APPLICATION FOR A PREMISES LICENCE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LICENSING ACT 2003 - CONTENTO RESTAURANT, 146 BELVIDERE ROAD, WALLASEY
The Director of Law and Governance reported upon an application that had been received from SR (Wirral) Limited for a Premises Licence in respect of Contento Restaurant, 146 Belvidere Road, Wallasey.
It was reported that the premises do not currently have a Premises Licence. The hours applied for were set out within the report.
The applicant had submitted an operating schedule setting out how the business would be conducted/managed in accordance with the four licensing objectives. A copy of the full application was available. Members were advised that the proposals set out in the operating schedule may become conditions of the licence should the application be granted.
In respect of the application eleven representations had been received from local residents. The representations related to concerns of public nuisance being caused to local residents should the application be granted. Copies of the representations were available.
The applicant, Mr Buck attended the meeting together with his representative Mr Nickson and the proposed Manager of the premises.
Councillor Paul Hayes attended the meeting on behalf of local residents and a number of local residents were also in attendance.
The Licensing Manager confirmed that all documentation had been sent and received. Councillor Hayes referred to one of the documents submitted by an individual who lived in Bebington and highlighted the fact that this was some distance away from these premises.
In response to this, Mr Nickson advised that he would explain the relevance of the letter in his submissions.
The Licensing Manager outlined the report.
Mr Nickson addressed the Panel and advised that the application for a Premises Licence had been made in order that alcohol could be supplied as part of the offer as a restaurant. Mr Nickson further advised that the applicant had a number of years’ experience operating restaurants in residential areas in Wirral. Mr Nickson made reference to the letter submitted by an individual who had previously been opposed to an application for a restaurant in a residential area operated by the applicant but that he was now content to endorse the applicant as a competent and ethical person to operate such a business.
Mr Nickson, on behalf of the applicant, referred to the comprehensive conditions put forward in the application to ensure that the premises would operate in accordance with the licensing objectives. Mr Nickson made reference to the fact that car parking was a particular concern raised by local residents within their representations, however he submitted that car parking was not a relevant consideration for the Licensing Panel in determining the application.
The applicant addressed the Panel and outlined his experience operating two restaurants in residential areas without causing issues to local residents. He advised that through this experience he had put measures in place to prevent causing a nuisance to local residents, for example, he ensured that customers remained inside the premises whilst waiting for taxis late at night. He emphasised to the Licensing Panel that the business would operate as a tapas restaurant and not a bar.
The applicant responded to questions from Members of the Licensing Panel, Councillor P Hayes, Mr D K Abraham, Legal Advisor to the Panel and the local residents in attendance.
In response to the concerns raised by local residents in respect of noise outside the premises, Mr Buck amended his application to exclude the outside patio terraced area and advised he would not make use of this area for customers to consume food or drink. He reported that he would prohibit individuals taking drinks outside into this area.
The applicant informed Members of the Panel that he would be willing to reduce the hours applied for and he confirmed that there would be a dispersal policy in place in respect of customers leaving the premises.
Councillor Hayes addressed the Panel and advised that he was speaking on behalf of local residents. He reported that the location of the premises was in a residential area and that in his view, this was not a suitable location for this type of premises. He believed that the operation of this type of business in this area would have a negative impact on people living in the vicinity and that should the application be granted, it would constitute public nuisance given the close proximity to local residents and increase noise and disturbance in the area. He informed Members of the Licensing Panel that parking issues had blighted this area for a long time and therefore requested that the Panel refuse the application, however should Members be minded to grant the application, Councillor Hayes proposed that a number of conditions be placed on the Premises Licence including notices on their website in respect of parking difficulties in the area, a reduction in the hours applied for, deliveries to take place during office hours and for the outside area to close at 4.30 pm.
Councillor Hayes responded to questions from Mr Nickson.
The local residents in attendance addressed the Panel and highlighted their concerns regarding the potential for increased traffic which would exacerbate existing problems of parking in the area and also expressed their concerns in respect of increased noise late into the night with people leaving the premises as the premises is situated in a residential area.
In determining the application Members of the Licensing Panel had regard to the Licensing Objectives, the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and the Statutory Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.
The Licensing Panel had regard to the fact that the applicant advised that the premises would operate as a restaurant. The Panel took into account the fact that the current planning permission relating to these premises is that its primary use must be as a restaurant/café and not as a bar.
In coming to their decision, Members gave consideration to the assurances provided by the applicant that the premises would be managed in such a way as to prevent any nuisance being caused to local residents. Members of the Panel had regard to the comprehensive conditions put forward in the operating schedule which set out how the premises would be managed to uphold the licensing objectives.
In determining the matter, Members of the Licensing Panel had regard to Section 15 of their Licensing Policy which refers to premises situated in close proximity to residential accommodation.
The Licensing Panel noted the concerns of local residents in respect of parking, however, Members considered that this was not a relevant matter for them to consider when determining an application for licensable activities at these premises which already had planning permission to operate as a restaurant.
In determining the application Members also had regard to the fact that there were no representations from any of the Responsible Authorities.
Members of the Licensing Panel noted the willingness of the applicant to liaise directly with local residents in respect of any concerns that may arise and also his willingness to reduce the hours applied for.
Members also took into account Section 11 of the Guidance in respect of the review mechanism provided by the Licensing Act 2003 when problems associated with the Licensing Objectives occur after the grant of a Premises Licence.
(1) That in accordance with Regulation 14(2) of the Licensing Act 2003, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the application.
(2) That the application for a Premises Licence in respect of Contento Restaurant, 146 Belvidere Road, Wallasey be granted with the following hours:
Sale by Retail of Alcohol
Monday to Sunday 12:00 to 22:30
Hours Open to the Public
Monday to Sunday 12:00 to 23:00
(3) The application for Non-Standard Timings was refused.
(4) The patio terrace is to be excluded from the licensed area.
(3) That in addition to the conditions set out in the operating schedule, the following conditions be placed on the Premises Licence:
· No open drinking vessels, glasses or bottles may be taken beyond the delineated Licensed Area.
· Deliveries may only take place at the premises between 09:00 and 17:00.
· The collection of external waste bins from the premises may only take place between 09:00 and 17:00.
· A notice must be published on the premises website to highlight the lack of parking provision in the area.