The licensing officer reported that planning permission would be required if the premises was a takeaway. The applicant had stated that it was proposed to be primarily used as a restaurant.
The Licensing Authority stated that the hours were outside licensing policy framework hours. If the application was for a restaurant the framework hours were until midnight. The applicant had not explained why these hours were required and had not addressed the cumulative impact policy. The applicant managed the neighbouring premises and should this licence be granted it would double the trade within a small area. She stated, that in response to an email sent by the applicant’s representative which had stated that this was an experienced and responsible manager, she raised concerns regarding good management standards in that a fixed penalty had been served on the neighbouring premises in October 2020 under Covid restrictions. The premises had been visited several times by council officers before it had been served. They had not stated the link with the next door premises in the original application. If the premises was to be operated as a take away the hours were outside framework hours and would be even more so if it was operated as a restaurant.
The applicant’s representative stated that the applicant operated a small fast food restaurant with 20 seats upstairs next door to this premises. He had been at the premises for over ten years. The fixed penalty notice occurred when a member of staff was serving food at the door. The fine was paid immediately and the individual was dismissed. The applicant was committed to working with all the responsible authorities and conditions had been agreed with the police and the noise team. A licence could be granted if there were exceptional circumstances. This was not an application for alcohol but for late night refreshment. He raised concerns that the email regarding the fine from the Licensing Authority had only been sent the day before and he had not had a chance to respond. The applicant stated the licensing team had called at the premises on a day he was not working and after two weeks had sent a penalty fine. He had paid immediately and after that had closed before 11pm. He apologised for the penalty and said that many people had been confused over the Covid resgulations. This was a one off incident and the member of staff had been dismissed.
In response to questions it was reported that training would be given to all staff regularly every three months. The applicant knew the local residents and would provide a contact telephone number. This was a good location for workers such as the police, railway workers and cab drivers who would prefer to eat in a restaurant after work rather than have a takeaway. The premises next door had two managers, one during the day and one at night, 3 staff on the counter and two in the kitchen. Approximately 7 or 8 staff. It was expected that the restaurant would have similar numbers with waiters in addition. The applicant’s representative stated that Kings Cross was on the edge of a cumulative impact area. The premises was not alcohol led and sold late night refreshment only and he considered that this was an exception to the cumulative impact policy.
In summary, the Licensing Authority stated that the premises would still add to the cumulative impact and was outside framework hours and this had not been covered in the presentation. She stated that the applicant’s representative had submitted that the licensee had not had any issues in ten years and in response to this she stated that a fixed penalty had been issued.
The applicant’s representative stated that the local authority representation had been made on the grounds of public nuisance and the prevention of crime and disorder. No residents had made any objection to the application. The Sub-Committee should be satisfied with the high standards of management. The hours and conditions would help dispersal in the area. The neighbouring premises were already operating to these hours and would not cause additional nuisance as it would help people leaving the area.
That the application for a new premises licence, in respect of Crystals Pizza and Fried Chicken, 4 York Way, N1 9AA be refused.
REASONS FOR DECISION
This meeting 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.
This was a new licence application for a business which the Sub-Committee was informed would operate primarily as a restaurant.
The application was for a late night refreshment licence for the hours 11pm to 5am Mondays to Sundays. The Sub-Committee heard that the applicant owned and managed another restaurant with the same hours next door to the premises in question. The Licensing Authority submitted written and provided oral submissions to the hearing. There had been no representations made by any of the other responsible authorities. The Police and Noise team had agreed conditions with the applicant.
The Sub-Committee took into consideration Licensing Policies 2 & 3. The premises fall within the Kings Cross 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.
The hours requested in the application were significantly outside the framework hours.
The Sub-Committee agreed with the Licensing Authority’s representations which emphasized the fact that the hours requested were significantly outside the framework hours and that the applicant had not adequately addressed the cumulative impact issue both in the application papers and in the oral submissions to the Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee also considered the potential noise disturbance to neighbours in the area from having a second late night venue added thereto in such close proximity to the existing one.
The applicant had raised the issue of good standard of management at the premises next door, owned and managed by the applicant. In response, the Licensing Authority produced evidence to the Sub-Committee of the fact that the applicant had contravened the Covid Regulations in 2020 and had been fined by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice.
The applicants’ response was that the fine had been paid and that the person on duty that day had been dismissed.
In conclusion, the Sub-Committee was of the opinion that the applicant had not rebutted the presumption that the granting of the application would negatively impact on the licensing objectives. It was accordingly decided that the appropriate and proportionate decision would be to refuse the application.