Site Name & Address
Licensing Reference No.
Premises Licence Variation
*Cumulative Impact Area
Thursday 18 March 2021
Membership: Councillor Tim Mitchell (Chairman), Councillor Richard Elcho and Councillor Maggie Carman
Officer Support: Legal Adviser: Viviene Walker
Policy Officer: Kerry Simpkin
Committee Officer: Cameron Maclean
Presenting Officer: Jessica Donovan
Parties Present: Mr Nimet Oner, the Applicant, Ms Ilkay Cinco Oner (representing the Applicant), Mr Richard Brown, Citizens Advice Westminster, Licensing Project (representing residents); Mr Gareth Hughes, Counsel (representing the Langham Court Hotel); Mr Yoram Blumann, representing the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association; Mr Christopher Sharp, Mr Austen Callison and Ms Barbara Corr (Objectors).
Application for a Variation of Premises Licence – Bellaria Restaurant Basement and Ground Floor 71 Great Titchfield Street London W1W 6RB
71 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 6RB
Mr. Nimet Oner
Cumulative Impact Area
The Premises are not located within the Cumulative Impact Area
Summary of Application
The Sub-Committee has determined an application for a variation of a premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 (“the Act”). The Premises are a restaurant situated in the West End Ward, but not within the Cumulative Impact Area or the Special Consideration Zone.
Proposed Licensable Activities and Hours
Hours the Premises are open to the Public
Monday to Wednesday 10:00 to 23:30 hours
Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 00:30 hours
Sunday 12:00 to 23:00 hours.
Live Music operation
Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 00:30 hours.
Monday to Wednesday 10:00 to 23:30 hours
Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 00:30 hours
Sunday 12:00 to 23:00 hours.
Late Night Refreshment
Monday to Wednesday 23:00 to 23:30 hours.
Thursday to Saturday 23:00 to 00:30 hours.
Sale by Retail of Alcohol (On Sales)
Monday to Wednesday 10:00 to 23:00 hours.
Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 00:30 hours.
Sunday 12:00 to 22:30 hours.
· Environmental Health Service (Dave Nevitt)
· Metropolitan Police Service (Nicole Sondh) (Withdrawn)
· 25 Local Residents
Summary of issues raised by Objectors
· The proposals are likely to increase the risk of Public Nuisance. The extended licensable activities sought are significantly beyond the Core Hours.
· I object to the application to extend opening hours to 1:30 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for late night refreshment and sale of alcohol, and until 11.30 p.m. on Sunday for the sale of alcohol. The proposal to extend the hours when music played is also problematic. This would represent a very significant increase on the hours currently allowed. It will undermine licensing objectives to prevent public nuisance. The restaurant has I understand already received multiple noise complaints from residents about loud music emanating from the premises. It should be noted these complaints have been made within current licensing arrangements, which ensure the premises close at a reasonable time. It can, therefore, be assumed that these issues would continue were the premises allowed to open until 1:30 a.m. only this time they would cause more nuisance as the restaurant would clearly continue much later into the night. In addition, it would create a precedent, paving the way for further public nuisance issues, again contrary to the licensing objectives.
· These kinds of late-night licensing applications are not appropriate for a highly residential area. The applicant does not propose specific measures to attenuate the noise and vibration caused by these activities, it does not propose limiters on volume and noise and bass, it does not mention sound systems or volumes, or how this is to be controlled, it does not propose to fit soundproofing; it does not show where within the premises this activity would take place and how many people would be allowed to dance on the floor.
· There are no measures to prevent noise escaping through the doors; currently, there are no double doors, and the door remains open most of the time, causing noise to escape to the street. There is no proposal to control and minimise the number of people going out for a smoke. It is right to support hospitality businesses during a moment like the one we're living through. However, it's important to strike a balance between protecting residential amenity and supporting businesses, which this application would fail to do. Furthermore, the licensing objectives must be maintained.
· The restaurant is located at the heart of a residential area; we have major concerns over the potential loss of amenity to residents, in particular good night sleep caused by the nuisance from the premises. There is a past record of complaints from residents regarding issues of public nuisance. The proposed conditions and measures by the applicant are inadequate and fail to address the concerns raised above. Given the residential character of the area, the potential of nuisance caused by the premises into 0130 and beyond, would prevent residents from going to sleep before 0200, this is unacceptable. Noises from the premises, the coming and going to and from the premises, cars, taxis minicabs, uber services, engine cars revving or being kept running while the vehicle is waiting for patrons to emerge, the dispersal of customers leaving the premises and the noise made by bringing chairs and tables inside.
· This is an area with a high number of residents. All the buildings close to the specific location of the restaurant contain flats - other than the immediate neighbour on Langham Street, and that is a hotel. I believe that all these people could be badly affected by the extension of the opening hours late into the night and the additional disturbance that would be caused. I would certainly be impacted by the additional disturbance late at night because I live on Langham Street and my bedroom is directly opposite the restaurant. The potential disturbances are not only from the immediate noise of the diners and the entertainment proposed but the noise caused by their departure and the closing up of the restaurant.
· I am sympathetic to the need of our local restaurants to make a living. They make a valuable contribution to the vitality and liveliness of our area and I am keen that they should prosper, but this must not be at the expense of the ability of the local residents to get a good night's sleep. The local residents also make a valuable contribution to the atmosphere of the area and they should have their interests protected too. I believe an extension to opening hours would set a very bad precedent and open up the possibility of other restaurants in the area also seeking to extend their hours. The level of noise and disturbance could very rapidly become intolerable. I strongly believe there is a need for all the hospitality businesses in the area to close by 11pm at the latest. For these reasons I wish to object strongly to any extension of opening hours for this restaurant and ask you to reject this licensing application.
Policies HRS1, RTN1 and PB1 apply under the City Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy. Applications outside the West End Cumulative Zone will generally be granted subject to the application meeting the requirements of Policies CD1, PS1, PN1 and CH1.
SUBMISSIONS AND REASONS
The Presenting Officer, Ms Donovan summarised the application to the Sub-Committee. She confirmed that during the consultation process, the Applicant had withdrawn the application for the “Performance of Dance”.
Ms Donovan stated that representations had been received from the Metropolitan Police Service, but these had subsequently been withdrawn following agreement with the Applicant on proposed conditions to be attached to the Premises Licence.
Mr. David Nevitt on behalf of Environmental Health Services (EHS) stated that EHS had maintained its representation as there were several objections from residents and because the application was beyond the Council’s policy on Core Hours.
Mr. Nevitt stated that there was no history of noise complaints from these premises which had been operating for quite a long time as a restaurant. He went on to say, on checking the Council’s records for noise complaints relating to these premises, there had been a complaint in 2017, about the use of speakers outside the premises which had resulted in Council Officers visiting the premises. On that occasion, it was not held that the speakers constituted a nuisance.
Mr. Richard Brown, from the CAB Licensing Project, on behalf of Residents stated that it was apparent from the representations made by residents that there was a lot of goodwill towards the restaurant and residents wished the restaurant success when it reopened. However, he stated that it was not accurate to say there had been no noise complaints from the premises. Mr Brown then referred to specific complaints set out in the representations.
Mr. Brown proposed that, should the application be granted, this would exacerbate existing concerns about noise nuisance which might otherwise be managed within the existing licence conditions.
Mr. Brown stated that residents were opposed to the application to allow live music until midnight, noting there was no acoustic lobby at the entrance to the premises, and no proposals to install a sound limiter. Mr. Brown referred to Paragraph E8 of the Core Hours Policy (HRS1) in the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy which emphasised the link between a late terminal hour and dispersal, Policy PN1, Prevention of Public Nuisance and the application of that policy in accordance with the criteria and consideration set out in the Statement of Licensing Policy.
Mr. Gareth Hughes on behalf of the Langham Court Hotel which was immediately adjacent to the premises stated that there was too little evidence in the application to support the late hours sought by the Applicant. Therefore, the application must fail.
He stated that there was nothing in the application to say how the Applicant would promote the licensing objective of Prevention of Public Nuisance or measures to ameliorate possible noise nuisance, particularly, given there was a party wall between the premises and the Langham Court Hotel next door.
Ms. Ilkay Cinco Oner on behalf of the Applicant, stated that she was the leaseholder of the Premises which were managed by Mr Oner. She stated that having reviewed the objections to the application, it had been decided to withdraw the application for “Performance of Dance” and to prepare a response to the queries raised by neighbours.
Ms Oner stated that the Applicant did not wish to cause any nuisance or disruption to the neighbours. She stated that it was a very small restaurant accommodating 28 people upstairs and 30 people downstairs. She stated that, regarding the dispersal of patrons and management of the smoking area, the Applicant was willing to consider any proposals that might be put forward by residents. In addition, a member of staff would be employed to manage the door and ensure there was no disturbance as patrons left the Premises.
Ms. Oner noted that concerns had been expressed about the premises becoming a bar. She emphasised that the Premises would not become a bar. She stated that there would be no vertical drinking and the sale of alcohol would be ancillary to a meal and would be by table service only.
In conclusion, Ms Oner stated that the Applicant was willing to discuss any concerns anyone might have about the application, noting that the Applicant had accepted the conditions proposed by the Police.
In response to Members’ questions, Ms Oner and Mr Oner provided the following information:
· The music proposed for the basement area would be background music or a person playing a saxophone or a guitar. There would not be hard-core drum and bass and/or a resident DJ.
· The Applicant had never received any noise abatement notice or other documentation relating to noise complaints.
· For evening booking, often the menu would have been agreed in advance and would consist of 3 to 4 courses with an expectation that the group would stay for 2 to 3 hours.
· The proposed door staff would be SIA registered door supervisors who would be employed on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
The Chairman of the Committee referred to the licence conditions proposed by the Responsible Authorities and Ms Oner confirmed that the Applicant had agreed to these conditions. In addition, Ms Oner stated that the Applicant would be willing to reduce the hours for the opening of the Premises to the public, on Thursday to Saturday from 01:30 to 01:00 hours.
The Sub-Committee realises that it has a duty to consider each application on its individual merits. It welcomed that fact that the Applicant had engaged with the Responsible Authorities. The Sub-Committee were mindful of the fact that conditions had been agreed with the Responsible Authorities.
The Sub-Committee took comfort from the fact that the Police had withdrawn their objection. This demonstrated to the Sub-Committee that the Police were satisfied with the application when it came to crime and disorder and that the conditions, they sought in relation to a SIA Door Supervisor Staff from 22:00 hours Thursdays to Saturdays was to be imposed on the Premises Licence having the desired effect of upholding the crime and disorder licensing objective.
The Sub-Committee noted that after discussions with the Environmental Health Service the Applicant had agreed to amend the application to reduce the hours that the Premises would be open to the public Thursdays to Saturdays as set out in the application.
The Sub-Committee also noted that live and recorded music were played in the basement area of the Premises, and during the time the Applicant had operated these Premises, this had not given rise to any noise complaints from residents or the adjoining Langham Court Hotel. The Sub-Committee concluded that the lack of previous complaints alongside the Environmental Health Service conditions would alleviate residents’ concerns.
The Sub-Committee considered that the conditions it has imposed on the Premises Licence were appropriate and proportionate to promote the licensing objectives. Accordingly, the Sub-Committee decided that the Applicant had provided valid reasons as to why the granting of the application would promote the licensing objectives.
Having carefully considered the committee papers and the submissions made by all parties both orally and in writing, the Sub-Committee decided, after taking into account all the circumstances of this application and the promotion of the licensing objectives to grant the application with the following permissions:
6. That the Licence is subject to any relevant mandatory conditions.
Conditions imposed by the Committee after a hearing
8. 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 Police or
authorised officer throughout the entire 31day period.
9. 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 the Police or authorised
council officer copies of recent CCTV images or data with the absolute
minimum of delay when requested.
10. A Challenge 21 or 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.
11. 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
12. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday after 23:00 hours until 00:30 hours the following day. The premises shall only operate as a restaurant
(i) in which customers are shown to their table,
(ii) where the supply of alcohol is by waiter or waitress service only,
(iii) which provide food in the form of substantial table meals that are prepared on the premises and are served and consumed at the table using non disposable crockery,
(iv) which do not provide any takeaway service of food or drink for immediate consumption,
(v) which do not provide any takeaway service of food or drink after 23.00, and
(vi) where alcohol shall not be sold or supplied, otherwise than for consumption by persons who are seated in the premises and bona fide taking substantial table meals there and provided always that the consumption of alcohol by such persons is ancillary to taking such meals.
13. All outside tables and chairs shall be rendered unusable by 23:00 hours each day.
14. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, entry to the venue after 21:00 hours will be by prior reservation only and the last entry will be at 23:00 hours.
15. All windows and external doors shall be kept closed at any time when regulated entertainment takes place, except for the immediate access and egress of persons.
16. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, a minimum of one (1) SIA licensed door supervisor shall be on duty at the premises from 21:00 hours until 30 minutes after licensing hours.
17. Live entertainment shall cease at midnight.
18. Save for in any permitted external area, 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.
19. The premises licence holder shall ensure that any patrons drinking and/or 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.
20. Notices shall be prominently displayed at any area used for smoking requesting patrons to respect the needs of local residents and use the area quietly.
21. Notices shall be prominently displayed at all exits requesting patrons to respect the needs of local residents and businesses and leave the area quietly.
22. Regulated Entertainment (live music/recorded music after 23:00 hours) will only take place in the Basement.
23. There will be a designated smoking area and the number of smokers permitted at any one time will be limited to 6 persons.
24. There shall be no sales of hot food or hot drink for consumption off the premises after 23:00 hours.
25. All waste shall be properly presented and placed out for collection no earlier than 30 minutes before the scheduled collection times.
26. No deliveries to the premises shall take place between (23:00) and (08:00) on the following day.
This is the Full Decision reached by the Licensing Sub-Committee.
This Decision takes immediate effect.