Agenda item

Blame Gloria, 20 Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9HP



Ward /

Cumulative Impact Area

Site Name and Address



Licensing Ref No.


St James’s Ward / West End Cumulative Impact Area

Blame Gloria, 20 Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9HP

New Premises Licence






Thursday 10th September 2020


Membership:           Councillor Heather Acton (Chair), Councillor Jim Glen and Councillor Aziz Toki



Officer Support:       Legal Officer:           Viviene Walker

                                Policy Officer:          Aaron Hardy

                                Committee Officer:  Tristan Fieldsend

                                Presenting Officer:  Jessica Donovan



Application for a New Premises Licence 20/04576/LIPN

Full Decision




Blame Gloria

20 Bedford Street







+Venture Battersea Limited

Represented by James Anderson (Poppleston Allen Solicitors)

Toby Jackson (Applicant)

Tony Scott (Operations Director)



Cumulative Impact Area?


West End Cumulative Impact Area





St James’s



Summary of Application


The Premises had been licensed since 2005 and currently operated as a bar to core hours in the West End Cumulative Impact Area. The Applicant sought permission for a new Premises Licence in order for the bar to trade to extended hours for a time limited period until the 31 December 2021. The application was in response to the current COVID-19 crisis. The hours requested would permit the sale by retail of alcohol between the hours of 10:00 and 02:00 Monday to Sunday.



Proposed Activities and Hours



Retail Sale of Alcohol [On and Off Sales]


Monday to Sunday 10.00 to 02.00



Late Night Refreshment [Indoors and Outdoors]


Monday to Sunday 23.00 to 02.00



Recorded Music


Monday to Sunday 10.00 to 02.00



Hours premises are open to the public


Monday to Sunday 08.00 to 02.30




Representations Received


·       Metropolitan Police (PC Brian Hunter) – Now withdrawn

·       Environmental Health (Maxwell Koduah)

·       Licensing Authority (Karyn Abbot)

·       The Concert Artistes Association (Judith Quiney and Kay Nuttall)



Summary of issues raised by objectors


·       The hours requested fell outside of the Council’s Core Hours Policy and would have the likely effect of causing an increase in Public Nuisance which may affect Public Safety in the West End Cumulative Impact Area.


·       The surrounding area was residential in nature and granting the licence was likely to negatively impact on residents’ amenity.






Policy Position


The Premises was located within the West End Cumulative Impact Area and as such various policy points had to be considered, namely CIP1, HRS1 and PB2. The Applicant therefore had to demonstrate how the Premises would not add to cumulative impact in the West End cumulative impact area.


The Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy stated that it was of particular concern in Cumulative Impact Areas where there had been a growth in the number of premises that primarily served alcohol, resulting in or adding to cumulative impact. Therefore, the Licensing Authority considered that the grant of variations or new licences for pubs and bars in the cumulative impact area should be limited to exceptional circumstances.


In addition, the operating hours applied for licensable activities currently fell outside of Westminster’s core hours policy.






Having considered all the submissions made by all parties, the Licensing Sub-Committee decided to grant the application subject to additional conditions, amendments to the hours and an amendment to the time period it could be active.


Members heard a description of the proposal from Mr Anderson. The Sub-Committee was advised that the application had been made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The significant reduction in footfall and having to operate to a reduced capacity to comply with health and safety measures had resulted in all premises facing severe financial challenges. It was acknowledged that the Premises was located within a Cumulative Impact Area (CIA) and therefore there was a presumption to refuse any extension in hours sought but the Applicant considered that there would not be an adverse impact by granting this licence and that there were circumstances relating to the application which were exceptional. The Applicant advised that primarily the continued impact of Covid-19 had reduced the levels of stress in the CIA by approximately 50% through premises closing and reduced occupancy. Therefore, the situation when the policy was originally considered had significantly changed and it was no longer appropriate to impose it as strictly.


This application was time limited and would therefore expire in 15 months if granted. The licence would then fall away and the previous licence continue, thus re-dressing the Cumulative Impact balance when the area hopefully recovered. The period of trading to the later hours was likely to be therefore when the area was at a reduced capacity and would not add to the Cumulative Impact as it may have done before lock down.


Mr Anderson explained further that the bar was located in a basement and did not have access to an outside area therefore preventing it from benefiting in the relaxation of regulations regarding outside tables and chairs. In addition, the Applicant was very experienced and had operated the Premises for ten years without any complaints arising.


Ms Quiney and Ms Nuttall representing The Concert Artistes Association explained that the area was currently very quiet due to the Covid-19 pandemic, especially later in the evening, and therefore queried why an extension in hours was being sought. Concern was also expressed over the potential impact the Application would have later in the evening on what was regarded as a quiet residential area.


Ms Abbot, representing the Licensing Authority, confirmed the Premises were located within the West End Cumulative Impact Area. Currently, there was no ancillary nature to the way in which alcohol was served at the Premises and as such the application had to be considered under the Council’s Policy PB2 which was the Licensing Authority’s policy to refuse applications in the CIA other than for applications to vary hours within the Core Hours under Policy HRS1. On that basis, the Licensing Authority considered that the grant of variations or new licences for pubs and bars in the cumulative impact area should be limited to exceptional circumstances.

Mr Koduah, representing Environmental Health, requested that confirmation be provided on what would become of the current licence for the Premises if the Sub-Committee was minded to grant the application. Mr Koduah informed Members that there were no reports of public nuisance emanating from the Premises and following discussions the applicant had agreed most of Environmental Health’s suggested conditions including having an SIA member of staff on duty between the end of core hours and 02:00 hours. It was recognised however that the application was seeking hours beyond core hours and as such there was a risk that having potentially 125 people in a CIA until 02:00 hours would lead to public nuisance which may affect public safety. Therefore, a last entry time condition of 00:00 hours was proposed to safeguard against any potential risk.

In response Mr Anderson suggested that a last entry condition was not required but if the Sub-Committee was minded to grant the application the Applicant would be content with a last entry time of 01:00 hours. Mr Anderson advised that whilst the Premises were located in a CIA no residential representations had been received and due to the limited footfall in the area currently the application would not add to cumulative impact in the CIA. The application was also time limited but if the Sub-Committee felt granting it to December 2021 was too long this could be reduced. The Applicant also confirmed that they were content for an additional condition to be added disapplying the existing licence during the time the proposed new licence was in operation.


Following an adjournment to allow the Applicant an opportunity to discuss the proposals Mr Anderson confirmed that the application’s hours could be amended to mitigate any concerns raised. The proposed amended terminal hours for the sale by retail of alcohol were 22:30 on Sundays, 00:00 Monday to Wednesday with a 30-minute dispersal time and 02:00 Thursday to Saturday with a 30 minute dispersal time.


The Sub-Committee carefully considered the application and noted that footfall in the area was currently very low and the Premises were unable to benefit from a relaxation of the outside tables and chairs provisions due it being located in a basement. It was recognised that the Premises were located within a CIA and therefore exceptional circumstances had to be demonstrated to enable a granting of the licence to the hours requested. Following a detailed discussion, the Sub-Committee was of the opinion that the Covid-19 pandemic was a genuinely exceptional circumstance to enable the granting of the application subject to several amendments. The severe impact the pandemic was having on premises in the area in addition to the limited number of people visiting the West End persuaded the Sub-Committee that permitting the application was appropriate. The Sub-Committee also had regard to the fact the Applicant had been operating the business for 10 years without any reported issues and the application would only be for a time limited period.


In order to ensure the licensing objectives were promoted however several amendments were made to the application to protect local residents. The opening hours and the hours requested for regulated activities would be reduced to between 10:00 to 23:30 Monday to Wednesday, 10:00 to 01:00 Thursday to Saturday and 10:00 to 22:30 on Sundays. It was felt these hours would help the Premises during these challenging times and would also help ensure local residents’ amenity would be protected. On that basis the Sub-Committee did not feel it would appropriate to implement a last entry time condition. The time limited nature of the application was also considered a factor in enabling the granting of the application. The time period was pulled back slightly however to 30 September 2021 as Members were of the opinion this would constitute an appropriate length of time to operate the extended hours in a CIA during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Having taken into account all the evidence (with consideration being given to the representations received), the Sub-Committee was satisfied that the Applicant had demonstrated exceptional circumstances and addressed the concerns raised. The applicant had demonstrated that the conditions proposed, and those additional conditions applied by the Sub-Committee, were restrictive enough to ensure that it promoted the licensing objectives. The Sub-Committee therefore granted the application accordingly.



The application was granted as follows:


Live or Recorded Music:


Monday to Wednesday:   10:00 to 23:30 hours

Thursday to Saturday:     10:00 to 01:00 hours

Sunday                               10:00:00 to 22.30 hours

Sundays before Bank

Holidays                             10:00 to 00:00 hours



Late Night Refreshment:


Monday to Wednesday:   23:00 to 23:30 hours

Thursday to Saturday:    23:00 to 01:00 hours

Sundays before Bank

Holidays:                           23:00 to 00:00 hours



Retail Sale of Alcohol:


Monday to Wednesday:   10:00 to 23:30 hours

Thursday to Saturday:     10:00 to 01:00 hours

Sunday:                             10:00 to 22:30 hours

Sunday before Bank

Holidays:                           12:00 to 00:00 hours



Opening Hours:               


Monday to Wednesday:   10:00 to 23:30 hours

Thursdayto Saturday:     10:00 to 01:00 hours

Sunday:                             10:00 to 22:30 hours

Sundays before Bank

Holidays:                           10:00 to 00:00 hours


The Licence is subject to any relevant mandatory conditions.

(paragraphs numbered 1 to 8 of the Report)



The application is granted subject to the following conditions in addition to the Mandatory conditions applicable to this type of application:



Conditions consistent with the operating schedule


9.         A 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.


10.      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.


11.      Loudspeakers shall not be located in the entrance lobby or outside the   

           Premises building.


12.      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.  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 the Police or authorised officer throughout the preceding 31 day period.


13.      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.


14.      Notices shall be prominently displayed at all exits requesting patrons to

           respect the needs of local residents and businesses and leave the area



15       There shall be no striptease or nudity, and all persons shall be decently attired at all times, except when the premises are operating under the authority of a Sexual Entertainment Venue licence.


16.      The means of escape provided for the premises shall be maintained

           unobstructed, free of trip hazards, be immediately available and clearly

           identified in accordance with the plans provided.


17.      The edges of the treads of steps and stairways shall be maintained so as to be conspicuous.


18.      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.


19.      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, which 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


20.      No collections of waste or other recyclable materials, including bottles, shall take place and no deliveries shall be made, other than by means of vehicles using the loading bay inside the building in which the premises are situated between 23:00 hours and 08:00 hours.


21.      The Licence Holder shall use their best endeavours to make sure that vehicles dropping off and collecting patrons do not cause nuisance or disturbance to local residents.


22.      The premises licence holder shall ensure that any patrons smoking outside the premises do so in an orderly manner and are supervised by staff so as to ensure that there is no public nuisance or obstruction of the public highway.


23.      Whenever the premises are open for licensable activities, there will be a Personal Licence Holder on duty.


24.      When the Premises Licence Holder conducts licensable activities after

midnight, or on other occasion where circumstances dictate there may be a higher risk than normal, the Premises Licence Holder will complete a written risk assessment as to the time and number of SIA registered door staff required to be on duty at the premises, and this risk assessment will be made available to the Police and Licensing Authority on request.


25.      A written search and dispersal policy will be in place at the premises, and which will be available to the Police and Local Authority on request.


26.      The maximum number of persons permitted on the premises at any one time (excluding staff) shall not exceed:


·       Ground floor 14

·       Basement    111


27.      Licensable activities will only be permitted under this licence as long as

           + Venue Battersea Limited is the Premises Licence Holder.


28.      There shall be a minimum of 1 registered door supervisor after 00:00 hours Thursday to Saturday until 30 minutes after the terminal hours.  At all other times, management at the venue shall risk assess whether door supervisors are required.


29.      There shall be no sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises after 23:00 hours.


30.      All sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises shall be in sealed

           containers only and shall not be consumed on the premises.


31.      There shall be no sales of hot food or hot drink for consumption off the

           premises after 23:00 hours.


32.      A direct telephone number for the manager at the premises shall be publicly available at all times the premises are open.  This telephone number is to be made available to residents and businesses in the vicinity.


33.      The licence holder shall ensure that any queue to enter the premises which forms outside the premises is orderly and supervised by door staff so as to ensure that there is no public nuisance or obstruction to the public highway.


34.      After 23:00 hours, 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.


35.      There shall be no late admittance or re-admittance to the premises.


36.      This Licence shall cease on 30 September 2021.


37.      During the period of this Licence to 30 September 2021, Licence

Number 19/09003/LIPDPS shall not apply to the operation of the premises.


38.      On 1 October 2021, Licence Number 19/09003/LIPDPS shall prevail.

Supporting documents: