Site Name & Address
Licensing Reference No.
Park Grand Paddington Hotel
New Premises Licence
* Special Consideration Zone
This will be a virtual meeting. Members of the Public can view the live broadcast using the media links on the Council’s website.
WCC LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE NO. 2 – Thursday 1 July 2021
Membership: Councillor Tim Mitchell (Chair), Councillor Richard Elcho and Councillor Aicha Less
Officer Support: Legal Advisor: Horatio Chance
Policy Officer: Aaron Hardy
Committee Officer: Matt Gaskin
Presenting Officer: Jessica Donovan
Application for a New Premises Licence 21/01023/LIPN
Park Grand Paddington Hotel
Refurbishment Site at 22 Devonshire Terrace, 1-2
Queens Garden and
57-62 Cleveland Square,
Park Grand Paddington Hotel, represented by Mr Stephen Thomas.
Cumulative Impact Area
This Premises is not in a Cumulative Impact Area.
Summary of Application
This is an application for a New Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003 (“The Act”). The Premises currently operates as a hotel. The Premises have had the benefit of two premise licences, Licence number 08/07241/LIPDPS which was suspended on 17 February 2009 and Licence number 21/04917/LIPCH granted in 2009 and is still currently in place. The Premises are within the Lancaster Gate Ward but are not located in any area of Cumulative Impact. There is a resident count of 512. During the consultation period the applicant changed their company name from Park Grand Paddington Hotel Limited to Inhabit Hotel Queens Gardens Limited.
Activities and Hours applied for
Films – Hotel Residents and Guests - Indoors
Monday to Sunday 00:00 – 00:00
Seasonal Variations: None.
Sale by retail of alcohol – On premises sales
10:00 – 23:00 Monday to Saturday and 12:00 - 22:30 Sunday.
Seasonal Variations: For residents and guests the times are 00:00 – 00:00.
Hours premises are open to the public
Monday to Sunday 00:00 to 00:00.
Seasonal Variations: None.
· Metropolitan Police (PC Bryan Lewis) – Withdrawn 23 March 2021 following agreement of conditions with the applicant.
· Environmental Health (“EH”) (Mr Ian Watson).
· 13 local residents.
· The South East Bayswater Residents’ Association (SEBRA).
Summary of issues raised by objectors
· The application as presented would have the likely effect of undermining the licensing objectives, specifically in relation to public nuisance and public safety.
· The application as presented would lead to noise, rubbish and nuisance in the immediate residential neighbourhood caused by guests and residents of the hotel. There were concerns related to people smoking outside the premises and an increase in vehicle traffic and disturbance.
Policies HRS1 and HOT1 (B) apply under the City Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy. There is no policy presumption to refuse this application subject to the requirements of policies CD1, PS1, PN1 and CH1 being met.
DECISION AND REASONS
Ms Jessica Donovan summarised the application and advised that additional submissions had been received, from the applicant and Mr Richard Brown from Citizens Advice Westminster (who was representing the local residents’ association and others who had objected to the application), and these had been circulated previously to the Sub-Committee.
Mr Stephen Thomas Solicitor, addressed the Sub-Committee on behalf of the applicant, outlined the history of the Premises and stated that it had been a well-run hotel catering for guest arrivals on a 24-hour basis. Mr Thomas highlighted that “wellness” was at the heart of the brand of Inhabit Hotels and that the proposal was to develop a modern and tranquil hotel that meets the needs of climate change with the provision of an array of wellness activities, providing a soothing atmosphere for visitors. The physical changes to the basement as part of the application were described, including the installation of a gym and treatment rooms, and an outline of the Premises was summarised as presented in the report.
Mr Thomas stated that part of the reason for the application was to open the hotel up to members of the public, including local residents, following local demand for the wellness activities offered which, under the terms of the current Premises Licence, prevented non-hotel guests from partaking in such activities. Anecdotally, support was there for the hotel’s plans, but these had not necessarily led to formal representations as part of the report.
Mr Thomas stated that the Inhabit Hotel on Southwick Street, one of the other hotels as part of this group, offered facilities to members of the public and that no problems had been caused by this. The Sub-Committee noted that the Premises was keen to work with residents and local resident associations, including SEBRA, to ensure a good working relationship and that mediation was offered when objections raised, leading to better conditions, such as in relation to ensuring no external advertisement of bar facilities/licensable activities. Suggestions from the Police and Environmental Health were also taken on board. Mr Thomas highlighted that no rooms were set aside for smoking to tie in with the healthy lifestyle commitment of the Premises. Mr Thomas confirmed that all conditions as set out in the report were agreed by the applicant.
Mr Nitish Bhatt, of Inhabit Hotels, confirmed that he was happy to work closely with the neighbours of the Premises.
In responses to questions from the Sub-Committee, Mr Thomas confirmed that there had been no complaints in relation to either this hotel since 2009 when the licence was granted or the other Inhabit hotel on Southwick Street. This was confirmed by Environmental Health. The management of the smoking area on Devonshire Terrace was queried, and Mr Thomas confirmed that reception staff were responsible for supervising this area but did not anticipate that many smokers would be present due to the wellbeing nature of the hotel.
Mr Ian Watson, representing Environmental Health addressed the Sub-Committee. Mr Watson stated that he had, encouraged the Applicant to consider installing a secondary set of doors to the Queen’s Gardens entrance to maintain a lobby area (similar to the entrance on Devonshire Terrace) to minimise noise and thereby address concerns raised by objectors. If this was not possible, the Sub-Committee should consider amending the relevant condition to limit the hours of use for this entrance. With regards to the conditions proposed, Mr Watson said that these are similar to those on the historic licence of the Premises, albeit with some changes, but go some way to alleviating concerns related to noise, disturbance and smoking but that other improvements could be made, such as moving the location of the smoking area.
Mr Watson stated that the hours for collections and deliveries are within the hours that align with deliveries and collections for the street of the hotel. However, it was unclear whether a private collection company, or Westminster City Council facilities, would be used by the hotel. Mr Watson requested that the specific address of the Premises was confirmed as this was unclear from the application but rejected enforcing that alcohol should only be allowed to be consumed with a substantial meal.
Ms Olga Nikoltsou, a local resident addressed the Sub-Committee. Ms Nikoltsou advised that she had been a resident since 1992 and knew the area well. She was concerned that quality of life, especially caused by environmental issues, would be negatively affected should this application be approved in its current form. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic would increase due to opening up the facilities to the public and the holding of events would affect the peaceful living of neighbouring residents, especially late at night. Ongoing problems with idling taxis was highlighted as affecting residents, and despite a certified taxi company being used by the hotel, it would be difficult for the hotel to manage the array of taxi firms naturally serving visitors and guests of the hotel. Ms Nikoltsou requested more detail from the Applicant regarding the exact nature of events planned and the logistics around managing these.
Ms Nikoltsou was concerned about smoking and the impact this has on residents within their homes in this highly residential area, as there were bound to be some smokers outside despite the hotel being no-smoking inside. The smoking area and delivery area needed in her opinion to be relocated to reduce the impact on residents. Ms Nikoltsou appreciated the desire for the hotel to remodel, become more environmentally-friendly and focused on wellness, but requested proof from the applicant as to how late night events would be properly managed to minimise disturbance. Ms Nikoltsou welcomed the prior discussions that had taken place with the applicant and their representative to address certain issues but reiterated her concerns relating to noise, smoking and the environmental impact of increased activity.
Mr Richard Brown, of Citizens Advice Bureau Westminster representing a local residents’ association (SEBRA) and others who had objected to the application addressed the Sub-Committee. Mr Brown stated that no representations had been received in support of this application. Mr Brown welcomed the engagement between SEBRA and the applicant and the tweaking of a number of conditions. Concern was raised regarding the increased intensity of use of the Premises, and it was questioned how the applicant would adequately manage guests leaving either entrance/exit of the hotel in a controlled manner so as not to disturb local residents, with specific concerns raised about the entrance/exit on Queen’s Gardens and the size of bar attendance (91 people) in the public licensed area.
Mr John Zamit, Chairman of SEBRA, addressed the Sub-Committee. Mr Zamit said that he was surprised that the hotel was requesting permission to allow more non-hotel residents/guests to attend the Premises which could cause them operational difficulties. Mr Zamit reiterated concerns regarding pre-booked functions, smoking and the possibility of the designated smoking area being relocated to a corner of Queen’s Gardens, or on the advice of the Environmental Health Officer. Mr Zamit agreed with the issues raised by Environmental Health regarding the entrance/exit at Queen’s Gardens and the noise this could generate in its current form without a lobby. The entrance/exit would be better placed on Devonshire Terrace where the hotel had better facilities to manage people entering and leaving the Premises.
In response to questions from the Sub-Committee, and the tightening up of the wording of conditions relating to smoking and other issues advised by the Legal Advisor to the Sub-Committee (this concerned conditions 9, 15 and 16 listed in the report pack), Mr Thomas confirmed that he was in agreement to these changes. Mr Thomas detailed the nature of the ground floor seating arrangements but stressed the nature of the Premises as a hotel whereby residents would not necessarily want a substantial table meal where alcohol is required to be ordered as ancillary thereto and so requested that limitations were not put on the Licence that would restrict the sale and supply of alcohol in this way. This concerns condition 25 in the operating schedule. With regards to the installation of an additional entrance/exit on Queen’s Gardens, Mr Thomas confirmed that if practicalities allowed, the Applicant would look into the possibility of doing this.
With regards to designated smoking areas and the concerns and questions raised, Mr Thomas reiterated that the nature of the business would not attract as many smokers as is feared. Since 2009, the condition in place for the current licence (15) has been adhered to and has led to no problems in relation to smoking. However, the Applicant is open to negotiation with Environmental Health on the precise location of the smoking area. With regards to questions and concerns about event management and how this could be controlled, Mr Thomas confirmed that these would not include events such as Christmas or birthday parties that could cause disturbances but would be limited to mindfulness events only and attended by a variable number of people each time, as agreed in the conditions. Mr Thomas advised that the Applicant was content in altering proposed condition 28 (now Condition 38 as specified below) to alter timings of the use of the Queen’s Gardens entrance if a second door is not installed. Mr Thomas reiterated again to the Sub-Committee the specific nature of the hotel as a mindfulness space, highlighted the effective and receptive management of the hotel and urged the Sub-Committee to consider the nature of the hotel and how this application would not attract the fear of potential nuisance raised by the objectors.
The Sub-Committee realises that it has a duty to consider each application on its individual merits. It was persuaded by the applicant that they were to be a responsible operator by working effectively with the Responsible Authorities, residents, and the Resident Association to mitigate the concerns raised through conditions on the Premises Licence and that they would promote the licensing objectives. The Sub-Committee noted the concerns of residents and concluded the conditions were robust and that the discussions held regarding the smoking area, alcohol without a substantial meal and the exit on to Queen’s Gardens were to be taken into consideration and are reflected in the conditions below and in turn will help promote the public nuisance licensing objective.
The Sub-Committee noted the various undertakings given by the Applicant when it came to the holding of events at the Premises. These were to be pre-booked events associated with the Hotel’s ethos of mindfulness and wellness which would also include cookery classes. The Sub-Committee decided to impose a condition on the licence in this respect and this is specified below as Condition 37.
The Sub-Committee noted that the applicant would engage with residents and in this regard considered it appropriate to impose model condition 24 on the licence which requires the applicant to provide a telephone number so residents can contact the Premises management on any given issue if there are problems
The Sub-Committee, in its determination of the matter, was satisfied that the activities and hours applied for were appropriate in all the circumstances of the case, with the amendment of conditions as above. The Sub-Committee arrived at this decision based upon the merits of the application and the various safeguards and measures the applicant is to implement in the running of the Premises that will uphold the promotion of the licensing objectives.
Having carefully considered the committee papers and the submissions made by all of the parties, both orally and in writing, the Sub-Committee has decided, after taking into account all of the individual circumstances of this case and the promotion of the four licensing objectives: -
1. To grant permission for Films (Indoors) Monday to Sunday 00:00 to 00:00 hours Seasonal Variations/Non-Standard timings: None
2. To grant permission for the Sale by Retail of Alcohol (On Sales) Monday to Saturday 10:00 to 23:00 hours and Sunday 12:00 to 22:30 hours.
Seasonal Variations/Non-Standard timings: For residents and guests the times are 00:00 to 00:00 hours.
Monday to Sunday 00:00 to 00:00 hours Seasonal Variations/Non-Standard timings: None
4. That the Licence is subject to any relevant mandatory conditions.
5. That the Licence is subject to the following additional conditions imposed by the Committee which are considered appropriate and proportionate to promote the licensing objectives.
Conditions imposed by the Committee after a hearing
6. If the Hotel ceases to be used as a Wellness and Sustainable Hotel no alcohol will be sold to members of the public, but only Hotel residents and their Guests. In that event the Premises Licence Holder will notify the Licensing Authority in writing of the change in operation.
7. There is to be no external advertisement on the street of bar facilities/licensable activities.
8. Substantial food and non-intoxicating beverages, including drinking water shall be available in all parts of the premises where alcohol is sold or supplied for consumption on the premises.
9. Details of all hotel guests including name, address and telephone number will be kept on the premises.
10. Save for the provision of meals via room service the kitchen will close at 23:00 daily and 22.30 Sundays.
11. Meeters and Greeters will man the entrance from Queens Gardens during the opening hours of that entrance and the Main Entrance in Devonshire Terrace will be manned throughout the 24-hour period that the Hotel is open.
12. The Premises Licence Holder shall ensure that any patrons wishing to smoke do so on the Hotel side of Devonshire Terrace.
13. No noise generated on the premises, or by its associated plant or equipment shall emanate from the premises nor vibration be transmitted through the structure of the premises which gives rise to a nuisance.
14. Clearly legible notices shall be displayed at the exit from the premises requesting patrons to respect the needs of local residents and to leave the premises and area quietly.
15. The provision of films shall be restricted to the hotel bedrooms and there shall be no cinema style showing of films.
16. No deliveries and collections (including refuse and recycling collections) will take place between 18: 00 and 08:00 Monday to Friday. 18:00 and 10:00 at weekends and Bank Holiday Fridays and Mondays. The Premises Licence Holder will use its best endeavours to ensure that the recycling and waste collections only take place in Cleveland Square.
17. The pavement from the building line to the kerb edge immediately outside the premises, including gutter/channel at its junction with the curb edge, is swept and/or washed, and litter and sweeping is collected and stored in accordance with the approved refuge storage arrangements.
18. A direct telephone number for the hotel at the premises shall be publicly available at times the premises are open. This telephone number is to be made available to residents in the vicinity.
19. The Premises Licence holder shall enter into an agreement with a designated taxi firm that can be used by patrons of the premises.
20. The Premises Licence Holder will install and maintain curtains in the windows that overlook Queens Gardens from the Ground Floor of the licensed area.
21. Staff engaged in the sale or supply of alcohol will receive refresher training at least every three months specific to the Licensing Act 2003 and the mandatory conditions.
22. The supply of alcohol in the public areas on the ground floor will only be to persons who are seated.
23. No members of the public including guests of residents will be permitted to remain in the premises after 23:30 hours Monday to Saturday and 22:30 hours Sundays.
24. After 23:30 hours Monday to Saturday and 22:30 hours on Sundays only hotel residents will be permitted use of the ground floor restaurant and lounge.
25. With the exception of the main external entrance door to the hotel located on Devonshire Terrace and the secondary entrance door located in Queens Gardens all windows and doors to the ground floor public area will remain closed at all times, save for immediate access and egress.
26. No TV screens shall be provided to the ground floor public area save for screens provided for the purpose of providing guest information or used as part of an educational presentation. This condition will cease to apply in the event that the Hotel ceases to be used as a Wellness and Sustainable Hotel.
27. A proof of age scheme, such as Challenge 21 or 25, shall be operated at the premises where the only acceptable forms of identification are recognised photographic identification cards, such as a driving licence or passport.
28. No licensable activities shall take place until the premises has been assessed as satisfactory by the Environmental Health Consultation Team at which time this condition shall be removed from the Licence by the Licensing Authority.
29. Before the premises open to the public, the plans as deposited will be checked by the Environmental Health Consultation Team to ensure they are an accurate reflection of the premises constructed. Where the premises layout has changed during the course of construction new plans shall be provided to the Environmental Health Consultation Team and the Licensing Authority.
30. The premises shall install and maintain a comprehensive CCTV system as per the minimum requirements of the Westminster Police Licensing Team. All entry and exit points will be covered enabling frontal identification of every person entering in any light condition. The CCTV system shall continually record whilst the premises are open for licensable activities and during all times when customers remain on the premises and will include the external area immediately outside the premises entrance. All recordings shall be stored for a minimum period of 31 days with date and time stamping. Viewing of recordings shall be made available immediately upon the request of Police or authorised officer throughout the entire 31-day period.
31. A staff member from the premises who is conversant with the operation of the CCTV system shall be on the premises at all times when the premises are open. This staff member must be able to provide a Police or authorised council officer copies of recent CCTV images or data with the absolute minimum of delay when requested.
32. An incident log shall be kept at the premises and made available on request to an authorised officer of the City Council or the Police. It must be completed within 24 hours of the incident and will record the following:
i. all crimes reported to the venue
ii. all ejections of patrons
iii. any complaints received concerning crime and disorder
iv. any incidents of disorder
v. any seizures of drugs or offensive weapons
vi. any faults in the CCTV system
vii. any refusal of the sale of alcohol
viii. any visit by a relevant authority or emergency service.
33. The supply of alcohol throughout the premises shall be by waiter or waitress service except for the use of mini bars in the bedrooms.
34. The restaurant and lounge area will be permanently laid up with tables and chairs.
35. Except for a pre-booked function booked by a resident, or member of the public no residents or members of the public shall entertain more than 4 Adult bona fide guests at any one time. (For the avoidance of doubt this number does not include children of any guests).
36. Patrons permitted to temporarily leave and then re-enter the premises, e.g., to smoke shall not be permitted to take drinks or glass containers with them.
37. All pre-booked events held at the premises shall be limited to events associated with the Hotels ethos of mindfulness and wellness including cookery classes.
38. The Queens Garden Entrance will only be used between 09:00-21:00 Monday – Sunday save for emergency access unless the Premises Licence Holder provides a secondary inner door. The hours shall then be agreed with Environmental Health but no later than 23:00 hours.
If problems are experienced, then an application for a Review of the Premises licence can be made.
This is the Full Decision of the Licensing Sub-Committee which takes effect forthwith.
The Licensing Sub-Committee
1 July 2021