The licensing officer reported that additional information had been circulated from the applicant in response to the objectors. This would be interleaved with the agenda papers.
Residents who lived in close proximity to the premises spoke against the application. It was stated that this was a residential part of Upper Street with no bars but with kitchen shops, clothes shops and dry cleaners. The rear of the premises was very quiet and this premises, that was proposing to sell alcohol from 7.30am to 11pm, sounded as though it would be a bar rather than a butchers shop. The shop was in a cumulative impact area and anti-social behaviour was a concern. The grant of the licence would be against the cumulative impact policy. All of the shops had two or three flats above with bedrooms that backed onto the gardens. If the outside space at the rear was used the noise from customers would be very loud. The bedrooms were at the rear and the volume of noise in the rear garden would increase with the drinking of alcohol. Safety concerns were also raised regarding access to the flat roof. It was stated that it was believed that the previous occupiers had removed the sound proofing in the ceiling and speakers had to be moved to the walls. A resident stated that she could hear the bass of music playing in her premises and with a 7.30am start would not get a lie in. A second resident stated that she would not want people eating in the rear garden, even during the day, as residents used the rear of their properties to work in. There were no other garden areas being used as a café. The premises was previously a hairdresser, then a gluten free bakery and now was being used as a bar/restaurant. The grant of this licence would be against the cumulative impact area policy. The applicant had stated that he had contacted residents but they stated that this had not been the case. This was a quiet space on a busy street and flats had been purchased above shops as they were more affordable. A bar was not in keeping with bedrooms above.
In response to questions, it was noted that the previous café did not have smoking at the rear but it was very noisy even so. The resident was able to hear every word and with the grant of this licence the noise could potentially wake her up. Another resident stated that she objected to the use of the rear garden at any time.
The applicant stated that this was not a bar but a butchers shop that sold cheese with craft beer and bio-dynamic wines. They would be opening at 7.30am for the butchery and to get set up for the day. Music would not be played at this time. This was not a bar and nor would they wish it to be. They had no issues in other premises that he managed. They required the 11pm terminal hour as payments could not be taken after this time but he had no intention of staying open that late. They hoped to be open for the breakfast trade and for parents passing by purchasing goods for the evening. Alcohol was not priced cheaply and it had been agreed that the rear garden would close at 8pm. He was happy to speak to residents about noise concerns and would offer his phone number. The 9pm food order would be the last order and if the rear garden was closed they would be closed at 10pm. The ceiling speakers had been disconnected and the sound proofing would be looked at again. He was willing to talk about the use of the garden with the residents. He wanted customers to sample small plates with a beer and wine pairing. In response to concerns regarding social distancing it was stated that a recent BBQ tasting had no public present and only staff who worked together all of the time. Alcohol was sold at a high price point and it was the intention to showcase British produce. He understood concerns but this was primarily retail/wholesale and not a pub or a bar and other premises he had across London had no issues. This shop was on a 15 year lease. A telephone number would be made available. Smoking would be prohibited at the rear and a smoking sign would be attached to the front window. Alcohol could be purchased from other butchers. He took his responsibilities seriously. All butchery was carried out downstairs and music would not be played until 9am.
In response to questions, it was noted that all customers would be seated and alcohol on the premises was available from 12 noon. The applicant offered to work with the resident living above the premises to discuss noise levels and he had used sound proofing in other premises which had worked well. He had not been aware that the sound proofing had been removed. He hoped that work could be undertaken in January 2021. Music would be at a low level from 9am. Work at 7.30am would be carried out in the basement. The rear garden would be closed at 8pm, breakfast served at 9am. The garden would get little use in the winter and heaters were not being used. The flat roof could not be accessed except via ladder and CCTV was in the garden. The rear gate needed policing and this had often been left open.
In summary, the offer about checking the sound through the ceiling was welcomed by residents but concerns remained regarding the noise from the rear garden, particularly at the weekends. This intrusive noise had not been addressed and would escape unless the area was enclosed.
The applicant stated that he could consider installing a pergola in consultation with the residents. The use of the garden was one of the main reasons that he had taken the lease but he was happy to work with residents regarding the noise issue.
1) That the application for a new premises licence, in respect of Butcher and Brew, 267 Upper Street, N1 be granted to allow:-
a) the sale of alcohol, on and off supplies, Mondays to Sundays from 07:30 until 10:30pm
b) The premises to be open to the public, Mondays to Sundays from 07:30 until 11pm.
2) That conditions detailed on pages 44 to 47 of the agenda be applied to the licence with the following additional conditions:
· No music to be played inside the premises before 9am.
· There be no use of the rear garden before 10am at the weekends and 9am during the week.
· No smoking in the rear garden of the premises.
· Prior to March there be appropriate and effective sound proofing installed in the premises.
REASONS FOR DECISION
This meeting was held under regulations made under the Coronavirus 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. Paragraph 47 states that applications with comprehensive operating schedules which are small premises of no more than 50 persons, or mixed use, or not alcohol led, with hours of operation consistent with the framework hours, may be regarded as exceptions to the special policies.
Twelve local resident objections had been received. Three residents attended the meeting. Conditions were agreed with the police and the noise team.
The Sub-Committee heard that this was a quiet residential area at the rear of the premises with bedrooms overlooking the garden and in proximity to a flat roof. People working all week looked forward to a long lie in the mornings at the weekend. The evidence was given by the neighbour directly above that the previous owners had ripped out the sound proofing and installed speakers in the ceiling. The effect of this was that she could hear everything from downstairs. The applicant emphasised that this was not a bar. It was a butchers shop selling cheese, charcuterie, craft beers and expensive bio-dynamic wines. The on licence was to enable customers to enjoy a plate of their produce and a glass of alcohol but not to get drunk. In fact, they would not be selling alcohol all the time. 9pm was for last orders and the door would be closed at 10pm. He required the extra hour in the evening to process payments through the till. He would be working in the basement, butchering until about 9am. He had disconnected the speakers and had not been previously aware of the issue with the sound proofing. However, he was willing to meet with the residents in January to discuss noise issues. In the garden there was no heating and they would only really be using it in the summer. Cameras would be used to monitor any trespassers on the flat roof. He considered constructing a pergola but this was a matter he would discuss with the residents.
The Sub-Committee concluded that, with conditions, including limiting the opening of the garden to 10am at weekends, the granting of the premises licence would be unlikely to add to the cumulative impact in the area. The Sub-Committee was satisfied that the applicant was engaging with neighbours and was interested in reducing any problems that there may be.
The Sub-Committee was satisfied that granting the premises licence was proportionate and appropriate to the promotion of the licensing objectives and in the public interest.
Note of the Committee
The Sub-Committee welcomed the fact that the applicant was engaging with the residents to minimise the impact of noise from the rear area.