Cumulative Impact Area
Site Name and Address
Licensing Ref No.
St James’s Ward/ West End Cumulative Impact Area
28 Bow Street
LICENSING SUB COMMITTEE No. 4
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Membership: Councillors Karen Scarborough (Chairman), Jim Glenn and Aicha Less.
Officer Support: Legal Officer: Viviene Walker
Policy Officer: Kerry Simpkin
Committee Officer: Cameron MacLean
Presenting Officer: Michelle Steward
APPLICATION FOR A NEW PREMISES LICENCE 28/07331/LIPN
Present: Lana Tricker (Solicitor for the Applicant); Stuart Adolf, Sydell Group, and Kate Hart, General Manager, NoMad Hotel (on behalf of the Applicant): Angela Seaward, Licensing Authority; David Nevitt, Environmental Health Services; Richard Brown, Westminster Citizens Advice, Licensing Advice Project (on behalf of local residents); David Kaner (Covent Garden Community Association); and Christopher Gardner (local resident)
Representations: Representations were received from the Environmental Health Service; the Licensing Authority; Covent Garden Community Association; and local residents.
Bow Street Hotel Ltd
Ward: West End
CIA: West End
Summary of Application
The application was for a new Hotel licence.
Amendments to the Application
Prior to the Licensing Sub Committee meeting to hear the application, the Applicant amended the application by submitting revised hours of operation.
Ms Michelle Steward, Senior Licensing Officer, stated this was an application by Bow Street Hotel Ltd (“the Applicant”) for a new premises licence for the NoMad Hotel, 28 Bow St, London WC2E 7AW
Ms Steward summarised the application; listed the representations and objections received; informed the Sub Committee which parties making representations and/or objections were present; and noted that late submissions had been received and these were included in the Additional Information Pack sent to Members.
In addition, Ms Steward noted that the Applicant had submitted a revised list of proposed conditions which had been circulated to Members.
In conclusion, Ms Stewart stated that the premises were in the West End Ward and within the West End Cumulative Impact Area (CIA).
The following submissions were made on behalf of the various parties.
Submissions on Behalf of the Applicant
On behalf of the Applicant, Ms Lana Tricker, Solicitor (Lt Law), made the following submissions.
(a) In 2016, the Applicant had acquired the site of the former Magistrates’ Court and Police Station on Bow Street (a Grade 2 listed building). £140 million had been spent on developing the site into a 91-guestroom, luxury brand NoMad Hotel which would open in December of this year.
(b) The existing premises licences, a hotel licence and a restaurant licence, were granted prior to the proposals for the current development and it was proposed to surrender the hotel licence. It was not within the Applicant’s gift to surrender the restaurant licence. However, the revised proposals for the site made the restaurant licence inoperable.
(c) The Applicant would not be relying on Covid-19 as an exceptional circumstance for the granting of the licence as the Applicant was seeking a permanent premises licence. However, Covid-19 was having a significant impact on licensed premises and was, therefore, a relevant consideration when considering licence applications within Cumulative Impact Areas (CIAs).
(d) Regarding plans of the property, licensable activities authorised under the premises licence would be ancillary to the operation of the premises as a hotel, as stated in proposed Condition 10.
[At this stage in her presentation, Ms Tricker described the various plans attached at Appendix 2 of the report and the Revised Ground Floor Plan with Amended Smoking Areas on page 201 of the Additional Information Pack].
Outdoor Seating & Ground Floor Area
(e) Regarding the outdoor seating on Broad Court, which had been granted planning permission, it was proposed that this would be used between 8 AM and 9 PM by hotel guests only and that the tables and chairs would be removed by 9:30 PM each day. There was a proposed condition that service would be restricted to customers who were seated and would be by way of waiter/waitress service only.
Ground Floor Event Spaces
(f) Regarding the event spaces on the ground floor, which had a 170-person capacity, these would be used primarily for pre-booked, sit down dinners, but the Applicant also wished to be able to offer stand-up canapé events, as reflected in the proposed conditions.
(g) It had been agreed with the Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA) not to use the door on the corner of Bow Street and Broad Court after 10 PM except in exceptional circumstances when entry would be supervised by SIA registered door supervisors, as set out in the proposed conditions.
(h) Regarding use of the event spaces by Non-residents, it was proposed that this be restricted to Core Hours as set out in proposed Condition 59.
(i) This was a predominantly seated area and it was proposed that non-residents could use the area to have a meal and/or a drink. After 8 PM, non-residents would be required to have a table meal, as per Model Condition 66, and use of the Library by non-residents and for events would be restricted to Core Hours.
(j) It had been a Planning requirement that there be a Police Museum, the entrance to which was from Martlett Court and which would be closed at 10 PM except in exceptional circumstances when a SIA registered door supervisor would be present. Any events in the Museum would end at 10 PM. Licensable activities would include visitors to the Museum up until 5 PM; events in the Museum up to 10 PM; residents with up to 4 bona fide guests; and non-residents by invitation of the Hotel Management.
Ground Floor Side Hustle
(k) The Ground Floor Side Hustle, the entrance to which was from Bow Street, would be food-led with a Mexico City theme. Seating, including barstools would be fixed and the capacity was for 75 persons. Licensable activities would be for Core Hours, Monday to Thursday; and to 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays (with no entry/re-entry after midnight). Service would be either by way of waiter/waitress service or bar service.
Varying the opening hours for each space was to allow the gradual closure of each area within the premises to assist in dispersal and to restrict the activities of non-residents.
[Ms Tricker then described the location of the reception and atrium area in relation to the event spaces].
Fireplace Room and NoMad Restaurant
(l) This was a restaurant space where it was proposed that events could take place by way of Temporary Event Notices (TENs). As this was an atrium space, it had been acoustically treated to prevent any noise nuisance to residents. Licensable activities included table meals; pre-booked events until 8 PM; and use by residents and their guests until 1 AM. To address concerns by the Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA), Model Condition 66 had been reflected in proposed Condition 85.
[Ms Tricker then described the proposed operation of the holding bar].
(m)It was proposed that the NoMad Lounge would operate to 2 AM, seven days a week and a door supervisor would be present from 10 PM. Access to the lounge would be via the main hotel. The supply of alcohol would be by waiter/waitress service or bar service. There would be no vertical drinking in the seated areas of the lounge, with an exception for occasional stand-up, canapé events. The area would not be sublet, and the Hotel Events Team would manage events in this space. It had been agreed that the Bow Street entrance would only be used after 10 PM and not after midnight.
(n) It was noted that the proposed conditions had taken into consideration the Council’s policies and concerns by residents. After agreement with Mr Kaner of the CGCA, it had been agreed that last entry to the NoMad Lounge would be in accordance with Core Hours, and not midnight.
(o) Within the proposed conditions, there were a few exceptions to Council policy and the Sub Committee was requested to consider the proposed hours within the context of the operation of the premises as a whole.
(p) Each area would have a designated manager who would be trained on the relevant conditions to ensure compliance with the conditions.
(q) A draft Dispersal Policy was included as part of the proposed operation of the premises and reflected in the proposed conditions. The policy would be updated, in consultation with residents, as necessary.
(r) The smoking areas were as far away as possible from residents and would be managed by hotel staff.
(s) A Service and Waste Management Plan [Appendix 3 of the report] had been agreed and reflected in the proposed conditions.
(t) The use of the Hotel’s bars and restaurants by non-residents would be governed by proposed Condition 42: “The restaurants and bars shall not be used by non-residents of the hotel except between hours of 07:00 and 01:00 hours, unless a non-resident is a bona fide guest of a resident of the hotel”.
(u) The application included Regulated Entertainment throughout the premises but would primarily be confined to the event spaces. As the hotel had been acoustically treated, such events would not disturb residents as there would be no sound from these events outside the building.
(v) Proposed Condition 11 restricted the sale of alcohol between 08:00 hours and 10:00 hours, Monday to Sunday, to persons, other than hotel residents and up to 4 of their bona fide guests, who were seated and taking a table meal.
(w) Off sales were in accordance with the Council’s model conditions and incorporated into proposed Condition 32.
(x) There was extensive exterior CCTV provision covering the premises and, at the request of residents, lighting had been provided round the perimeter of the building.
Presentation by Stuart Adolph, Senior Vice President, Sydell Group, on Behalf of the Applicant
Mr Adolf detailed the consultations that had taken place with residents’ groups, including a well-attended public meeting to consider the revised Planning proposals in 2016/17. In addition, newsletters had been circulated to residents updating them on progress of the project, including the premises licence application. Furthermore, consultation had taken place on public realm and highways matters in relation to Section 106 funding.
Presentation by Kate Hart, General Manager, NoMad Hotel
Ms Hart stated that the Applicant was in the business of “selling sleep” with very expensive guestrooms at the front of the hotel. Therefore, it was in her interest to ensure that guests were quiet when they left the premises. Consequently, she shared the concerns of residents about noise and possible disturbance.
Questions by Members
In response to several questions, Ms Tricker provided the following information.
(a) Regarding the dispersal of patrons from the NoMad Lounge late at night, it was noted that customers would include residents and non-residents and that there were strict conditions proposed for entry to, and exit from, the premises by non-residents.
(b) There would be a maître d’ at the entrance to each area who would be responsible for finding a place for, and seating, customers. In so doing, they would determine which customers were hotel residents and which were not.
(c) An example of an exceptional circumstance in which the Hotel may wish to use the entrance to the event spaces after 10 PM might be if there was a wedding party in “The Magistrates’ Court” and another smaller group in the Fielding Room, the smaller group might be asked to be exit by this route rather than encroach upon the bar area in “The Magistrates’ Court”. However, it was anticipated that it would be unusual for more than one area to be booked for an event at any one time and, should that be the case, arrangements would be made in accordance with the dispersal policy to avoid the requirement to use the event spaces entrance after 10 PM.
(d) Areas that non-residents could access after Core Hours included –
· The Museum, for guests of the Hotel Management until no later than 1 AM;
· Ground Floor Side Hustle on Fridays and Saturdays where the sale of alcohol would be ancillary to a table meal after 10 PM;
· The NoMad Lounge which would be open to non-residents until 1 AM [it was now proposed that, on Fridays and Saturdays, the NoMad Lounge close at 2 AM and not 3 AM];
· The NoMad Restaurant and Fireplace Room until 1 AM subject to Model Condition 66 in which the sale of alcohol would be ancillary to a main meal from 8 PM.
(e) The only smoking areas would be on Bow Street.
Representations by Mr Richard Brown, Citizens Advice, Licensing Advice Project
On behalf of a few residents living in Sheridan buildings and Beaumont Buildings and Martlett Court, Mr Brown made the following submissions.
(a) As a former Magistrates’ Court and Police Station located in a highly residential area, in its current incarnation the premises was of a wholly different nature.
(b) The map on Page 149 identified the residential areas within the vicinity of the NoMad Hotel. The diversity of the residential population, which included families, young persons, some very elderly persons and key workers, made this a community with a sensitive demographic.
(c) As a hotel with ancillary facilities offering a diverse range of entertainment for residents, guests of residents and non-residents it was the use of the hotel by non-residents i.e., members of the public, that caused concern. Residents broadly concurred with the approach proposed by the Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA) which would be to restrict the time members of the public could use the Hotel’s facilities to that of core hours or, if dining, to 1 AM in accordance with the Council’s Model Licence Condition 66. In addition, bona fide guests of residents, of which there could be up to four guests per resident, should also be restricted to a 1 AM to avoid the potential for nuisance to residents when guests dispersed.
(d) Regarding dispersal, residents wished to know how this would operate in practice and not add to the existing problems of taxis and chauffeurs using the residential areas when picking up and setting down at the Royal Opera House.
(e) The entrance to the Hotel Museum, being the nearest hotel entrance/exit to the residential areas should not be used after 10 PM.
(f) Regarding the basement bar, it was proposed that core hours apply to members of the public, last entry to be within core hours, and that after core hours, guests of residents using the basement bar leave by the main hotel entrance/exit. In addition, those areas allowing unrestricted access by residents and their bona fide guests should be restricted to 1 AM for guests of residents.
In response to Mr Brown’s submissions, Ms Tricker provided the following information.
(a) The number of non-resident guests was in accordance with the Council’s Model Condition 88 and, as had previously been mentioned, hotel staff would be aware of who were guests and who were residents.
(b) The Applicant was aware of the residential nature of the area and had spent years consulting with residents on servicing, outside activities and Planning consents.
(c) In accordance with the proposed dispersal policy, staff would be trained on managing the dispersal of guests. In addition, security staff would supervise guests leaving the premises and, in so doing, directing persons towards transport on Bow Street and away from the Hotel and residential areas.
(d) Several conditions had been proposed to prevent noise nuisance and the Hotel management were willing to liaise with residents and amend the dispersal policy as necessary, as well as arranging for quarterly meetings with residents to address any issues or complaints.
Mr Adolf confirmed that the Applicant also tried to engage with the local community wherever its hotels were located and Sydell London Ltd had been a Member of the CGCA since 2017. He stated that residents were regularly updated by way of newsletters and it was hoped that, when the premises opened, the Operations Team would continue to be involved in the CGCA’s activities.
Representations on Behalf of the Licensing Authority
On behalf of the Licensing Authority, Angela Seaward made the following submissions.
(a) The Council’s HOT1 policy stated that, when considering granting a hotel premises licences “The extent and location of provision of bar facilities will be taken into account. Hotel bars that are directly or easily reached from street will be likely to raise similar concerns to pubs and bars”. As the premises were within a Cumulative Impact Area (CIA) it would be the Council’s policy to refuse the application.
(b) Council Policy PB2 stated that the grant of new licences for pubs and bars in the CIA should be limited to exceptional circumstances. Accordingly, the areas that fell to be considered within the policy were The Side Hustle Bar, NoMad Lounge, Museum and exterior terrace. A relevant consideration for the Sub Committee was the proposed conditions governing those areas where the sale of alcohol would not be ancillary to a meal.
[It was confirmed that sale of alcohol to non-residents in The Side Hustle Bar was ancillary to a meal after Core Hours].
(c) There were unpaid fees in respect of the existing restaurant licence. Therefore, the licence was currently suspended and could only be resurrected upon payment of the fees and upon approval to a variation of the licence in accordance with the new configuration of the premises.
Representations on Behalf of the Environmental Health Service
On behalf of the Environmental Health Service (EHS), David Nevitt made the following submissions.
(a) The key areas for consideration by the Sub Committee were –
· The areas which were open to public use, including The Side Hustle Bar which could be accessed from Bow Street without having to go through the Hotel.
· Areas for pre-booked events such as wedding receptions, parties and functions permitted under a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) involving members of the public possibly leaving the premises late at night.
· Late-night dispersal and the effect of the pedestrianised areas around the hotel where there was no traffic noise to mask sounds in those areas.
· Ancillary operational activities such as refuse disposal and deliveries.
(b) In making its representations, the EHS proposed that it was appropriate for the Sub Committee to consider –
· The appropriateness of what the Applicant was applying for and the proposed conditions and hours; and
· To ensure that all the concerns of residents had been addressed.
Representations on Behalf of Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA)
David Kaner, on behalf of the CGCA, made the following submissions.
(a) Many residents had been frustrated by the fact that they only learned about the premises licence application when they were notified by the CGCA.
(b) There had been discussions with the Hotel management about the proposed conditions and agreement had been reached on many of the conditions.
(c) The main concern for residents was the sale of alcohol after core hours to members of the public and guests of Hotel residents that was not ancillary to a meal. The areas where this could take place included the basement bar and the NoMad Lounge.
(d) To address these concerns, it was proposed that the Sub Committee consider restricting access to the basement bar from Martlett Court, and the operation of the bar after core hours in relation to the sale of alcohol to members of the public and guests of residents and the opening hours.
In response, Ms Tricker confirmed that the basement bar would be open until 2 AM for bona fide guests of residents and that the use of the entrance/exit on Martlett Court would be supervised in accordance with the dispersal policy. Accordingly, the Applicant was confident that Hotel’s operation would not add to the cumulative of impact in the area or cause disturbance to residents.
In response to Member’s questions, Ms Tricker provided the following information –
(a) The exceptional use of entrances and exits after 10 PM would be for emergency use only. Entry to the basement bar using the Martlett Court entrance would be until midnight, but there would be no exit using the Martlett Court entrance/exit after 10 PM. In addition, proposed Condition 41 stated: “any doors on Crown Court shall only be used as an emergency escape and staff and any patrons shall not be permitted to use them at any time except in the case of emergency”.
(b) Regarding staff breaks and smoking, this was covered by proposed Condition 22 which read: “Staff will not be permitted to smoke in the immediate vicinity of the building nor to take their breaks on Broad Court, Martlett Court or Crown Court”, and that there were disciplinary provisions in place should staff breach this condition.
Representations by Christopher Gardner, Resident
Mr Gardner made the following points in his representations.
(a) The premises had never previously operated as licenced premises. Therefore, the Sub Committee was being asked to rely upon assurances, predictions and projections by the Applicant.
(b) Should the Applicant’s predictions and projections be incorrect, this could impinge significantly upon residents in this highly residential area. Accordingly, he would ask the Sub Committee to be cautious in its approach to the application regarding dispersal and the potential for noise nuisance.
(c) If the premises operated in a way that did not impinge upon residents, then it would be open to the Applicant to apply to vary the hours and conditions approved by the Sub Committee.
(d) Residents were concerned that this might become a late-night destination for drinkers and as the Hotel’s CCTV would not be monitored, it would only be in response to complaints by residents that steps might be taken by the Hotel management to address any public nuisance concerns.
In response, Ms Tricker noted that proposed Condition 25 detailed the implementation and operation of a dispersal and outdoor management policy and that would be kept under review. In addition, staff would be trained on the implementation and operation of the policy. Furthermore, any breach of the conditions could give rise to criminal liability and a review of the premises licence. Given the very significant investment in this property, the Hotel management would ensure that staff complied with and enforced the premises licence conditions.
Representations by Councillor Tim Mitchell, Ward Councillor
Councillor Mitchell stated he was representing the three local Ward Councillors in their support of the various representations made by residents. The residential areas affected by the application included the Martlett Court Estate (Fletcher Buildings, Beaumont Buildings and Sheridan Buildings), Crown Court and Broad Court which, when taken together, comprised a densely residential part of Covent Garden largely hidden from visitors to the area.
The local Ward Councillor’s concerns included –
(a) The potential impact of public nuisance as a result of the of the sale of alcohol late at night from those parts of the Hotel which were open to members of the public and guests of residents;
(b) The servicing of the Hotel; and
(c) Members of staff congregating outside the premises.
The existing premises licence application was restricted to core hours. The present application went beyond core hours and, if granted, the licence would pass to any future owners of the premises. Councillor Mitchell stated that the proposed conditions were welcomed, noting that the Hotel would make a positive contribution to the area.
In response, Ms Tricker confirmed that proposed Conditions 36 to 40 covered servicing of the Hotel, including waste management and deliveries.
[It was noted that the Service Delivery Plan, which was subject to Planning approval, was more restrictive than the proposed premises licence conditions. The reason being that the Service Delivery Plan could be amended without applying for a variation to the premises licence but only to the extent of the hours permitted in the proposed licensing conditions. Both the Service Delivery Plan and the proposed conditions were acceptable to the CGCA].
The Chairman then invited the various parties to sum up their presentations.
The Licensing Authority
Ms Seaward stated that she had nothing further to add to her presentation.
Environmental Health Service
Mr Nevitt noted that the various event spaces within the Hotel premises came under the umbrella of the Council’s Hotel policy rather than as separate premises under the Council’s Pubs & Bars policy.
Regarding proposed Condition 23: “Staff will not be permitted to smoke in the immediate vicinity of the building nor to take their breaks on Broad Court, Martlett Court or Crown Court”, this was a very widely drawn condition and may prove difficult to enforce.
Ms Tricker stated that it had been agreed with the Applicant that the wording would be revised to read, as follows –
“Staff will not be permitted to smoke or take their breaks on Broad Court, Martlett Court or Crown Court”.
Enforcement of this would be achieved using CCTV and staff training.
David Kaner on Behalf of -
1. The Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA); and
2. [in his absence] Richard Brown, Citizens Advice Bureau, Licensing Project on Behalf of Local Residents
The CGCA was satisfied with the proposed conditions. The issue that remained unresolved was the time that non-resident alcohol led activities would end. It was proposed that this should be earlier than the hours of operation set out in the application.
The CGCA concurred with the proposal by Richard Brown that the basement bar should close at 1 AM for all users as this would be consistent with the time that non-residents had to be off the premises.
That there was no objection to the revised wording for proposed Condition 23.
Ms Tricker on Behalf of the Applicant
The application was in accordance with the Council’s Hotel Premises policy and there was, in accordance with policy, an ancillary provision within the public areas of the premises. Significant conditions had been proposed to control and modify the operation and management of the areas within the premises.
Regarding Crime and Disorder and the Council’s CIA policy, the premises would have less impact on the Cumulative Impact Area when compared with other licenced premises in the CIA. Given the iconic location within which the Hotel would be operating, there were no other premises within the area that could offer similar services.
The operation of the Hotel would assist in curbing antisocial behaviour in the areas behind the Hotel, including the installation of CCTV and lighting for the exterior parts of the premises.
The Applicant was in the business of selling sleep and the guestrooms were expensive thereby providing an incentive to the Applicant to operate the Hotel in a quiet and efficient manner that did not disturb residents. Noise reduction measures had been included in all public areas within the Hotel to ensure that residents would not be disturbed.
Servicing operations ended at 8 PM and the sale of alcohol was well-regulated, and all areas remained under the management of the licence holder. If the Sub Committee deemed it appropriate, the Applicant would be willing to accept a further condition that licensable activities only take place by Bow Street Hotel Ltd thereby avoiding any subletting of the operation of the licensed premises.
There were strict conditions governing the entry and non-entry to the NoMad Lounge which was not a nightclub, and more than half the area within the lounge had seated waiter/waitress service with limited access and egress after specific times.
Core hours had been respected with changes to conditions for the time that any area operated beyond core hours. The conditions and opening hours provided for natural dispersal.
In conclusion, it was proposed that the application, as presented, would support the Licensing Objectives and was consistent with the Council’s policies, and that the premises would be well-regulated.
At this stage in the proceedings, the Chairman adjourned the meeting to allow the Members of the Sub Committee to retire and consider their decision.
Having considered the report of the Director of Public Protection and Licensing; the papers in the Additional Information Pack; and, having heard the representations from the various parties, it was the Sub Committee’s decision to APPROVE the application.
REASONS FOR THE DECISION
The Sub Committee’s reasons for refusing the application are set out in the Summary Decision attached as an appendix to this minute.
 Cumulative Impact Area
 The applied-for licensable activities are set out in Appendix 1 to these minutes.
 The amended hours of operation are set out in Appendix 2
 10. Licensable activities authorised under this license shall remain ancillary to the main use of the premises as a hotel.
 59. In respect of (b) [persons attending a private a pre-booked function and booked at least 24 hours in advance, a register of such events to be kept for 31 days and made available for inspection by the responsible authorities on request] after 23.30 Mon-Thurs, midnight Fri-Sat and Sundays before bank holidays, 22.30 Sun licensable activities shall only be provided where there is waiter-waitress table service, using non disposable crockery, and where alcohol shall not be sold or supplied, otherwise than for consumption by persons who are seated in the premises and bona fide taking substantial table meals there, and provided always that the consumption of alcohol by such persons is ancillary to taking such meals;
 Town & Country Planning Act 1990