Site Name & Address
Licensing Reference No.
The Clarendon Members Club, 4 Clarendon Terrace, W9 1BZ
New Club Premises Certificate
*Cumulative Impact Area
WCC LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE NO. 5 (“The Committee”)
Thursday 28 October 2021
Membership: Councillors Murad Gassanly (Chairman), Barbara Arzymanow and Aziz Toki
Officer Support: Legal Advisor: Steve Burnett
Policy Officer: Kerry Simpkin
Committee Officer: Sarah Craddock
Presenting Officer: Roxsana Haq
Application Club Premises Certificate in respect of The Clarendon Members Club, 4 Clarendon Terrace, London, W9 1BZ - 21/05518/LICN
The Clarendon Members Club
4 Clarendon Terrace
London, W9 1BZ
Represented by Mr Monty Sassoon (Applicant)
Cumulative Impact Area?
The Premises is not located in a Cumulative Impact Area
Proposed Licensable Activities
· A Club Premises Certificate (CPC) to cover the basement, ground and first floor.
· Supply and sale of alcohol ‘On’ the premises from 11.00 to 23:00 hours Monday to Sunday
· live and recorded music and anything of a similar description to that falling within Live Music, Recorded Music, Performance of Dance (All indoors) from 11.00 to 23:00 hours Monday to Sunday
· Opening and closing from 11.00 to 23:00 hours Monday to Sunday
Following consultation, the applicant withdrew live music from the application.
· Environmental Health (“EH”) (Anil Drayan)
· Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society
Represented by Mr Richard Brown, Licensing Lawyer, Westminster Citizens Advice Bureau)
· Little Venice Management (Lizzie Peskin)
· Councillor Melvyn Caplan (representing local resident)
· Forty-three local residents objecting to the application (Angela Irving, Ajay Gupta and Alan Brown in attendance at the hearing)
Summary of issues raised by objectors
· The Environmental Health Services has concerns that the Sale and Supply of Alcohol and for the hours requested may lead to an increase in Public Nuisance in the area and the provision of the Regulated Entertainments and for the hours requested may also lead to an increase in Public Nuisance in the area.
· The residents have concerns about noise caused by members and their guests, entertainment and traffic including taxis. They also express concerns about customer parking in the area, dispersal, criminal damage, trespassing, customer smokers and contend that this is an inappropriate location for a member’s club. The Sub-Committee noted that were forty-three residential objections.
Westminster Statement of Licensing Policy was considered including, QUC1, HRS1, CH1, PN1 and CD1.
Summary of Application
This is an application for a Club Premises Certificate under the Licensing Act 2003 (“The Act”). The Premises already has the benefit of a Premises Licence. The Clarendon is to be an exclusive club for paid members which in turn provides entertainment for its members at exclusive events. The premises is located in Little Venice Ward but not within the West End Cumulative Impact Zone nor Special Consideration Zone.
There is a resident count of approximately 268.
Having considered all the submissions made by all parties, the Licensing Sub-Committee decided to grant the application subject to additional conditions.
The Licensing Officer introduced the application and confirmed that following consultation the applicant had subsequently withdrawn live music from the application. The Licensing Officer advised that there had been forty-three residential representations against the application including from Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society and Little Venice Management.
Mr Sassoon, the Applicant, advised that he and a group of friends were applying for a Club Premises Certificate for the Clarendon Members Club. He explained that the word ‘club’ was a bit misleading and considered that a lot of residents had objected against the application, believing the premises would be opening as a nightclub with loud music. He confirmed, however that this would not be the case and the reason he was setting up this club was because the group of friends did not like loud noise and wanted to go somewhere decent where they could hear each other speak.
Mr Sassoon advised that he had met with the Environmental Health Service and the Metropolitan Police Service and had agreed with all their proposed conditions. He further advised that the club had their own set of rules which would only allow entry to adults over 21 years of age and that anyone causing a nuisance would be immediately barred and their membership suspended. He outlined that the club was not open to the general public but was specially a private members’ club where friends could socialise together with a few drinks, dinner and maybe play a board games or watch football. He commented that the size of the bar area would be reduced by 60%, that there would a SIA security guard on duty at all times when the premises was open and security cameras had been installed both inside and outside of the Premises. He concluded that the members’ private club would be a welcomed addition to the area.
In response to questions from the Sub-Committee, Mr Sassoon explained that there were a group of friends (between 35 and 50 adults) who were always celebrating and socialising together and who had decided to set up this club because the places they visited were either too small to cater for all of them, the drinks and food were very expensive or the venue was too noisy to hear each other speak. The group, therefore, had decided to invest in a premises where they could relax and play backgammon or play bridge, watch football or just have a quiet drink. He advised that he had withdrawn the live music element of the application and that the only sound coming out of the speakers would be from the TV.
Mr Sassoon confirmed that it was literally a group of friends getting together to socialise in a safe space and that any proceeds would go straight back into the club. He advised that he preferred not to reduce the hours of operation on Sundays by half an hour. He further advised that once the capacity of 30 persons had been reached a message would be sent out advising Members that the club was fully booked. He added that on popular evenings people would have to prebook in advance to gain access to the club. He further added that the club rules would state that a club member could bring in a maximum of three guests.
Mr Anil Drayan, on behalf of the Environmental Health Service, advised that the Environmental Health Service was satisfied with the application and that he was only present at the hearing to assist the Sub-Committee. He confirmed that Environmental Health were happy to withdraw their representation after listening to the Applicant’s submission. Mr Drayan explained, for the benefit of the Sub-Committee, that the existing Premises Licence was for a full pub licence under the previous licensing regime so what the Applicant was proposing was for less hours and less licensable activities and with additional controls in way of the proposed conditions. He added that this, therefore, should reduce any potential impacts arising from the use of the premises as a commercial premises. He confirmed that the Applicant had agreed to all the proposed conditions from both the Environmental Health Service and the Police.
Mr Richard Brown, Licensing Lawyer, on behalf of Paddington Waterways and the Maida Vale Society, referred to his submission on page 59 of the report and his email contained in the additional information pack. He advised that there were benefits to a Club Premises Certificate for the Applicant, in that it was less heavily regulated than a Premises Licence as there was no requirement for a personal licence holder or a designated premises supervisor. He explained that there had been limited information on the application about the nature of the club. However, there had been reference to poker events and that holding a Club Premises Certificate gave the Applicant the ability to apply for a Club Gaming permit under the Gambling Act. He added that the Applicant had mentioned in his submission backgammon and bridge but had not mentioned anything about poker and requested that more information be provided to the Sub-Committee regarding the playing of poker at the club.
Mr Brown emphasised that this was a highly residential area and that there had been a large number of residential objections to this application. He added that it was an unusual application in that a friendship group had decided to get together to form a club. He commented that the live music element had been withdrawn however because of the deregulation of live music under the Licensing Act this was not actually a great deal of comfort to the residents because it could still be provided until 11pm. He further commented on the need for noise limiters/sound proofing, the fire exits, the front and back doors to be kept closed and specifically the number of smokers allowed to leave and re-enter the Premises. He asked for clarification regarding the surrender of the existing Premises Licence and whether it was in the gift of the Applicant to surrender it on the granting of the Club Premises Certificate or whether it was still held by the previous operators. He advised that it was for the Sub-Committee to decide whether this was a bona fide club.
The Sub-Committee noted that in the additional information pack the Environmental Health Service had included twelve additional conditions to be included on the Certificate if the application was granted and that condition 2 stated that no noise shall emanate from the Premises nor vibration being transmitted through the structure of the Premises which gives rise to a nuisance’ which the Sub-Committee considered was satisfactory to alleviate resident’s concerns.
Councillor Caplan, Ward Councillor for the Little Venice Ward, representing a number of local residents, advised that it was a highly residential area with flats situated directly opposite the Premises and located all around the surrounding area. He explained that from the Applicant’s submission it would appear that what was being offered would be ok. However, there was still significant concern regarding the playing of poker at the club if the betting were to go beyond the sort of few pennies type of thing. This was because the club would then require a gambling licence and this had not been applied for by the Applicant. Councillor Caplan asked for clarification regarding the Applicant’s intention because this would be a significant difference than friends just gathering and hanging out together. He echoed Mr Brown’s comment on whether the existing licence would be surrendered on the granting of this licence. He advised that the premises had not caused the residents any concern for a long time and asked for this to continue to be the case, he requested for specific conditions to be added to the licence in relation to the fire exit on Bloomfield court being used for this purpose only and for the front door to be closed at all times except when people were entering and exiting the building. He emphasised that the residents wanted core hours on Sundays.
Mr Alan Brown, local resident, advised that he had found the Environmental Health Conditions extremely helpful and was pleased that the Applicant had agreed to them all as well as withdrawing his application for live music. He advised that he was now only concerned regarding the parking in the street and how taxis’ would wait to collect people from the club without blocking the road. He suggested alternatively that taxis’ could wait in the car park around the corner which had room for 80 cars and that the club employ a receptionist/traffic warden type person to address any traffic issues caused by people coming and going from the club. He requested that the area for smokers be addressed and wondered if the courtyard could be used instead of the pavement, as the pavement was often used as a walkway through to Clifton Road because it took people away from the polluted air and busy roads.
Mr J Gupta, local resident, advised that he considered the Environmental Health additional conditions very helpful. He advised that he lived in Clarendon Court and his flat overlooked Clarendon Terrace. He was concerned with the mention of gambling and people drinking and smoking late into the night. He emphasised that he wanted the closing time specifically set out so that the Applicant and the residents knew exactly when the premises should close. He echoed what had already been mentioned about how difficult it was to find parking spaces. He also echoed Mr Brown regarding the need to keep with the Council’s core hours policy on Sundays as it was a highly residential area. The Sub-Committee noted that there had only been one complaint recorded in 2019 however that related to the previous operator.
Ms Angela Irving, local resident, asked for clarification on whether there would be dancing on the Premises as dancing always meant that the music would be very loud. She advised of her concern regarding the use of the back door off Bloomfield Court and requested that this door only be used for receiving supplies into the Premises and staff members. She added that smoking should also only take place at the front of the Premises.
Miss Lizzie Peskin, representing Little Venice Management, advised that the area was highly residential with young families and the elderly. She commented that she was still unclear as to what this club was exactly going to be and asked if the Applicant was going to apply for a restaurant licence as serving drinks with dinner had been mentioned during his submission. She requested that the Applicant set out the themes for the popular evenings mentioned and commented that it seemed odd to set up a club for people to play board games and watch football. She indicated that there might be something more going on which the Licensing Sub-Committee had not yet been made fully aware of and emphasised that people over 21 still got drunk and behaved inappropriately. She echoed the traffic and parking issues in the area that had already been mentioned at the hearing.
The Sub-Committee noted that once a licence had been issued the Premises was subject to random risk assessment inspections and any complaints received about the premises would be taken seriously and investigated by the Council’s licensing inspectors to ensure compliance of the conditions on the licence.
Mr Steve Burnett, Legal advisor to the Sub-Committee, advised that if the residents had valid complaints or if they had concerns, they had the option of applying for a Review of the Club Premises Certificate which would mean that the certificate would come back before the Sub-Committee who would take suitable action as they see fit.
Mr Drayan advised that parking and traffic issues were not actually a licensing matter and could not be addressed by the Sub-Committee. Mr Drayan advised that gambling came under a different piece of legislation and that if the Applicant were to apply for a licence to the Gambling Commission, then it would be for the Gambling Commission’s decision as to whether they would permit it on these premises. He explained that dancing and that the consumption of hot food and hot drinks was not a licensable activity until 11pm, so the Applicant did not need to apply for such a licence unless he was going to trade beyond 11pm. He highlighted that the proposed conditions ensured that no smells or odours would escape from the Premises.
Mr Simpkin, Policy Advisor for the Sub-Committee, clarified that gambling at the premises was covered by The Gambling Act 2005 and that there were restrictions associated with those gambling activities.
The Sub-Committee then clarified the following issues with the Applicant:
· He was keen to keep closing on Sundays at 11pm.
· He was content to limit the number of smokers leaving and re-entering the Premises to two persons as there were not many smokers within the friendship group. Mr Drayan suggested that the condition should read ‘that the rear exit shall not be used by the public except for an emergency’ and this would mean that smokers would have to go out to smoke via the front entrance.
· The only sound would be from the TV speakers and there was already enough sound proofing to prevent noise escaping as the noise created by the previous operator (the pub) could not be heard in the above flat
· The Premises was very small so there would only be room for say two acoustic guitar players to play in the venue.
· EH had advised that they were happy with the sound insulation in the property as long as no loud amplified music was played at the Premises and that he would be liable for any noise nuisance under the noise condition.
· Hot food would not be prepared on the Premises and would be brought into the Premises already prepared or be ordered in from outside Premises in one go for say themed nights. Individuals would not be able to order food to consume at the Premises so there would not be numerous deliveries to the Premises during the evening.
· It was not his intention to apply for a gambling licence in the future and what he had envisaged was holding a poker tournament where the winner would receive a small amount of the winnings and the rest of the proceedings would go to a nominated charity.
· He wanted to have a good relationship with the community and believed that what he was offering was much better than the existing licence.
· There would be no problem informing people when they arrive and leave to take into consideration the residential area as they were a close bunch of friends. There would be a doorman available at all times whilst the Premises was open to remind customers to leave quietly.
· He would obtain a certificate to hold the odd poker night if he needed one and would not go ahead with any tournaments before he had gained all the correct documentation. He emphasised to the Sub-Committee that his application for a Club Premises Certificate was not an attempt to open a casino, bar or night club but to open a place where people could come to enjoy a quiet drink.
· He was in agreement with all the proposed conditions and he wanted to be a good friend to the community.
The Sub-Committee noted, on legal advice, that betting and gaming at the premises were covered by other legislation and was not under their remit of dealing with the application under the Licensing Act 2003. If the members of the Club intend to conduct gambling at the premises, they should either seek independent legal advice or contact The Gambling Commission.
They further noted that the existing Premises Licence had remained with the previous operator and therefore the Applicant was unable to surrender the existing licence. The Sub-Committee finally discussed how drinking up time worked in practice with the Applicant.
The Sub-Committee has a duty to consider the application on its individual merits and took into account all of the committee papers and the oral evidence given by all parties during the hearing in its determination of the matter.
The Sub-Committee noted that the Environmental Health Service and the Police Service had withdrawn their representations and conditions have been agreed with the Applicant. The Committee decided that the Applicant had provided reasons as to why the granting of the application would promote the licensing objectives.
In reaching its decision, the Sub-Committee took into consideration that the conditions had been agreed with the responsible authorities and that this would be a private members’ club operating within core hours. The Sub-Committee concluded that the proposed conditions on the Club Premises Certificate were proportionate and appropriate for 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 Committee has decided, after taking into account all of the individual circumstances of this case and the promotion of the four licensing objectives the application is granted as follows: -
1. To grant permission for the sale and supply of Alcohol ‘On’ the premises from 11.00 to 22:30 hours Monday to Saturday and Sundays from 11.00 to 22.00.
2. To grant permission for anything of a similar description to that falling within Recorded Music and Performance of Dance from 11.00 to 22:30 hours Monday to Saturdays and from 11.00 to 22:00 hours on Sundays.
3. To grant permission for the opening times of the premises from 11.00 to 23.00 hours Mondays to Saturdays and from 11.00 to 22.30 hours Sundays.
4. To add conditions in the terms specified below.
5. That the CPC is subject to any relevant mandatory conditions.
6. That the CPC 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
7. The Club will have a designated a full time employee to ensure the rules under the Licensing Act 2003 are followed at all times. The role of this individual is to ensure the Members are provided with the information they require, to liaise with the Council and to manage the events in line with Certificate requirements.
8. Club Rules’ will be issued to all members
9. Security will be posted at the entrance of the Club at all times and Identification of members and their guests will be checked and a written record made prior to entry.
10. At all times a Manager will be present during each event ensuring Club Rules/House Rules are operating.
11. (a) The premises shall install and maintain a comprehensive CCTV system as per the minimum requirements of the Westminster Police Licensing Team.
(b) All entry and exit points will be covered enabling frontal identification of every person entering in any light condition.
(c) The CCTV system shall continually record whilst the premises is 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.
(d) All recordings shall be stored for a minimum period of 31 days with date and time stamping.
(e) Viewing of recordings shall be made available immediately upon the request of Police or authorised officer throughout the entire 31-day period.
12. 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.
13. There shall be a personal licence holder on duty on the premises at all times when the premises are authorised to sell alcohol.
14. A minimum of one (1) SIA licensed door supervisors shall be on duty at the premises at all times whilst it is open for business and they must correctly display their SIA licence(s) when on duty so as to be visible.
15. Waiter / waitress service shall be available throughout the whole of the premises.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Alcohol may only be sold for consumption by members of a private club and their bona fide guests (not exceeding 3 guests per member). No person shall be admitted to membership of the private club or be entitled to take advantage of any of the privileges of membership without an interval of at least 48 hours between their nomination or application for membership and their admission.
19. A list of the names and addresses of members of the Club shall be kept on the premises at all times together with a book showing the names and dates of attendance of any guests introduced by members. Both the list and the book shall be produced on demand for inspection by the Police or an authorised officer of the Council.
20. Substantial food and suitable beverages other than intoxicating liquor shall be available during the whole of the permitted hours in all parts of the premises where intoxicating liquor is sold or supplied.
21. No noise shall emanate from the premises nor vibration be transmitted through the structure of the premises which gives rise to a nuisance.
22. No fumes, steam or odours shall be emitted from the licensed premises so as to cause a nuisance to any persons living or carrying on business in the area where the premises are situated.
23. Clearly legible notices shall be displayed at all exits from the premises requesting patrons to respect the needs of local residents and to leave the premises and area quietly.
24. 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.
25. The Members shall ensure that when patrons are leaving, they do not congregate outside but leave the area immediately.
26. All waste shall be properly presented and placed out for collection no earlier than 30 minutes before the scheduled collection times.
27. No rubbish, including bottles, shall be moved, removed or placed in outside areas between 2300 hours and 0800 hours.
28. Deliveries to the premises shall only take place between 0800 and 2300 hours.
29. During the hours of operation 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 the aforementioned 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.
30. The number of persons accommodated at any one time (excluding staff) shall not exceed 30.
31. No licensable activities shall take place at the premises until the licensing authority are satisfied that the premises is constructed or altered in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the District Surveyor’s Association – Technical Standards for Places of Entertainment and the reasonable requirements of Westminster Environmental Health Consultation Team, at which time this condition shall be removed from the licence by the Licensing Authority. If there are minor changes during construction new plans shall be substituted and lodged with the Licensing Authority when requesting removal of this condition.
32. Patrons permitted to temporarily leave and then re-enter the premises, e.g. to smoke, shall be limited to 2 persons at any one time.
33. Customers shall not enter or leave the premises from the fire exit to Bloomfield Court, except in the event of an emergency or for deliveries
34. All external doors shall be kept closed except for the immediate access and egress of persons.
This is the Full Decision of the Licensing Sub Committee which takes
28 October 2021