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Agenda item

Ciro's, Unit 6, The Ivories, 6-8 Northampton Street, N1 2HY - New premises licence


The Licensing Officer reported that there were representations from the police and the noise team which had been withdrawn following conditions being agreed. The applicant had further proposed an on-sale time of 10.30pm to allow drinking up time. Music would be background only and therefore recorded music had been withdrawn. He informed the Sub-Committee that there had been two applications made on the same day for the same site but they were both very different in scope.


A planning officer was in attendance to respond to questions about the planning consent.  He advised that an air conditioning unit on the roof was subject to planning control. The hours requested for this application were beyond the hours granted for the air conditioning unit however, he had been advised that the premises would not connect to these units. He advised that planning and licensing were separate frameworks and an approved licensing application would not prevent a breach of planning. In response to a question, it was reported that applicants often proposed the hours of use for mechanical plant but planning would apply an appropriate decibel level.


One local resident stated that if the application was for a deli, coffee shop with alcohol ancillary to food, the planning use would remain in Class E. However, he had concerns that only small plates were being provided and no hot food. There was a large area indicating storage of alcohol with no food preparation area and he considered that alcohol would not only be ancillary. He was concerned that the main use would be for a wine bar and planning would be required for a change of use. The hours of opening extended well past the hours permitted by the current planning consent and he considered that residents would be asked to monitor the premises. Other deli cafes in Islington offered a far greater food offering. A second resident raised concerns regarding the planning condition. The planning officer took into consideration the close proximity to residential accommodation and restricted the hours of use for the air conditioning unit to 8am to 6pm. He considered this application to be in breach of these hours. There had been no mention of sound insulation in the premises. This was a quiet residential area and he asked that the application should be refused. A third local resident reiterated that this was a densely residential area. The property looked over a number of social and privately owned flats. Any venue would bring considerable noise and disturbance and the elderly and vulnerable particularly would be impacted. The air conditioning unit was not currently turned off at 6pm and residents would like this condition to be enforced. It was considered that this was an unsuitable building for an alcohol licence and wished that residential amenity be maintained.


The Sub-Committee heard from the applicant who stated that her intention was for the business to be a café/deli with alcohol as an option. She would not be serving alcohol after 10.30pm, she would have CCTV and staff would be fully trained for Challenge 25.


In response to questions from the Sub-Committee she stated that she wished to showcase natural wine with food. This would complement the food offering but was not the sole focus of the business. It was table service with small tapas style plates and sharing plates with soft drinks available. She maintained a small air conditioning unit but this was separate to the unit on the roof of the development. Music would be background and she would have an open-door approach for residents. She did not currently have a phone number that residents could have but they could reach her by email. In response to a question about reaching out to the community, she stated that several people had spoken to her about the application but once she had explained the business model they had seemed quite happy. She had not known there were any issues until she had received representations about the application. She stated that she would be the chef and manager.  There would be table service and staff would be trained by her. There was no vertical drinking. There were 30 seats in the premises. 36 covers would be the maximum with the outside tables. She would be the designated premises supervisor, the chef and the manager and would hire another member of staff in case another personal licence holder was required. Off sales would be in a closed bottle. The applicant stated that she would be happy with a terminal hour of 10.30pm and she considered that the venue would have similar food and vibe both in the day and evening. She had looked at a number of places to set up the business. There were a couple of pubs and a coffee shop in the local area and she considered that this premises would be a positive influence. 


In summary, the residents considered that this was not a serious business plan but was an application to operate a wine bar. There had been no discussion with residents. This was a tapas bar where food proportions were small and the amount of alcohol was large. This was a residential area and off licences are closed at 8pm. When Arsenal were playing they hoped that the applicant would be able to control patrons standing outside, drinking and not blocking the public highway.


The applicant did not feel the need to add anything further.



That the application for a new premises licence, in respect of Ciro’s, Unit 6, The Ivories 6-8 Northampton Street, N1 2HY be refused.



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 Policy 4.  The Council has adopted a special policy relating to cumulative impact in relation to shops and other premises selling alcohol for consumption off the premises.  Licensing policy 4 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 or subject to certain limitations, following the receipt of representations, unless the applicant can demonstrate in the operating schedule that there will be no negative cumulative impact on one or more of the licensing objectives.


Conditions had been agreed with the Police, Noise Team and Trading Standards and their representations had therefore been withdrawn.


Six local resident objections had been received and three residents spoke at the meeting against the application. It was pointed out that this was a densely populated residential area and the amenity of residents needed to be protected. The premises looked out onto flats which housed elderly, vulnerable people and children. Concerns were expressed about planning issues and the noise from the air conditioning units on the roof but the applicant confirmed that she would not be using the air conditioning. The planning officer stated that planning issues were separate from the licensing framework and breaches were matters for enforcement by planning.


The Sub-Committee took into account licensing policy 22. The licensing authority is committed to preventing public nuisance by protecting the amenity of residents in the vicinity of licensed premises. There were complaints about the effect of noise from the café if the sale of alcohol was to be permitted and the Sub-Committee heard evidence that Arsenal supporters came to the area on match days with the possibility of anti-social behaviour.


The Sub-Committee heard from the applicant that there would be three tables outside and took into account licensing policy 26. The licensing authority expects applicants to provide comprehensive details in their operating schedule on how outside areas would be managed to prevent noise and pavement obstruction. This was not provided.


Licensing policy 8, paragraph 91, states that the licensing authority is committed to promoting high standards of management in all licensed premises and expects applicants to demonstrate this through their operating schedule and management practices. Experience indicates that where these requirements are not adhered to, the licensing objectives are likely to be undermined.


The applicant did not appear to have consulted with local residents and had not been aware of the concerns of residents. She thought that perhaps a notice she had displayed in the window about the availability of natural wines might have upset residents. The Sub-Committee noted that she had agreed condition 20, which stated that the premises licence holder shall not advertise the availability of off sales of alcohol by any notice visible to passers-by. When asked about how she would keep her premises cool and ventilated on a hot day in summer, the applicant said she would keep doors and windows open. She had agreed condition 31, to keep all doors and windows closed after 9pm but did not mention this.  The applicant was unclear on how she would manage premises in the evening and what differences she might expect in the nature of her trade. There were 30 to 36 covers. She would be there all the time. She would be designated premises supervisor, chef and manager and thought she might be assisted by either 3 or 4 other people.


The Sub-Committee was concerned that she did not fully understand the responsibility involved in taking on a premises licence and selling alcohol. This was a new venture for the applicant and she had not clearly explained how she would anticipate and mitigate any problems that might arise.


The Sub-Committee concluded that the granting of the licence would not promote the licensing objectives.


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