The licensing officer introduced the applicant, his representative and a local resident who was speaking on behalf of interested parties who lived near the premises. It was noted that additional submissions from one of the objectors and a further submission from the applicant’s representative in response had been circulated.
The interested party stated that some objectors had been residents in the area for 20 years and one for over 50 years and they had seen the decline in the area with the increase in licensed premises. Regarding the licensing objective for the prevention of public nuisance, it was stated that numerous calls had been made to the noise team and they were on record. These included one about a contractor operating an angle grinder late in the evening. It was stated that patrons from the applicant’s other venue across the road would loiter outside, late into the night, shouting and slamming doors. Mini cabs and private vehicles would be attending day and night. There had been a recent altercation outside the premises which had been dismissed by the applicant. The atmosphere was intolerable for females. Smokers were outside at all hours. There would be predictable results by moving the smokers to the rear of the premises in a residential area. Males outside other premises were seen spitting, holding drinking games and littering. A change in the name of this premises would not improve matters. Assurances that music noise would not escape from the premises were not believed. There were already a large number of licensed premises in the area and another grant of a licence was one too many. An additional bar would attract unsavoury customers. The flow of traffic was constant and parking inconsiderate. He did not consider that the applicant was a pillar of the community as had been reported by his representative. He had been a Director of at least two dissolved companies and he considered that he had not passed the fit and proper person test. The invitations to meet the applicant had not been received or had been received too late to attend. He urged the Sub-Committee to refuse the application on the grounds of preventing public nuisance and on public safety. He considered that the area had already reached breaking point.
In response to questions, the licensing officer reported that there had been no complaints about the premises. The premises was not yet open and had not been operated as it was unlicensed. The invite to objectors from the applicant had been sent with the notice of hearing. The licensee managed a premises across the road.
The applicant’s representative stated that they had consulted pre-application stage and had heard nothing from residents. As soon as objections had been received a response was sent, covering all concerns and all were invited to the venue to meet the owner yet no objector had turned up. The previous licensee had ceased trading one year previously. There had been no construction using an angle grinder at this premises although the applicant was aware of other premises which had used one after hours. It was noted that the application for live music and recorded music had been removed after 11pm in response to concerns from residents. An air conditioning unit and kitchen fan had been installed and the applicant had asked residents if they could be heard. He would deal with any issues immediately and would not wish to upset neighbours. He emphasised that the premises was to be a quiet family restaurant.
In response to questions, the applicant stated that the rear garden area would be used to serve meals outside and for smokers. This area would be closed at 10pm. This had been agreed with the Licensing Authority pre-application. The area out the front had been set back approximately two to three metres with enough room for six people smoking. There was a maximum capacity for 4 to 6 people. There could be chairs and tables in the morning for coffee and tea. The applicant stated that the front area was 2 x 5 metres and was not angled. The rear garden had a capacity of 30 people. Residents were 18 metres away from the rear. The rear garden area was 20 square metres i.e 4 x 5 metres. Members noted that the plan in the report had not been drawn to scale. The licensing officer advised that due to the Covid restrictions he had not made a site visit to the premises. It was also noted that there was a factory at the rear that closed at 5pm. The premises had previous tenants for 20 years and the applicant stated that the premises was the same as when he took over the lease.
In summary, the objector stated that the applicant’s premises over the road held parties and so he considered that this would also happen at these premises. The frontage had not always been set back and planning consent would be required for these works. He did not know how 4-6 smokers would be able to smoke in that space. He stated that the noise complaint regarding the angle grinder was from this premises and the noise team had caught them in the act. He stated that the Sub-Committee should refuse the application on the grounds of public nuisance, crime and disorder and public safety.
The applicant’s representative stated that the applicant’s other restaurant opposite the premises had received no complaints. If any issues had been brought to his attention he had tried to sort them out. He was a model licensee. There had been no objections from the police or the licensing authority and he asked that the Sub-Committee grant the application.
1) That The Sub-Committee has agreed to defer the decision regarding Hermil Island Lounge, 230 Hornsey Road, N7 7LL, in the public interest, for the Sub-Committee to receive information on the following:-
· the front and rear areas of the premises - the dimensions, the proposed use and capacity of each of these areas and whether they are to be licensed,
· for the licensing officer to carry out a site visit;
· details of the complaint investigated by the noise team about the anti-social use of the angle grinder; and
· the planning position regarding the front and rear of the premises.
· The matter would be considered by the three members of the Sub-Committee present this evening.
REASONS FOR THE DECISION
The Sub-Committee decided to defer the decision because there was insufficient information presented to enable them to determine the application.