Licensing Sub Committee (ceased to operate 10/04/2017) Minutes

Tuesday, 6th August, 2013
10.00 a.m.
Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Eileen Johnson and Cllr Miss Tina Large.
Miss Edwards, Mrs. Landles, Miss Wolleter (DNS); Mr. Nertney (LD).

In Attendance:
P.C. Johnson, P.C. Iceton and Marie Nevison (Solicitor) - Cleveland Police; Mr Alazzawi (Applicant).
Apologies for absence:
Item Description Decision

RESOLVED that the application for the grant of a premises licence be granted for the following hours:-

Late Night Refreshment - Monday to Sunday - 23.00 to 00.00 hours
Hours premises are open to the public: Monday to Sunday: 15.00 to 00.00 hours
10.00 am


RESOLVED that Councillor Johnson be appointed Chair for this meeting only.
There were no declarations of interest
Members gave consideration to the report, the application and the representations which had been received. Mr. Alazzawi stated that he purchased the lease for the premises about 8 years ago and he was not aware that there was a planning restriction which applied to the premises. Mr. Alazzawi stated that he wished to open for the hours sought in order to provide a service to his customers and make a living. Mr. Alazzawi stated that his main business hours were between 22.00 and 00.00 hours. Mr. Alazzawi stated that he had now submitted an application for planning permission to open after 23.00 hours. Mr. Alazzawi stated that he accepted he had opened after being warned but that he had only done so as he wanted a few days to inform his customers. Mr. Alazzawi confirmed that he now closed the premises at 23.00 hours and understood that he must continue to close at that time until the planning application is decided. If the application to amend/remove the planning condition is refused Mr. Alazzawi understands that he must not open after 23.00.

Mrs. Nevison on behalf of Cleveland Police stated that they believe the licensing objectives will be undermined if the application is granted. Mrs. Nevison directed Members to the witness statement of PC Iceton which showed that even after being warned Mr. Alazzawi had continued to open his premise in breach of his planning condition and without the benefit of of a licence. Mrs. Nevison stated that the Police belive that Mr. Alazzawi should show a period of time where he complied with his legal responsibilities before a premises licence be granted.

Mrs. Landles stated that Environmental Health shared the concerns of Cleveland Police as they had evidence that Mr. Alazzawi continued to open his premises after 23.00 hours without the benefit of a premises licence. Mrs. Landles stated that Mr. Alazzawi had been warned but still opened his premise.

Mrs. Landles was questioned by Members as to whether there was any history of complaint with the premises. Mrs. Landles confirmed that Environmental Health had no record of any complaints. Mrs. Landles confirmed that she had been unaware the premises was opening after 23.00 hours and it was PC Johnson who had brought it to her attention which resulted in the enforcement visit to the premise.

As the person who had made a representation was not in attendance Members had regard to his written representation.

Members noted that the application before them was an application for a premises licence to permit the sale of hot food after 23.00.

It was noted that the licensing and planning regimes are totally separate from one another and even if a licence was granted it does not follow that Mr. Alazzawi will be successful in obtaining planning permission.

Members noted the letter dated 18 June 2013 which had been sent by the planning department to Mr. Alazzawi and informed him that even if the premises licence was granted he must not open after 23.00 as if he did so he would be in breach of his planning permission. Mr. Alazzawi confirmed to Members that he was aware that he could not open after 23.00 until he has both a premises licence and the necessary planning permission which permitted such opening hours.

The Police were concerned that Mr. Alazzawi had continued to open after being warned not to open after 23.00. The Police submitted that this caused them concern that Mr. Alazzawi may undermine the licensing objectives if his licence was granted. Members had no other evidence before them that demonstrated the licensing objectives would be undermined if the licence was issued. It was of concern to the Committee that Mr. Alazzwi had displayed an ignorance of the law. If Mr. Alazzawi had closed the premise when he had first been advised that he should not be opening after 23.00 then the responsible authorities may not have made an objection. The objection was in part based on the fact that Mr Alazzawi had failed to follow advice given to him by the Police and Environmental Health. If was clear that Mr. Alazzawi had perhaps been ignorant of the fact that he required a licence to open after 23.00 hours. Although this was no defence, on the basis of the evidence presented Mr. Alazzawi had opened for the hours sought for many years without any complaints being received by Environmental Health or the Police. The only reason this premise came to the attention of the authorities was because PC Johnson had driven past one night and noticed it was open. The premise therefore came to the attention of the authorities by chance as opposed to as a result of a complaint being received.

Members were minded to grant the application but to restrict the terminal hour till 00.00 hours. Members were also minded to attach conditions which would address Environmental Health issues and may also go some way to addressing the concern expressed by the resident who lived next door to the premise.

After giving consideration to all of the evidence and representations made both in writing and orally Members were satisfied that the licensing objective would not be undermined.

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