WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE NO. 5
Thursday 25th November 2021
Membership: Councillor Murad Gassanly (Chair), Councillor Richard Elcho and Councillor Rita Begum
Officer Support: Legal Advisor: Viviene Walker
Policy Officer: Aaron Hardy
Committee Officer: Tristan Fieldsend
Presenting Officer: Kevin Jackaman
Application for a New Premises Licence 21/07202/LIPN
161 Praed Street
McDonalds Restaurants Limited
Represented by Elaine Rayner (Licensing Team Leader – Shoosmiths)
Cumulative Impact Area?
Not in a Cumulative Impact Area
Summary of Application
The Premises proposed to operate as a fast-food restaurant.
Proposed Activities and Hours
Late Night Refreshment (Outdoors)
Monday to Sunday 23.00 to 00.00
Hours Premises are Open to the Public
Monday to Sunday 06.00 to 00.00
· Metropolitan Police Service (PC Bryan Lewis)
· Environmental Health Service (Dave Nevitt)
· Councillor Heather Acton (Hyde Park Ward Councillor)
· South East Bayswater Residents Association
· Hyde Park Estate Association
Summary of issues raised by objector
· The proposals were likely to increase the risk of public nuisance and impact on the prevention of crime and disorder licensing objective which may impact upon Public Safety.
· The application would have on detrimental impact on local residents who would be faced with increased noise from customers arriving or leaving the Premises, disturbance from 'Take Away' collection and delivery, litter etc and potential crime and disorder with anti-social behaviour to residents in Praed Street.
· The hours sought for Licensable activities were in excess of the Core Hours as defined in the City Council's Statement of Licensing Policy.
The Premises are located within the West End Cumulative Impact Area and as such various policy points had to be considered, namely HRS1 and FFP1.
Under Policy HRS1, applications for hours outside the core hours set out in Clause C will be considered on their merits, subject to other relevant policies and with particular regard to the matters set out in Policy HRS1.
Under Policy FFP1 applications outside the West End Cumulative Zones will generally be granted subject to other relevant policies and with regard to the matters set out in Policy FFP1.
DECISION AND REASONS
Having considered all the submissions made by all parties, the Licensing Sub-Committee decided to grant the application.
The Licensing Officer introduced the application and confirmed that following discussions the applicant had agreed to reduce the opening hours and terminal hours for licensable activities to 00:00. It was also confirmed that the Police had withdrawn their representation following the agreement of conditions with the applicant.
Mr Leo Charalambides of Counsel, representing the applicant, introduced the application. He explained that the application had been significantly reduced in scope and was now only seeking to extend the provision of late-night refreshment to 00:00 hours Monday to Sunday. This was a like-for-like application with the McDonald’s located opposite which had now closed. There would be no seating at the Premises, which was a new concept, providing a takeaway and delivery service only. It was highlighted that the nearby McDonald’s located in Paddington Station had also recently closed resulting in a reduction in McDonald’s footfall in the area. In terms of the concept envisaged for the Premises it had been tested successfully at other stores with the same processes proposed to be applied at the application site. The store would have a specific waiting area which delivery drivers would use whilst collecting their deliveries. The Sub-Committee was advised that there would be ongoing conversations with delivery partners to ensure there was no detrimental impact on the local area and McDonald’s would have the ability to block specific delivery drivers if any issues were reported.
Mr Charalambides recognised that takeaway operations did generate litter and therefore the Premises would provide a bin provision and ensure materials were as far as possible recyclable. In addition, a minimum of three litter patrols would be undertaken each day in the local area and these would collect all litter, not just that of McDonald’s. The applicant worked extensively with local communities to address litter concerns and was content for the litter patrols to be conditioned on the licence.
With regards to the conditions Mr Charalambides explained that these had been agreed with the Police and these included an appropriate CCTV condition. No loud music would be played at the Premises with any music used for background purposes only, there would also be no flashing signs located on the Premises. Any collections of waste would take place in accordance with the Council’s waste collection scheme, and this would also apply for deliveries to the store. In response to a question, it was confirmed that there would be no toilet provision for customers in the store. Therefore, the Sub-Committee was advised that due to the minimal impact of the application and the reduction in McDonald’s premises in the local area, the slight increase in core hours being requested would have no impact as the application was only seeking to replicate what was a long-standing permission.
Mr Nevitt, representing Environmental Health Service, was pleased to note that the application had been scaled back. He still had concerns however over the hours requested as they were beyond core hours and as this was a fast-food premises the Sub-Committee had to be satisfied that sufficient conditions had been offered to mitigate any potential noise and disturbance. The Sub-Committee also had to decide if the concerns of local residents had been addressed although it was recognised that the McDonald’s opposite which had now closed also had a terminal hour of 00:00 hours which provided some mitigation. There was also a concern over the toilet provision and how staff would be able to explain to customers they could not use the staff toilets.
Mr Brown, Citizens Advice Bureau Licensing Advice Project, representing the South East Bayswater Residents Association (SEBRA), addressed the Sub-Committee.
He expressed surprise that the original application sought a 24-hour operation and therefore welcomed the subsequent reduction in hours, although they were still beyond core hours. Concern was expressed that there would be no public toilet provision and if the Sub-Committee was minded to grant the application it was requested prominent signage be put in place informing customers of this. It was also noted that no timings had been offered regarding when deliveries of stock and the collection of waste from the Premises had been offered and further reassurances on this would be required. It was requested that any deliveries or collections to the Premises took place from London Street in order to minimise the impact on local residents. Finally, Mr Brown advised that SEBRA had submitted several proposed conditions to be added to the licence but had not received any notification whether the applicant was content to accept them or not. It was acknowledged that now he had been fully informed of the style of operation proposed that not all of them may be appropriate.
Mr Zamit, representing the South East Bayswater Residents Association, advised the Sub-Committee that the applicant had originally applied for a tables and chairs licence for the Premises. This had been refused but it raised questions about whether one would be applied for again in the future and therefore whether it was envisaged for the Premises to be just takeaway only. Litter was a concern, and it was requested that a condition be added to the licence requiring bins to be placed on the footpath and emptied regularly. The Sub-Committee was also advised that delivery drivers picking up their orders was a particular problem in the area as they often parked their vehicles on the pavement causing an obstruction. Finally, concern was raised over the lack of toilet provision and what would happen if a member of the public requested to use the staff toilets.
In response to questions from the Sub-Committee Mr Charalambides explained that a takeaway style of operation was intended for the Premises, and this was why there was no seating or toilet provision as they did not want to encourage people congregating in the area. It would not be expected for takeaway operations to provide toilet facilities and the staff facilities would be located on the second floor with customers only permitted on the ground floor. Mr Charalambides was also unaware of a tables and chairs licence being applied for, but this would be a planning issue. In terms of delivery drivers’, agreements and code of conduct protocols would be agreed with delivery providers to ensure there would be minimal impact on local residents. It would not be possible to specify where delivery drivers could park their bikes but if any driver was identified as having broken any of these agreements, they would be reported and not used again by the Premises.
Following detailed discussions between all parties the applicant was content for an informative to be placed on the licence providing reassurance that London Street would be used for deliveries to and from the Premises. An additional informative was also agreed for signage to be installed encouraging patrons to use the public convenience at Paddington Station due to the lack of toilet provision at the Premises. To provide reassurance to local residents the applicant was also content for conditions to be included preventing deliveries or collection of waste and recycling from the Premises between 23:00 and 07:00 hours. It was also agreed between all parties that if the application was granted conditions requiring litter patrols to be undertaken could be added to the licence as well as ensuring that a direct telephone number for the manager at the Premises be made available to local businesses and residents.
The Sub-Committee carefully considered the application and noted that it was not located within a Cumulative Impact Area or a Special Consideration Zone and therefore would have to be considered on its own individual merits with no presumption to refuse the application. The Sub-Committee welcomed the reduction in hours from those originally sought and was pleased to note several of the proposed conditions agreed with the Police. These conditions included the installation of a comprehensive CCTV system and the requirement to conduct a weekly assessment taking into consideration any incidents of crime and disorder linked to the Premises in order to determine whether SIA door staff were required. Concerns raised by local residents were taken very seriously and therefore to provide reassurance several other conditions would be imposed on the licence. This included restricting the times of deliveries to the Premises and when waste collections could take place, prohibiting any between 23:00 and 07:00 therefore minimising any impact on residents. Conditions requiring litter patrols to take place would also be implemented along with providing a direct telephone line to the manager to local residents. These additional conditions all provided reassurance that the operation would not be detrimental to residents in the surrounding area. These conditions would be further supported through the addition of two informatives on the licence. One would require the Premises Licence Holder to encourage patrons to use the public conveniences at Paddington Station and the second regarding how London Street should be used for deliveries to and from the Premises. It was considered that these conditions and informatives would have the desired effect of allaying the concerns expressed by residents and ensure the licensing objectives were promoted.
The Sub-Committee also took into account that the amended application was a replication of what had been historically permitted in the now closed McDonald’s located opposite. Allied with the fact that of the three McDonald’s previously located in the local area, two had now closed and this did represent a significant reduction in McDonald’s customer footfall locally. The style of operation was also taken into account, and it was considered that this would not encourage large groups of people to loiter in the area.
Therefore, having taken into account all the evidence (with consideration being given to the representations received from local residents), the Sub-Committee was satisfied that granting the application would make it suitable for the local area and address the concerns raised. The application as now presented was appropriate, with the conditions proposed proportionate enough to ensure that the licensing objectives were promoted and mitigate the concerns raised by local residents. The Sub-Committee therefore granted the application accordingly.
The application was granted as follows:
1. To grant permission for Late Night Refreshment Monday to Sunday 23:00 to 00:00 hours.
2. To grant permission for the Opening Hours of the Premises Monday to Sunday 06:00 to 00:00 hours.
3. That the Licence is subject to any relevant mandatory conditions.
4. That the Licence is subject to the following conditions imposed by the Committee which are considered appropriate and proportionate to promote the licensing objectives.
Conditions imposed by the Committee after a hearing (with the agreement of the Applicant)
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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, searching equipment or scanning equipment
(g) any visit by a relevant authority or emergency service.
13. There shall be prominent signage viewable outside the premises, stating that there are no toilets in the premises available for public use.
14. The premises manager shall conduct a weekly assessment taking into consideration any incidents of crime and disorder linked to the premises, to determine whether SIA door staff are required. The documented risk assessment shall be retained for a minimum of 31 days and be made available for the Responsible Authorities to view upon request.
15. No alcohol shall be consumed on the premises.
16. Food and drink purchased from the premises shall not be consumed on the premises.
17. The premises licence holder shall ensure that the management team register and successfully complete the nationally recognised counter terrorism training product referred to as ACT eLearning package or can demonstrate that the ACT eLearning product has been successfully completed within the preceding 12 months and that all staff employed by or at the premises complete the ACT eLearning within a reasonable period not exceeding 3 months from the day, they start their employment.
18. No noise shall emanate from the premises nor vibration be transmitted through the structure of the premises which gives rise to a nuisance.
19. All entrance doors shall be kept closed after 23.00 hours except for immediate access and egress of persons.
20. Notices shall be prominently displayed at exits requesting the public to request the needs of local residents and to leave the premises and the area quietly.
21. There shall be no collection of refuse or recycling materials from the premises between 23:00 hours and 07:00 hours on the following day.
22. No deliveries to the premises shall take place between 23:00 hours and 07:00 hours on the following day.
23. The pavement from the building line to the kerb edge immediately outside the premises, including gutter/channel at its junction with the kerb edge, shall be swept and or washed, and litter and sweepings collected and stored in accordance with the approved refuse storage arrangements.
24. The highway and public spaces in the vicinity of the premises shall be kept free of litter from the premises at all material times to the satisfaction of the Council.
25. All waste shall be properly presented and placed out for collection no earlier than 30 minutes before the scheduled collection times.
26. There shall be regular litter patrol. The route and frequency will be kept under review.
27. Delivery drivers shall be given clear, written instructions to use their vehicles in a responsible manner so as not to cause a nuisance to any residents or generally outside the licence premises; not to leave engines running when the vehicles are parked; and not to obstruct the highway.
28. A direct telephone number for the manager at the premises shall be publicly available at all times the premises are open. This telephone number and/or is to be made available to residents and businesses in the vicinity.
29. The Premises Licence Holder will encourage patrons to use the public convenience at Paddington Station.
30. London Street should be used for deliveries to and from the Premises.
This is the Full Decision of the Licensing Sub-Committee which takes
The Licensing Sub-Committee
25 November 2021