Ward/ Cumulative Impact Area
Site Name and Address
Licensing Reference Number
West End Ward / West End Cumulative Impact Area
Hipchips, 49 Old Compton Street, W1
New Premises Licence
LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE No. 1
Thursday 23rd March 2017
Membership: Councillor Angela Harvey (Chairman), Councillor Jan Prendergast and Councillor Shamim Talukder
Legal Adviser: Horatio Chance
Committee Officer: Tristan Fieldsend
Presenting Officer: Sumeet Anand-Patel
Relevant Representations: Environmental Health, Metropolitan Police, Westminster City Council Licensing Service and the Soho Society.
Present: Ms Heather Oliver (Barrister, Representing the Applicant), Ms Charlotte Edgeworth and Mr Scott Davies (representing the applicant company), Mr Maxwell Koduah (Environmental Health (‘EH’), Mr Steven Rowe (Licensing Authority) and PC Bryan Lewis (The Metropolitan Police (“The Police”).
Hipchips, 49 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 6HL
Sale by Retail of Alcohol – On and Off Sales
Monday to Saturday: 12:00 to 21:00
Sunday: 12:00 to 20:00
Seasonal Variations/Non-Standard Timings:
Not applied for.
Amendments to application advised at hearing:
Decision (including reasons if different from those set out in report):
The Sub-Committee considered an application by Hipchips Ltd for a new premises licence in respect of 49 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 6HL.
The Licensing Officer provided an outline of the application to the Sub-Committee.
Ms Oliver, representing the applicant, introduced the concept of how the premises would provide “high-end crisps” served with sweet or savoury dips which had been fully prepared on site. The sale of alcohol would be ancillary to this food provision. It was stated that this food provision would not be a snack shop offering a ‘Walkers’ crisp offer but would be served in substantial portions accompanied with various elaborate dips. The portion sizes were significant with the medium portion proving the most popular. Details of the various size portions were provided to the Sub-Committee. The crisps were served in a paper wrapping and the dips were provided in lidded containers. It was effectively a tapas style offer with small plate service and had proven very popular as a pre-theatre meal and was listed on restaurant review websites.
Ms Oliver highlighted how there would be a focus on British produce with the aim of elevating a British food classic to a high-end level. The premises was designed as a restaurant and whilst there were no tablecloths it was a high-end well-conceived approach to a niche product. Even though the restaurant had a large floor area it was limited in space as a large portion of the space was taken up by the service counter. Details of the premises floor plan were shown to the Sub-Committee. At the back of the premises was a small capacity for fourteen people to sit. There were also tables adjacent to the counter which had no seats available and these would be excluded from the sale of alcohol. This was because the sale of alcohol would only be to those customers seated in order to ensure there was no vertical drinking. This would mean that there would be a total capacity of twenty customers at the premises at any one time. A condition requiring the number of persons permitted on the premises to not exceed twenty had been agreed following discussions with Environmental Health (EH) and the Police.
The Sub-Committee was advised that the applicants were very experienced operators and details of their backgrounds were provided. All staff were embedded within the company and had invested in the concept. It was stated that regular staff meetings were held to ensure systems in place worked well and never less than two members of staff would be working on the ground floor of the premises at any one time. This did not include staff working in the basement kitchen so a large number of staff was present at all times. It was a well-managed, responsible business which was sensitive to the local areas needs and which had a limited and prudent structure in place. The sale of alcohol would be ancillary to this food driven business which was not a bar with only a limited selection of cocktails, prosecco and bottled lagers being available. A large selection of non-alcoholic drinks was available and staff were encouraged to advise customers on which drinks would complement their food choices.
With the sanction of the Sub-Committee and the agreement of all parties Ms Oliver circulated photos of the premises. The fridge where the alcohol would be stored was highlighted as it was located behind the counter and could be screened off. Only one of the six fridges would contain alcohol which revealed the small alcohol provision available. During the operation of Temporary Event Notices (TENS) the Sub-Committee was advised that the sale of alcohol only constituted approximately 25% of all drink sales. The hours for the proposal of the sale of alcohol was limited ending at 21:00 Monday to Saturday and 20:00 on Sundays. This was considerably less than the core hours policy and was a prudent approach in a Cumulative Impact Area (CIA). Other conditions proposed included ensuring alcohol could only be served with food, it had to be by waiter/waitress service and subject to a Challenge 21 policy. No more than 15% of the retail area would be used for the sale of alcohol and any off sales would be served in a sealed container and would be ancillary to food. TENS had been successfully operated previously with no complaints arising. The other conditions proposed were very comprehensive including a CCTV condition, limiting the capacity, the implementation of an incident log, becoming a member of PubWatch and ensuring no sales of any super strength lager. A proposed condition requesting alcohol was served in polycarbonate drinking vessels could be met but soft drinks were often sold in glass bottles. Ms Oliver stated that the sale of alcohol would not increase levels of waste generated by the premises.
In response to a question from the Sub-Committee Ms Edgeworth, representing the applicant company, confirmed that the premises used two delivery service companies. Different delivery methods had been investigated including the use of bicycles in the local area but most customers requesting deliveries lived outside Soho and therefore the delivery companies usually used motor scooters. This type of delivery pick-up accounted for approximately 90% of deliveries with a small amount being undertaken on foot.
Ms Oliver recognised the premises was situated within a Cumulative Impact Area (“CIA”) but the operation was limited in size, the sale of alcohol was ancillary to food, alcohol was served by waiter/waitress service and no off sales of alcohol would take place unless food was also purchased. Due to the limited hours the premises would not create any problems later in the evening. Paragraph 2.4.20 of the City Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy (“SLP”) related to the type of premises HipChips was and how if the sale of alcohol during the day and early evening was ancillary to food it would not be likely to add to cumulative impact in the CIA. It was believed that the premises also met the stipulations in Paragraph 2.4.21 of the SLP which highlighted what was required for a premises not to add to cumulative impact in a CIA. This was because the conditions proposed were appropriate, the character of the premises would not involve heavy drinking with the only difference being permitting the sale of alcohol to 21:00 hours instead of 20:00 hours. The premises was within the scope of the Policy and would only have a marginal impact on the area.
Mr Rowe, representing the Licensing Authority, confirmed that the Sub-Committee had to be satisfied the application fell within RNT2 of the Licensing Policy and was not a bar. It needed to be satisfied that appropriate conditions had been attached to the licence and the sale of alcohol was ancillary to food. If it was considered that the premises was not either a bar or restaurant the suggested terminal hour for the sale of alcohol was 20:00. The applicant had to satisfy the Sub-Committee that the extra hour requested would not add to the cumulative impact in the area.
Mr Koduah, representing EH, advised that for the application not to be refused it had to be considered a restaurant. Paragraph 2.4.21 of the SLP mentioned the character of a premises, this was a specialist restaurant with a specific purpose in mind and that was why a condition had been proposed to ensure a licence could only be granted if the premises was operated as a specialist crisp shop. This would ensure the applicants intentions were confirmed and make it compatible with paragraph 2.4.21. Concern was expressed that a proposed condition preventing waste collections between 23:00 and 08:00 had not been agreed. It was acknowledged that currently waste collections took place at 06:00 and this had the potential to cause noise disturbance to local residents. Proposed Condition 13 on the licence was also queried as it mentioned the sale of alcohol to customers seated on chairs on the highway but no outside area had been included in the plan. Ms Oliver clarified that she did not think the applicant owned any of the outside area. EH had no concerns over the use of motor scooters for deliveries because of the terminal hour requested and it would not be likely to increase public nuisance.
PC Lewis, representing the Metropolitan Police, confirmed that their representation was maintained on policy grounds. The premises was not by definition a restaurant as it did not serve substantial portions of food. It was also confirmed that the proposed condition requiring all drinks to be served in a polycarbonate vessel would not necessarily be required due to the type of operation.
Ms Edgeworth informed the Sub-Committee that the premises had an agreement with a waste operator for the collection of waste and this could be amended.
In response to a question Ms Edgeworth clarified that motor scooters arriving at the premises to pick up deliveries parked in the bays slightly to the side of the premises and did not use the public highway to park.
The Legal Adviser requested clarification on the capacity of the premises and was informed the proposed capacity of twenty persons excluded staff. The maximum number of staff at the premises at any one time was six. EH confirmed that it had no concerns with the capacity of the premises. In response to another question from the Legal Adviser Ms Oliver also confirmed the applicant would be willing to accept a condition limiting the types of alcohol to be served to lager, cocktails and prosecco.
The Sub-Committee carefully considered the application before it. It was acknowledged that the applicants had presented a clear case of why the concept was unique and in doing so had taken the Sub-Committee through its business model by outlining its aims and objectives and what exactly it wanted to offer to its customers should the Sub-Committee be minded to grant the application. The investment in the concept undertaken by the applicants was recognised through the work carried out with extremely experienced hospitality business people to create a ‘non-Walkers’ crisp offer and the desire to celebrate the great British potato at its peak and most hip. The City Council celebrated its evening and night-time economy and the Sub-Committee believed this offer sat well within this offer due to its concept and promoted the Licensing Objectives. As such the Sub-Committee granted the application accordingly. The Sub-Committee did recognise though that the premises was located in a CIA, however it was acknowledged that the measures the applicant was proposing to introduce, as detailed above, would lessen any impact in the CIA. To provide further reassurance a terminal hour of 20:00 for the sale of alcohol was introduced and the Sub-Committee added or amended the following conditions on the licence to ensure that it did not add to the cumulative impact in the CIA:
· Condition 19 be amended to read “No noise shall emanate from the premises nor vibration be transmitted through the structure of the premises which gives rise to a nuisance.”
· An additional condition be added to the licence to read “The sale of alcohol at the premises, at all time, shall be ancillary to the premises remaining a specialist crisps shop.”
· An additional condition be added to the licence to read “There shall be no bar area at any time at the premises.”
· An additional condition be added to the licence to read “There shall be no sale of draught beer at the premises.”
· An additional condition be added to the licence to read “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.”
· An additional condition be added to the licence to read “No waste or recyclable materials, including bottles, shall be moved, removed from or placed in outside areas between 23.00hours and 08.00 hours on the following day.”
· An additional condition be added to the licence to read “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.”
· An additional condition be added to the licence to read “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.”
· An additional condition be added to the licence to read “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.”
· An additional condition be added to the licence to read “As soon as possible, and in any event within 1 month from the grant of this licence, the premises shall join the local PubWatch or other local crime reduction scheme approved by the police, and local radio scheme if available.”
It was felt these would minimise any public disturbance to residents and safeguard against any impact on public safety. Concern was expressed that approximately 90% of deliveries were undertaken by motor scooter and the harmful environmental impact this could have on the local area. The Sub-Committee therefore requested that the applicants use their best endeavours in ensuring future deliveries were undertaken using environmentally friendly modes of transport. The Sub-Committee wished the applicants all the very best with their business operation.
Hours Premises are Open to the Public
Monday to Saturday: 12:00 to 23:00
Sunday: 12:00 to 20:00
Seasonal Variations/Non-Standard Timings:
Not applied for.
Amendments to application advised at hearing:
Decision (including reasons if different from those set out in report):
Granted, see reasons for decision in Section 1.
Conditions attached to the Licence
(2) In this paragraph, an irresponsible promotion means nay one or more of the following activities, or substantially similar activities, carried on for the purpose of encouraging the sale or supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises-
(a) Games or other activities which require or encourage, or are designed to require or encourage, individuals to;
(i) Drink a quantity of alcohol within a time limit (other than to drink alcohol sold or supplied on the premises before the cessation of the period in which the responsible person is authorised to sell or supply alcohol), or
(ii) Drink as much alcohol as possible (whether within a time limit or otherwise);
(b) Provision of unlimited or unspecified quantities of alcohol free or for a fixed or discounted fee to the public or to a group defined by a particular characteristic in a manner which carries a significant risk of undermining a licensing objective;
(c) Provision of free or discounted alcohol or any other thing as a prize to encourage or reward the purchase and consumption of alcohol over a period of 24 hours or less in a manner which carries a significant risk of undermining a licensing objective;
(d) Selling or supplying alcohol in association with promotional posters or flyers on, or in the vicinity of, the premises which can reasonably be considered to condone, encourage or glamorise anti-social behaviour or to refer to the effects of drunkenness in any favourable manner;
(e) Dispensing alcohol directly by one person into the mouth of another (other than where that other person in unable to drink without assistance by reason of a disability).
5. The responsible person must ensure that free potable water is provided on request to customers where it is reasonably available.
6. (1) The premises licence holder or club premises certificate holder must ensure that an age verification policy is adopted in respect of the premises in relation to the sale or supply of alcohol.
(2) The designated premises supervisor in relation to the premises licence must ensure that the supply of alcohol at the premises is carried on in accordance with the age verification policy.
(3) The policy must require individuals who appear to the responsible person to be under 18 years of age (or such older age as may be specified in the policy) to produce on request, before being served alcohol, identification bearing their photograph, date of birth and either—
(a) a holographic mark, or
(b) an ultraviolet feature.
7. The responsible person must ensure that—
(a) where any of the following alcoholic drinks is sold or supplied for consumption on the premises (other than alcoholic drinks sold or supplied having been made up in advance ready for sale or supply in a securely closed container) it is available to customers in the following measures—
(i) beer or cider: ½ pint;
(ii) gin, rum, vodka or whisky: 25 ml or 35 ml; and
(iii) still wine in a glass: 125 ml;
(b) these measures are displayed in a menu, price list or other printed material which is available to customers on the premises; and
(c) where a customer does not in relation to a sale of alcohol specify the quantity of alcohol to be sold, the customer is made aware that these measures are available.
A responsible person in relation to a licensed premises means the holder of the premise licence in respect of the premises, the designated premises supervisor (if any) or any individual aged 18 or over who is authorised by either the licence holder or designated premises supervisor. For premises with a club premises certificate, any member or officer of the club present on the premises in a capacity that which enables him to prevent the supply of alcohol.
8(i) A relevant person shall ensure that no alcohol is sold or supplied for consumption on or off the premises for a price which is less than the permitted price.
8(ii) For the purposes of the condition set out in paragraph 8(i) above –
(a) "duty" is to be construed in accordance with the Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979;
(b) "permitted price" is the price found by applying the formula –
P = D+(DxV)
(i) P is the permitted price,
(ii) D is the amount of duty chargeable in relation to the alcohol as if the duty were charged on the date of the sale or supply of the alcohol, and
(iii)V is the rate of value added tax chargeable in relation to the alcohol as if the value added tax were charged on the date of the sale or supply of the alcohol;
(c) "relevant person" means, in relation to premises in respect of which there is in force a premises licence –
(i) the holder of the premises licence,
(ii) the designated premises supervisor (if any) in respect of such a licence, or
(iii)the personal licence holder who makes or authorises a supply of alcohol under such a licence;
(d) "relevant person" means, in relation to premises in respect of which there is in force a club premises certificate, any member or officer of the club present on the premises in a capacity which enables the member or officer to prevent the supply in question; and
(e) "value added tax" means value added tax charged in accordance with the Value Added Tax Act 1994.
8(iii). Where the permitted price given by Paragraph 8(ii)(b) above would (apart from this paragraph) not be a whole number of pennies, the price given by that sub-paragraph shall be taken to be the price actually given by that sub-paragraph rounded up to the nearest penny.
8(iv). (1) Sub-paragraph 8(iv)(2) below applies where the permitted price given by Paragraph 8(ii)(b) above on a day ("the first day") would be different from the permitted price on the next day ("the second day") as a result of a change to the rate of duty or value added tax.
(2) The permitted price which would apply on the first day applies to sales or supplies of alcohol which take place before the expiry of the period of 14 days beginning on the second day.
Conditions Consistent with the Operating Schedule
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. The supply of alcohol shall be by waiter or waitress service only.
12. Alcohol shall not be sold or supplied for consumption on the premises otherwise than by persons who are seated in the premises and where the consumption of alcohol by such persons is ancillary to food.
13. No more than 15% of the retail area shall be used at any one time for the sale, exposure for sale, or display of alcohol.
14. Substantial food and non-intoxicating beverages, shall be available in all parts of the premises where alcohol is sold or supplied for consumption on the premises.
15.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 refusal of the sale of alcohol
(h) any visit by a relevant authority or emergency service.
16.A Challenge 21 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.The number of persons permitted in the premises at any one time shall not exceed 26, including staff.
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. No deliveries shall take place between 23:00 and 08:00 hours.
20. 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.
21.No licensable activities shall take place at the premises 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.
22.The sale of alcohol at the premises, at all time, shall be ancillary to the premises remaining a specialist crisps shop.
23.There shall be no bar area at any time at the premises.
24.There shall be no sale of draught beer at the premises.
25.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.
26.No waste or recyclable materials, including bottles, shall be moved, removed from or placed in outside areas between 23.00 hours and 08.00 hours on the following day.
27.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.
28.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.
29.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.
30.All drinking vessels used in the venue shall be polycarbonate. All alcohol in glass bottles are to be decanted into polycarbonate containers or polycarbonate carafes prior to being served.
31.As soon as possible, and in any event within 1 month from the grant of this licence, the premises shall join the local PubWatch or other local crime reduction scheme approved by the police, and local radio scheme if available.
32.Sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises shall only be supplied in sealed containers with, and ancillary to a delivered or substantial take-away meal.