Site Name & Address
Licensing Reference No.
New Premises Licence
*Cumulative Impact Area
This will be a virtual meeting. Members of the Public can view the live broadcast using the media links on the Council’s website.
WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE NO. 4
Thursday 2 September 2021
Membership: Councillor Karen Scarborough (Chairman) Councillor Richard Elcho and Councillor Maggie Carman
Officer Support: Legal Advisor: Horatio Chance
Policy Officer: Kerry Simpkin
Committee Officer: Georgina Wills
Presenting Officer: Jessica Donavon
Application for a New Premises Licence in respect of Oystermen
Kiosk At Apple Market North Hall Market Building WC2E 8RD 21/03914/LIPN
Present: Alun Thomas (Legal Representative, Oystermen Events LTD), Matt Lovell, (Owner and Director, Oystermen Events LTD), Rob Hampton (Owner and Director, Oystermen Events LTD) and Karyn Abbott (Licensing Authority)
Oystermen Kiosk At Apple Market North Hall Market Building WC2E 8RD
Oystermen Events LTD
Cumulative Impact Area
Summary of Application
The Sub-Committee has determined an application for a New Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003 (“The Act”). The Premises proposes to operate as a restaurant kiosk within Apple Market, Covent Garden. The Premises are within the St James’s Ward and located within the West End Cumulative Impact Zone. The Special Consideration does not apply. On original submission of the application, the Applicant applied for late night refreshment Monday to Thursday from 23:00 to 23:30, and Friday and Saturday from 23:00 to 00:00. This has since been withdrawn and does not form part of this application. The Applicant also applied for the sale by retail of alcohol (both on and off the premises) Monday to Thursday from 09:00 to 23:30, Friday to Saturday from 09:00 to 00:00 and Sunday from 09:00 to 22:30. These hours have since been amended and are specified below. The opening hours have also been amended on Friday and Saturday from 09:00 to 00:00 to 09:00 to 23:30, as specified below. The Applicant has also had the benefit of 8 TENS for the periods July 2020 – May 2021. There is a resident count of 18.
Activities and Hours applied for
Hours premises are open to the public:
Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 23:30
Sunday 09:00 to 22:30
Sale by Retail of Alcohol – both on and off sales:
Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 23:00
Sunday 09:00 to 22:30
· Metropolitan Police (PC Nicole Sondh) (Withdrawn)
· Environmental Health (Ian Watson) (Withdrawn)
· Licensing Authority (Michelle Steward)
· 8 Local Residents (five residents Withdrew)
Summary of issues raised by objectors:
· The applicant will need to satisfy the concerns of the Licensing Authority by demonstrating that the application will not add to cumulative impact if granted. It will be for Licensing Sub-Committee Members to determine this application, given its location within the West End Cumulative Impact area and the proposed hours of operation.
· There is no need for any more licensed drinking in this area. The area is extremely well served currently in the respect. Another issue is that the site is blocking access to the apple market where the landlords prohibit the consumption of alcohol. The fact that this will also block access to the apple market will adversely affect the market traders. It is not right nor proper for one business to be granted a license to then negatively impact access to many market traders. Once again there are ample licensed venues in the area. There is no need for yet another
· The CGCA objects to the grant of a Licence a Kiosk for Oystermen situated at the West End of the Apple Market on the terms applied for. This is because we believe it will harm the Licensing Objectives related to public nuisance and crime and disorder. Our concerns relate to the proposed hours of operation and to the conditions, especially those related to off-sales. We also have concerns about the design and positioning kiosk and its related seating area with its barriers and umbrellas the kiosk is already operating. The operation, and especially off-sales, are already giving rise to public nuisance (see off-sales section below). We are unclear on whether the current operation is appropriately licensed either through a premises licence or a (series of) TEN and whether it is complying with the relevant conditions. We would appreciate understanding this and if it is not appropriately licensed what enforcement action has already been taken by the Licensing Authority.
Policies CIP1 and RNT1 of the City Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy apply.
SUBMISSIONS AND REASONS
The Sub-Committee considered an application by Oystermen Events LTD for a New Premises Licence in respect of Oystermen Kiosk At Apple Market North Hall Market Building WC2E 8RD. The Presenting Officer introduced the application and advised that the Premises sought to operate as a restaurant kiosk within Apple Market, Covent Garden. There were additional representations received from the Applicant and these were circulated to all parties.
Mr Alun Thomas Solicitor appearing on behalf of the Applicantadvised that the Applicants operated a Restaurant in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden and that the Premises site was offered by their landlord. Mr Thomas advised that a substantial menu would be on offer and that food was not to be prepared at the site but only reheated. The food preparation will take place at the main restaurant at Henrietta Street. The external seating area of the kiosk was reported to be small and could seat up to 20 patrons in total. Mr Thomas advised that the Application met the RNTl policy as it intended to operate as a restaurant and the Premises operational hours had been amended to ensure it was within Westminster’s core hours. He advised that alcohol would be served to seated patrons only and a waitered service was to be in place. The Sub-Committee was advised that there was no evidence that the Premises would add to the cumulative impact. Mr Thomas reminded the Sub-Committee that central and eastern Covent Garden was found to have less cumulative impact. He commented that Capco Covent Garden had on sight security and CCTV in the vicinity and this ensured that there was low crime and public nuisance.
Mr Thomas advised that all ‘off sales’ would be in sealed containers up to 23:00 and unsealed before 21:00, that there would be a maximum of four sales per customer, and that consumption would not be permitted in the immediate area of the Premises. These operations were reported to be in line with the Business and Planning Act 2020 and would cease in September 2022. The Sub-Committee was advised that the above factors were found to be satisfactory by Environmental Health and The Convent Garden Community Association (CGCA) who had both withdrawn their representations.
Mr Thomas advised that there had been consultations with Apple Market Traders and that the Premises floor plan had been amended to ensure there is access to the market during the later opening hours. The Apple Market Trade Association following amendments to the Premises plans withdrew their representation. Mr Thomas reminded the Sub-Committee that the Metropolitan Police had also withdrawn their representation.
In response to the Sub-Committee, Mr Matt Lovell, Owner and Director of Oystermen Events LTD, advised that they were experiencing staff shortages and it was proposed for up to two or three staff members to be always on site. He advised this was to ensure that customers are attended to, and a high standard of customer service is offered. The Premises was closed for a short period due to staff shortages. Mr Lovell advised that a small selection of alcohol beverages would be on offer and the Premises space was limited. He commented that the Premises offerings would be of a ‘high end’ nature and that food offerings would be paired with alcohol beverages.
The Sub-Committee was advised that there would be two menus on offer and that a printed menu of the main restaurant would be provided and publicised at the Premises so customers would be clear on the precise food offer. Mr Thomas advised that the Premises had operated under Temporary Events Notices (TENs) and the were no complaints received during these periods. Mr Thomas reminded the Sub-Committee that there would be no vertical drinking in the Premises and advised that restaurants do not add to cumulative impact in particular premises which are well operated. The Sub-Committee were reminded that the Landlords for the Covent Garden Estate closely monitored the vicinity and put in measure to deter public nuisance and anti-social behaviour in the area. Mr Thomas advised that all operations would cease at 23:00hrs and commented that findings from cumulative impact assessments indicated that a majority of nuisances occurred after 00:00. He commented that ‘off sales’ had been accepted by the CGCA and Environmental Health. The Sub-Committee were advised that ‘footfall’ in the Covent Garden area had been reduced due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
In response to the Sub-Committee, Mr Thomas advised that the CGCA were satisfied with the proposed conditions and that nearby premises licensable activities were more expansive and that provision of ‘off sales’ offered by the Applicant would ensure that the Kiosk was able to compete with competitors. He advised that there were adequate public toilets in the vicinity and that further conveniences were available at the main restaurant at Henrietta site. There will be signage in the Premises which provides information about public toilets.
Following questions from the Sub-Committee, Mr Rob Hampton, Owner and Director Oystermen Events LTD advised that food would be promoted, and staff had been trained to up sale products in particular when lighter offerings are requested with alcohol beverages. He informed that lighter offerings were viewed as accompaniments and that staff are trained to interact with patrons and encouraged to promote the offerings on the menu. This was to ensure that sales are maximised. In response to the Sub-Committee, Mr Thomas advised that it was unusual for patrons to order lighter offerings from the menu and advised that individuals would be informed that the Kiosk operated as a restaurant. Mr Thomas advised that alcohol would be ancillary to food and that Model Condition 38 (MC38) had been adopted.
Ms Karyn Abbott, appearing on behalf of the Licensing Authority advised that Policy RNT1 applied and that the Premises operated as a restaurant. Ms Abbott advised that there were concerns on whether the food offer could be viewed as a ‘substantial meal’. There were concerns that lighter food offerings would be sold with alcohol beverages. She advised that the reduction in hours and withdrawal of late-night refreshments was welcomed and that ‘off sales’ will operate in line with the Business and Planning Act 2020. Ms Abbott advised that the Sub-Committee need to be satisfied that the Application would not add to cumulative impact if granted and that the operations would comply with the Model Restaurant Condition.
In response to proposed conditions from the Legal Advisor to the Sub-Committee , Mr Thomas advised that conditions which stipulate for two members of staff to be present at the Kiosk at all times and for a direct telephone contact number for the manager at the premises to be made public (MC24) would be accepted. Mr Thomas advised the Policy Officer to the Sub-Committee that the Applicant would agree to notices which informed customers that alcohol needed to be accompanied with food are displayed in the seating area so as to avoid any confusion.
Mr Thomas advised that the Premises was in a prominent location and could be easily regulated on whether they were complying with set conditions. He advised that Environmental Health had withdrawn their application and were satisfied with the ‘off sales and provisions for public toilets. Mr Thomas advised that the Landlords were responsible and monitored the activities of tenants and the use of their premises. The Applicant has a ‘rolling tenancy’ with CAPCO and would be monitored by Apple Market Trade Association. Mr Thomas advised that the Applicant was a good operator and had not added towards the cumulative impact during their operations. He informed that the Premises was small and their ‘off sales’ provisions was to ensure that they could compete with competitors. The Applicant had also agreed to series of conditions which limited their ‘off sale’ provisions.
The Sub-Committee decided that the Applicant had provided valid reasons as to why the granting of the application would promote the licensing objectives.
The Sub-Committee realises that it has a duty to consider each application on its individual merits and concluded based on the evidence before it that the application would not add to cumulative impact when considering the likely impact the application would have on the West End Cumulative Impact Zone, noting that premises that operate as a restaurant do not have to prove an exception as provided for under Paragraph D25 on page 29 of the SLP so there is no presumption to refuse such an application.
The Sub-Committee noted that both the Police and Environmental Health had both withdrawn their objections after agreeing conditions. Likewise, 5 out of the 8 local residents who had objected withdrew their objections which included the Covent Garden Community Association. This reassured and gave confidence to the Sub-Committee that the Applicant was flexible in their approach when dealing with all parties and was therefore able to compromise when it came to revisions to the application in terms of reduced hours for the sale of alcohol, opening hours together with the withdrawal of Late Night Refreshment.
The Sub-Committee was further reassured and took comfort from the fact that the Applicant had operated under the TENS regime without complaint and that the restaurant had limited covers in any event so would not be overcrowded with customers. The Sub-Committee noted that the Applicant held a lease from Shaftesbury’s as Landlord who were well versed in the local area when it came to operating licensing premises in a responsible manner by having the necessary safeguards in place that would help promote the licensing objectives.
The Sub-Committee noted that the local area was managed and served well with adequate security provided by CAPCO taking account also of the CCTV conditions now imposed on the premises licence which would help promote the public nuisance and crime and disorder licensing objectives and mitigate the concerns raised by the Responsible Authorities and local residents.
The Sub-Committee noted the undertaking from the Applicant that the Premises would be laid out as a restaurant so as not to confuse customers. This was to ensure that the Premises would be food and not bar led and that customers when purchasing alcohol would have to do so on the strict understanding that this was to be with a substantial table meal in accordance with the restaurant conditions imposed on the Premises Licence as specified below in conditions 6 and 7 and condition 19 dealing with waiter and waitress service.
The Sub-Committee noted and requested also that the Applicant indicate on the menu choices and by appropriate signage the requirement that alcohol is sold subject to a substantial table meal and is therefore ancillary to food.
Having carefully considered the committee papers and the submissions made by all of the parties, both orally and in writing, the 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 the Sale of Alcohol (On and Off) Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 23:00 hours and Sunday 09:00 to 22:30 hours
2. To grant permission for the Opening Hours of the Premises:Monday to Saturday 09:00 to 23:30 hours Sunday 09:00 to 22:30 hours
3. To grant permission for Seasonal Variations: From the end of permitted hours on New Year’s Eve to the start of permitted hours on New Year’s Day. On Sundays prior to bank holidays 09:00 to 00:00
4. That the Licence is subject to any relevant mandatory conditions.
5. That the Licence is subject to the following additional conditions and Informative imposed by the Committee which are considered appropriate and proportionate to promote the licensing objectives.
Conditions imposed by the Committee after a hearing
6. The consumption of alcohol on the premises shall only be by a person seated taking a substantial table meal there and for consumption by such a person as ancillary to their meal.
7. 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.
8. 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 is open for licensable activities and during all times when customers remain on the premises. 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.
9. 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 is 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.
10. 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.
11. No waste or recyclable materials, including bottles, shall be moved, removed from or placed in outside areas between 23.00 hours and 07.00 hours on the following day.
12. No collections of waste or recycling materials (including bottles) from the premises shall take place between 23.00 and 07.00 on the following day.
13. 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:
(a) all crimes reported to the venue
(b) all ejections of patrons
(c) any complaints received concerning crime and disorder
(d) any incidents of disorder
(e) all seizures of drugs or offensive weapons
(f) any faults in the CCTV system
(g) any refusal of the sale of alcohol
(h) any visit by a relevant authority or emergency service.
14. A Challenge 25 proof of age scheme shall be operated at the premises where the only acceptable forms of identification are recognised photographic identification cards, such as a driving licence, passport or proof of age card with the PASS Hologram.
15. There shall be no sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises after 23.00 hours.
16. During the hours of operation of the premises, the licence holder shall ensure sufficient measures are in place to remove and prevent litter or waste arising or accumulating from customers in the area immediately outside the premises, and that this area shall be swept and or washed, and litter and sweepings collected and stored in accordance with the approved refuse storage arrangements by close of business.
17. There shall be no sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises after 21:00 other than in sealed containers, which are not intended to be readily consumed in the immediate vicinity of the premises.
18. No drinks shall be served in glass containers for consumption off the premises unless in sealed containers, which are not intended to be readily consumed in the immediate vicinity of the premises.
19. The supply of alcohol on the premises shall be by waiter or waitress service only.
20. Off-sales in non-sealed containers shall be limited to 21:00 on any day.
21. The number of alcohol drinks for consumption off the premises purchased by any person at any one time shall be limited to four.
22. Free toilets are to be made available and the details of such advertised at the premises.
23. No seating shall be placed within the area hatched black on the plan whilst the Apple Market remains open to customers.
24. The sale and supply of alcohol for consumption off the premises shall be restricted to alcohol consumed at the outside tables and chairs shown on the licence plan, shall be by waiter or waitress service, served only to a person seated taking a substantial table meal there and for consumption by such a person as ancillary to their meal.
25. There shall be a minimum of 2 members of staff present on the premises at all times.
26. A direct telephone number for the manager at the premises shall be publicly available at all times the premises is open. This telephone number is to be made available to residents and businesses in the vicinity.
27. The Premises Licence Holder shall ensure that there is prominent signage at each table advising customers that alcohol for consumption at those tables will only be sold accompanying food provided from the main menu of the premises.
28. For the purposes of Condition 6 above ‘Substantial Table Meal’ means – a meal such as might be expected to be served as the main midday or main evening meal, or as a main course at either such meal and is eaten by a person seated at a table, or at a counter or other structure which serves the purposes of a table and is not used for the service of refreshments for consumption by persons not seated at a table or structure servicing the purposes of a table.
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
2 September 2021