From: Steward, Michelle: WCC
Sent: 06 January 2020 09:36
Subject: 44 Old Compton Street - 19/13568/LIPN - HEARING 9TH JANUARY 2020
Further to earlier correspondence circulated in this matter, I write to advise that the Citizen Advice Bureau will be representing the Soho Society at the hearing due to take place on the 9th January 2020. Unfortunately, Mr Brown will not be able to attend in person and has forwarded his written submissions.
Kisi, please ensure that a copy of this email is forwarded to the Members of the Committee and I confirm that a copy of this email has been circulated to all interested parties.
I have been asked to represent the Soho Society at the hearing of this application. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend the hearing, and no-one from the Soho Society is currently able to attend. I am therefore instead making this written submission to explain the Soho Society’s position as regards the amended application.
The Soho Society’s objection is based on the addition of a new premises licence beyond ‘core hours’ to what they see as being the area with the highest concentration of late night licensed venues in Soho and Westminster. A photograph attached to their representations details a typical street scene in Old Compton Street late at night. The list of licensed premises within a 75m radius of 44 Old Compton Street which begins at p105 of the LSC Report lists no fewer than 63 premises licences. However, there is a significant amount of residential accommodation on Old Compton Street, and these residents need to be protected both from existing noise levels and from any increase in noise levels.
The Soho Society believes that granting a premises licence beyond core hours and without the additional safeguards they have listed in their representation will not promote the licensing objectives in this location. It is important to note that the Soho Society do not doubt that the applicant is a good operator; it is simply that the level of noise and anti-social behaviour in the area is such that any further licences, particularly beyond core hours, risk making the situation worse because it increases the numbers of people in the ‘cumulative impact area’.
The Soho Society acknowledge that a premises licence has previously been in force in respect of the premises, when it was operated as ‘Patisserie Valerie’. The Soho Society further acknowledge that as the previous licence lapsed, the current application is one to which para 2.4.8 of the City Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy applies. This states (my emphasis):
‘Applications for new licences to replace licences which have lapsed because of the failure to submit an interim authority notice in due time in the event of the death or insolvency of a licence holder will be considered by the licensing authority as possible exceptions. Unless there are representations that indicate there have been problems with the previous licence licences may be granted with conditions which replicate the effect of those of the previous licence and with conditions which bring the licence in line with good practice on other licences e.g. on door supervision.’
However, the style of operation of ‘Patisserie Valerie’ was completely different to what is proposed now. ‘Patisserie Valerie’ was a café-type premises and was not, as far as the Soho Society can recall, open in the late evening. The current application is for a full service restaurant where it is expected that sale of alcohol will be more of a feature than it was under the previous licence. That said, the Soho Society appreciates that MC66 has been agreed.
The Soho Society notes that some additional conditions have been agreed between the applicant and the authorities. The Soho Society set out their requirements in their representation, as follows:
(1) The supply of alcohol and the hours open to the public to be within core hours.
(2) A condition that all external doors and windows to be kept closed after 21:00, and in addition at any time when live music is being played.
(3) No noise shall be generated from the premises (and no vibration be transmitted through the structure of the premises) which may give rise to nuisance.
(4) We would also ask that smoking on the street is limited to no more than four people NO at any one time, and if people do leave to smoke they do not take alcohol with them.
As to (1), the hours remain outside core hours. It is the Soho Society’s strong view that the licence should be restricted to within the ‘core hours’ policy, notwithstanding the previous licence permitting hours beyond this, due to the difference in the nature of the operations; the situation on Old Compton Street in general; and the strictures of policy HRS1.
As to (2), condition 10 on p103 of the LSC Report requires doors and windows to be kept closed, but only after 2300.
As to (3), this is covered satisfactorily by condition 9.
As to (4), the first part (smokers) is not covered by the proposed conditions. Given the narrowness of the pavements and how busy Old Compton Street is, the Soho Society believe that smokers should be limited (For their own safety as much as the safety of other pedestrians). As to the second part, this is covered satisfactorily by condition 15.
In conclusion, the Soho Society asks that the Licensing Sub-Committee determines the application based on what is appropriate for the locality and that, in doing so, they agree that the concentration of late night uses on Old Compton Street mitigates against a grant of a premises licence beyond ‘core hours’ for customers to be on the premises, and imposes the other conditions suggested in their representation in as much as they are not already covered by the conditions on p103.
I apologise for not being able to make the hearing, but I hope to be back on my feet soon.
Licensing Advice Project
Citizens Advice Westminster
Citizens Advice Westminster is an independent charity that helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing information and advice and by gathering evidence to influence policy-makers.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority: FRN 617795
Charity Registration Number: 1059419; Company limited by guarantee, Registration Number: 03039752 England; Registered Office: 21a Conduit Place, London W2 1HS.
P Please consider the environment before printing this email