. This would be an opportunity for families to eat together in the restaurant area. Alcohol was not displayed or promoted but would be an added benefit for adult members of the family. The application was not to circumvent the planning position as the primary function of the premises would be as a nursery. Smoking would not be allowed outside. The main aim of the nursery was to provide education through learning and through play with alcohol ancillary. Adults would not be able to attend on their own as they would have electronic identification which recorded whether children were in attendance at the nursery and this could be challenged by reception staff.
In summary, the local resident stated that it was not appropriate for alcohol to be served at a nursery and raised concerns regarding the planning consent. He considered that the snug area should not be part of a licensed area and asked the Sub-Committee to refuse the application.
That the application for a new premises licence, in respect of Maggie and Rose be refused.
REASONS FOR DECISION
The meeting was held under regulations made under the Coronovirus Act 2020 and it was facilitated by Zoom.
The Sub-Committee listened to all the evidence and submissions and read all the material. The Sub-Committee reached the decision having given consideration to the Licensing Act 2003, as amended, and its regulations, the national guidance and the Council’s Licensing Policy.
The Sub-Committee took into consideration Licensing Policies 2 & 3. The premises fall within the Angel and Upper Street cumulative impact area. Licensing policy 3 creates a rebuttable presumption that applications for the grant or variation of premises licences which are likely to add to the existing cumulative impact will normally be refused following the receipt of representations, unless the applicant can demonstrate in the operation schedule that there will be no negative cumulative impact on one or more of the licensing objectives.
Three local resident and two local resident’s association objections had been received. Conditions had been agreed with the police, the Council’s noise service and the Council’s trading standards service.
The Sub-Committee heard from residents who raised concerns regarding the cumulative impact area and the inappropriateness of an educational establishment being licensed to serve alcohol in a cumulative impact area. They also raised concerns about the need to protect children from harm.
The Sub-Committee heard evidence from the applicant that this was an exception to the cumulative impact area policy because the premises was not alcohol led and the hours it was seeking to be licensed sat outside the night-time economy hours. It was not a bar, had no vertical drinking or off sales and would not add to street drinking.
However, the Sub-Committee was concerned that granting an alcohol licence to a nursery in a cumulative impact area was incompatible with the Councils licensing policy and would not promote the licensing objective, the protection of children from harm. The Sub-Committee also considered that the applicant had not rebutted the presumption that the grant of a new premises licence would add to the existing cumulative impact and would therefore normally be refused.
The Sub-Committee concluded that the granting of the licence would not promote the licensing objective of protection of children from harm.
The Sub-Committee was satisfied that it was proportionate and appropriate to the licensing objectives and in the public interest to refuse the licence.