The Chairman outlined the procedure to be followed. All those present were introduced. The Senior Licensing Enforcement Officer summarised the application and the variation requested. He explained that one objection had been received from the Police as a Responsible Authority.
The Responsible Authority summarised their main concerns in relation to three of the licensing objectives and the impact the extension might have on the night time economy and police resources. The Police representative referred Members to statistics detailed within the report, of street related offences per hour (Friday – Saturday trading nights, between January 2017 and June 2018) and those set against Sunday – Thursday for the same period.
In response to a query from Councillor Mrs R Cheswright, the Police representative explained the situation regarding drinking in public and the enforcement of regulations.
The Barrister for the applicant summarised the request for the variation and outlined the applicant’s background. He explained that Mr Canbolat had operated successfully and without issue, from his current premises for more than 22 years. The Barrister acknowledged the concerns expressed by the Police on the impact the variation might have on the licensing objectives, but felt that these were generic concerns and that Mr Canbolat had operated compliantly and successfully from the premises.
The Barrister commented that licensing hours needed to be applied consistently and stated that Mr Canbolat recognised that crime and disorder was an issue in the area but was prepared to agree to a number of conditions to mitigate concerns. These were:
· The appointment of an SIA Door Supervisor.
· The appointment of two trained Members of Staff on duty between 00.00 – 02.00 am (Friday to Sunday).
· No single glass bottles of alcohol to be sold after midnight.
· No Sales of alcohol of over 5.5% ABV after midnight.
· The display of appropriate signage indicating restrictions on sales.
The Barrister stated that the off licence already had eight cameras on and around the premises and was fitted with an alarm call system. He assured the Sub-Committee that the applicant was keen to work with the community, as he had in the past.
The Police representative explained that there was no control regarding consumption of alcohol off the premises and that the alarm system was a reactive measure. She referred to consumption of high strength beers and mini bottles of spirits which could be easily concealed. The Barrister referred to the objections submitted by the Police and how the conditions proposed would go some way to address the concerns raised. Mr Canbolat referred to the fact that another local off licence was able to sell alcohol until 1:00am.
Councillor Mrs Cheswright re-assured the applicant that Members were only considering the variation request for additional hours.
The Sub-Committee sought assurances from the applicant that he was prepared to accept the conditions already referred to. He confirmed that he was.
At the conclusion of the closing submissions, the Sub-Committee, the Democratic Services Officer and the Interim Legal Services Manager withdrew to allow Members to consider the evidence.
Following this, Members and Officers returned and the Chairman announced that the Sub-Committee had listened to the comments of the Licensing Officer, the Responsible Authority, and the applicant. Members had noted the particular rise in crime levels after midnight but also noted the good track record of the licence holder of over 20 years. Having carefully considered all the representations received both oral and written, the Sub-Committee agreed to a variation of the premises licence subject to the following conditions:
· The appointment of an SIA Door Supervisor between the hours of 00.00 – 02.00am on Friday to Sunday mornings.
· There shall be at least two trained members of staff on duty between 00.00 – 02.00am on Friday to Sunday mornings.
· There shall be no single glass bottles of alcohol to be sold after midnight.
· There shall be no sales of alcohol of over 5.5% ABV after midnight.
· Appropriate signage indicating restrictions on sales shall be clearly displayed.
RESOLVED – that for the reasons now detailed, the application for a variation of a premises licence at The Grapevine Off Licence, Unit 1, 18/20 Parliament Square, Hertford SG14 1EX be approved, subject to the conditions listed above.