Agenda item

London Market, 188 Old Christchurch Road

An application has been received for a variation of the premises licence for the premise known as ‘London Market’, 188 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

 

This matter is brought before the Sub-Committee for determination.

 

 

Minutes:

The Licensing Sub-Committee adjourned for a period of 5 minutes between 10:05am and 10:10am due to technical issues

 

Attendance:

 

From BCP Council:

 

Linda Cole, Legal Advisor to the Sub-Committee

Sarah Rogers, Senior Licensing Officer

Michelle Cutler, Clerk to the Sub-Committee

 

The Chairman made introductions and explained the procedure for the Hearing, which was agreed by all parties.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer presented the report at Agenda Item 5, a copy of which had been circulated to all parties prior to the meeting and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

 

The Sub-Committee was asked to consider an application for a variation of the premises licence for the premise known as ‘London Market’, 188 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth. The application for a variation was made to extend the permitted hours and allow the business to operate 24 hours, 7 days a week, for the supply of off sales of alcohol and to add late night refreshment between the hours of 23:00 and 05:00 each day. Current conditions 2.5 and 2.6 were requested to be amended and a number of additional conditions had been offered within the application to be imposed on the licence if granted. The premises also requested approval of a new proposed layout plan to replace the current newspaper shelving with a new chiller unit within the licensed area.

 

The Sub-Committee was advised that a representation had been received from one Responsible Authority, Dorset Police, on the grounds that to grant the application would undermine the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety licensing objectives

 

The following persons attended the Hearing and addressed the Sub-Committee to expand on the points made in their written submissions:

 

Steve Wright, Licensing Consultant, representing the Applicant

Anamaria Popa, representing the Applicant, Popa Distribution Ltd

Louise Busfield, Licensing Officer, Dorset Police

Gareth Gosling, Drug and Alcohol Harm Reduction Team, Dorset Police

 

The Sub-Committee asked various questions of all parties present and were grateful for the responses received. All parties were invited to sum up before the Sub-Committee retired to make its decision.

 

Before concluding the Hearing, the Legal Advisor advised all parties of the right of appeal.

 

It was RESOLVED that the application to vary the premises licence of the premises known as ‘London Market’, 188 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1NU’ be GRANTED in part, as follows

  • The supply of, off sales of alcohol within the premises to be permitted 7 days a week between 08:00hrs and 23:00hrs
  • The supply of, off sales of alcohol for home delivery with food be permitted from the premises 7 days a week between 00:01hrs and 00:00hrs
  • The provision of late-night refreshment to be permitted 7 days a week between 23:00hrs and 05:00hrs
  • Condition 2.5 be amended to read “All spirits and high value alcohol products such as champagne shall only be stored behind the sales counter and shall not be directly accessible to customers”
  • Condition 2.6 be amended to read “Notices shall be displayed behind the sales counter and on any unit used to store alcohol clearly stating that "We are only licensed to sell alcohol between 08:00 hrs and 23:00 hrs daily".”
  • The new proposed layout plan of the premises, which replaces the current newspaper shelving with a chiller unit for alcohol, within the licensed area be approved

The licence will also be subject to the inclusion of all the conditions offered in Part M (b) and (e) of the application apart from the one set out at the first bullet point in Part M (b) which would not be applicable to this decision.

 

Reasons for the Decision

The Sub-Committee considered all the information that had been submitted before the meeting and contained in Agenda Item 5. The Sub-Committee also considered the verbal representations of Sarah Rogers, Senior Licensing Officer of BCP Council; Steve Wright, Licensing Consultant, representing the applicant company Popa Distribution Ltd and Anamaria Popa on behalf of the applicant.

They noted the written representation made by Dorset Police as a Responsible Authority objecting to the application and heard from both Sgt Gosling and Louise Busfield, of Dorset Police.

All parties present at the meeting were able to ask questions of each other and the Sub-Committee asked question and considered the answers of all parties.

The Sub-Committee acknowledged the concerns raised both in the written representation and verbal submissions of Dorset Police on the grounds that to grant the application would undermine the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety licensing objectives. They understood the concerns of Dorset Police, that if this premises were licensed for the sale of alcohol to passing trade at a late hour, and as such to people leaving late night premises, it would have a detrimental impact on the ability to manage a safe and effective dispersal of people from Bournemouth Town Centre, as this premises is situated on a main dispersal route. In addition, the Police had concerns about the safety of those working in this premises selling alcohol late at night because of the unpredictable behaviour of passing trade.

 

Regrettably this is an area, where the Sub-Committee were advised already suffers from a high level of crime and disorder from 11pm in the evening through to the early hours of the morning and there had been 3 significant violent incidents reported since 4 August 2021. Ms Popa advised the Sub-Committee that they had to lock people in the premises to protect them on 22 September 2021.

 

Ms Busfield confirmed that Dorset Police had no concerns with how the premises were currently managed or concerns about any breach of licence or that the licensing objectives were currently being undermined. She advised the Sub-Committee, that Dorset Police had an excellent working relationship with the management of the premises, who were considered robust operators, which they hoped would continue. The issue was not the way the premises were managed, but the area of Old Christchurch Road, in which the premises was situated.

 

Dorset Police were not confident that the premises would be able to manage customers, the passing trade of those leaving late night establishments and staff beyond the existing licensed hours of the premises. No conditions were offered to mitigate the impact these extended hours could have on the crime and disorder which was already frequently experienced in this part of Old Christchurch Road.

 

There appeared to be a reluctance from Ms Popa to understand and accept Dorset Police’ view that SIA door staff are integral in the late hours to manage the safety and give protection to staff and customers. Sgt Gosling advised that SIA door staff on doors of shops could now be considered normal practice and in his view the premises performs well because currently it is only licenced until 8 PM and it may well be different if a 24 hour licence was granted.

 

A Licensing Committee will look to the Police as their main source of information regarding issues of crime and disorder in an area. Paragraph 9.11 of the section 182 Statutory Guidance sets out, that it is the responsibility of the Responsible Authority to determine if they have the appropriate grounds to make a representation. The Sub-Committee were persuaded that despite how well the premises were currently managed, the licensing objectives of prevention of crime and disorder and public safety would be undermined if the premises could sell alcohol from the premises 24 hours a day.

The Sub-Committee agreed that based on the information considered from both the Applicant and Dorset Police, it was proportionate to grant part of the variation applied for, so determined that the licence for supply of, off sales of alcohol from the premises would be extended from 08:00hrs to 23:00hrs and that the supply of, off sales of alcohol for home delivery with food would be permitted from the premises 7 days a week between 00:01hrs and 00:00hrs as applied for,

The Sub-Committee was satisfied that if the premises continued to be managed as they currently were and operated in accordance with the conditions offered in the application and already on their licence, then the premises should not undermine the licensing objectives.

 

In reaching its decision the Sub-Committee although sympathetic to the financial hardship that they were advised of during the hearing, were unable to take this into consideration as they took their decision. 

 

Right of Appeal

 

All parties to the application have the right to Appeal to the Magistrates Court within the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which the Applicant is notified by the Licensing Authority of this decision in writing.

 

 

Supporting documents: