Items B1-B3 were taken together as one item although decisions on each item were made separately.
The licensing officer reported that two documents had been circulated separately. These were the applicant’s response to objections from residents and in return the response from residents to this document. These would be interleaved with the agenda papers. The noise officer had withdrawn their objections and the metropolitan police had also withdrawn their representation following conditions put forward by the applicant.
Local residents representing Almeida Street, Moon Street, Studd Street and Theberton Street resident associations spoke against the application. It was reported that planning consent had been granted until only 23:00 hours each day and that exit from the mall area should be to Upper Street only. Residents were concerned about noise disturbance and loitering. There would be 66 flats along the Central Avenue. They considered that there should be no off sales or sales of take away food. There should be no disturbance from live music after 10pm. It was understood that the planning status of A1 and A3 development was flexible but it was considered that there should be some limit to the use of A3. They stated that the access doors to Central Avenue should be closed at 10pm and patrons directed and encouraged to leave via Upper Street. Signage was not enough. There should be no new customers after 10pm. If possible, there should be a ban on smoking in Central Avenue but if not, a set limit to the number of smokers and tables and chairs outside the premises should be fenced off. The dedicated phone number for complaints should be advertised on their website. It was reported that bottling out had been covered in the planning consent and was to be carried out internally. No taxis or private hire vehicles should pick up from Esther Anne Place. Customers using the gym should be discouraged from smoking outside and taxis should be restricted from picking up outside the premises.
Patrons should leave by Upper Street. It was reported that this was a saturation area with a high volume of anti-social behaviour following the consumption of alcohol.
The applicant informed the Sub-Committee that this was an application for a provisional statement and the premises would not be occupied until 2017. A tenant would need to apply for a premises licence and he considered that licensing policy 6, regarding planning consent did not apply to provisional statements.
A ten minute adjournment was held for the Sub-Committee to take legal advice as to whether licensing policy 6 applied to provisional statements.
Upon return, the legal officer reported that she had advised the Sub-Committee members that licensing policy 29, in relation to provisional statements, stated that the Sub-Committee should, as far as reasonably practicable apply the same standards to provisional statements as to premises licences. She stated that licensing policy 6 was therefore still relevant although she had also reminded members that planning and licensing were separate regimes.
The applicant asked the Sub-Committee to consider the weight they would give to the planning consent hours.
The applicant showed a map of the development and reported that the majority of patrons would exit onto Upper Street to local transport. A pop-up restaurant had been provided with a licence under delegated powers and had operated without complaint. Conditions agreed now would be passed onto any premises licence unless there was a substantial change in the application. The bar in the gym was in the basement and was not considered a bar in the strictest sense. This would be a family gym. Restaurants would have a small bar area but most patrons would be seated having a table meal. They would not be fast food restaurants. Outside tables and chairs would be removed and rendered unusable by 10pm. They did not consider that there should be a condition regarding doors and windows as noise escape would be dealt with. It was not necessary to have a condition regarding no further admissions after 10pm. When considering the cumulative impact policy, the Sub-Committee would consider the views of the responsible authorities, the proposed hours, the type and number of customers, the conditions and the standards of management to ensure premises did not have a negative impact on the cumulative impact policy. The development would promote mixed use of the premises and it was expected to have local exhibitions and art and cultural activities. Tables and chairs outside would be properly managed and would have the benefit of encouraging continental, family style dining. Regarding the conditions suggested by the residents he stated that it would not be necessary to restrict the number of smokers as meals would not take a long time, it would not be possible to enforce a condition moving patrons to a specific direction and no new entry to patrons after 10pm was not necessary. Regarding off sales the applicant stated that it was acceptable that off sales be limited to part bottles of wine consumed with the meal. Live music was not a licensable activity until 11pm. After 11pm music was background and if there was disturbance the licence could be reviewed or notice served. The applicant would be unable to prevent taxis coming into the development but would not encourage them to do so. It was not considered appropriate or proportionate that all customers had to leave the premises by 11pm.
In response to questions it was noted that the applicant had no objection to a drinking up time in the bar area. It was noted that usually 15% of floor space would be taken up by an ancillary bar. There would be approximately 165 covers in each restaurant, although it was difficult to calculate at this early stage. However, residents were protected if there was a material change and if covers increased to 250-330. This was a restaurant and Challenge 25 would be onerous on the licensee. There would be lighting at either end of the mall and good signage and lighting throughout. There could be a number of smokers walking along Esther Anne Place so it would not be appropriate to restrict smokers outside the premises. The development would be controlled by 24 hour CCTV and security and the two restaurants and the gym would be a small part of the total offer. Concern was raised that the applicant had not completed the section in the application form asking the applicant to describe the steps that would be taken to promote the licensing objectives. The applicant stated he had produced a proposed schedule of conditions and had not wanted to put waffle on the form. He undertook to complete the form more fully for future applications. It was noted that the bar in the gym was more a lounge than a bar. Gym members would need to go through a reception area and it was effectively a private club.
In summary, the residents reported that a premises in the development was already operating without planning permission. A condition had been imposed on the Grangers licence in Clerkenwell regarding table meals. Not allowing re-entry after 10pm was considered reasonable. Tables outside should be fenced off. Smokers should be restricted. Taxis should be discouraged and security at the development could refuse access except for disabled passengers. Residents considered that there be no vehicular access. They stated that taxis already created a parking problem in Theberton Street.
The applicant stated that a no entry policy after 10pm was not appropriate and it would be difficult to micro manage access and egress. The Sub-Committee should consider the weight it gave to the planning consent in the context of hours of operation. The applicant had until 2017 to make amendments to the planning permission. Any licence would not be able to be operated later than the planning consent in any event. Any applicant for a premises licence would not benefit from a provisional statement if there was a material change in the application. Traffic had been considered at the planning stage and it was not considered appropriate to condition.
a) That the provisional statement in respect of 6a and 6b Esther Anne Place, N1 be granted:-
i) To permit the premises to sell alcohol, on and off supplies only, on Sundays to Thursdays from 10:00 until 23:00 and Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 until midnight.
ii) To allow the provision of late night refreshment, Fridays and Saturdays from 23:00 until midnight.
iii) Opening hours to be Sundays to Thursdays from 08:00 until 23:00 and Fridays and Saturdays from 08:00 until midnight.
b) Conditions proposed by the applicant and the following additions/amendmentsshall be applied to the licence.
· Condition 3 proposed. The outside tables shall be cleared of patrons and rendered unusable by 10pm.
· The bar area be not more than 15% of the total restaurant/bar floor space.
· No drinks shall be served in the bar area within the last 30 minutes of the closing time of the premises.
· No more than 10% of the total capacity of the restaurant shall be permitted to smoke outside the premises at any one time.
REASONS FOR DECISION
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 29. Licensing policy 29 states that in considering applications for a provisional statement the Sub-Committee will as far as reasonably practicable apply the same standards as required for the grant of the premises licence.
Under Licensing policy 2, the premises fall into the Angel and Upper Street cumulative impact area. Licensing policy 2 creates a rebuttable presumption that applications for new and variations to premises licences that are likely to add to the existing cumulative impact will normally be refused, unless an applicant can demonstrate why the operation of the premises involved will not add to the cumulative impact or otherwise impact adversely on the promotion of the licensing objectives.
The Sub-Committee heard evidence from local residents representing Almeida Street, Moon Street, Studd Street and Theberton Street resident associations. The Sub-Committee noted resident’s concerns about noise disturbance and loitering. Residents stated that there would be at least 66 flats and so the future residents above the premises should be considered. Residents were concerned that the hours sought in relation to the premises differed from the planning consent. Residents did not want take aways of food or drink, live music, any new customers after 10pm or any taxi drop offs. Residents were concerned that access should only be via the arcades and Upper Street. Residents were concerned about the number of smokers and the outside seating area and suggested that a contact number should be available for resident’s complaints.
The Sub-Committee noted that the police and noise conditions had been agreed and the representations withdrawn. The Sub-Committee heard evidence from the applicant’s representative that, in applying for a provisional statement, the applicant was trying to get the best template that their future tenant would have to abide by. The Sub-Committee heard that the hours sought by the applicant were within the core hours set out in licensing policy 8. The Sub-Committee heard that the proposed restaurants were not fast food outlets and that the whole tone was more aspirational. The applicant had offered a condition that outside tables and chairs be rendered unusable by 10pm. The applicant’s representative asked that there be no condition in relation to new customers after 10pm and stated that it would not be practicable to have a member of staff directing customers to Upper Street after 10pm, although there would be signage. The Sub-Committee heard that the restaurant would not add to the cumulative impact due to the type of premises, location, hours, types and numbers of customers and the high standards of management. The Sub-Committee noted that the applicant is promoting a mixed use for the development which includes the old Almeida Theatre, rehearsal rooms and hopefully local exhibitions. The applicant’s representative confirmed that the bar area would be no bigger than 15% of the floor space. It was noted that the development would have 24 hour CCTV and security.
The Sub-Committee was satisfied that, with the conditions proposed and the additional conditions, the premises would not add to the cumulative impact in the area. The Sub-Committee noted that if the applicant’s future tenants applied for a premises licence that was substantially different, new objections could be raised. The Sub-Committee noted the applicant’s assurances that the premises would not be operated outside the remit of the planning consent. The Sub-Committee noted that the applicant had met with police and agreed comprehensive conditions. The Sub-Committee noted that the premises were an integral part of the development which would benefit the area.
The Sub-Committee took into account licensing policies 2, 8, 18, 20 and 29 and concluded that, in granting the provisional statement with the comprehensive conditions attached, the licensing objectives would be promoted.