Site Name & Address
Licensing Reference No.
Marylebone High Street
1 Marylebone Road
New Premises Licence
*Cumulative Impact Area
This will be a virtual meeting. Members of the Public can view the live broadcast using the media links on the Council’s website.
Thursday 9 June 2021
Membership: Councillor Matthew Green (Chairman), Councillor Barbara Arzymanow and Councillor Rita Begum
Officer Support: Legal Advisor: Viviene Walker
Policy Officer: Aaron Handy
Committee Officers: Cameron Maclean
Presenting Officer: Jessica Donovan
Application for a New Premises Licence – 1 Marylebone Road London NW1 4AQ – 21/00832/LIPN
1 Marylebone Road London NW1 4AQ
Chameleon Inc Limited
Cumulative Impact Area?
Marylebone High Street
Proposed Licensable Activities and Hours
Live Music (Indoors)
Monday to Sunday: 10:00 hours to 03:00 hours
Recorded Music (Indoors)
Monday to Sunday: 10:00 hours to 03:00 hours
Late Night Refreshment (Indoors)
Monday to Sunday: 23:00 hours to 03:00 hours
Sale by retail of alcohol (On sales)
Monday to Sunday: 10:00 hours to 03:00 hours
Hours premises are open to the public
Monday to Sunday: 07:00 hours to 03:30 hours
· Metropolitan Police (PC Bryan Lewis)
· Environmental Health (Dave Newitt)
· Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum
· Portland Village Association
· The Marylebone Association
· Councillor Karen Scarborough
Summary of Objections
· MPS objected on the basis that there are insufficient conditions to promote the licensing objectives and the hours sought for the sale of alcohol are beyond core hours;
· EHS made representations on the basis that the proposals are likely to increase public nuisance and the hours sought are beyond core hours;
· Interested Parties expressed concerns about the adequacy of the information provided, the application being beyond core hour, the area being residential and having hospitals, and late-night dispersal.
Summary of Application
This is an application for a new premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 (“The Act”). The Premises propose to operate primarily as a premium end private members club with high quality food, alcohol drinks and other refreshments. The Premises currently have the benefit of a Premises Licence 21/03855/LIPDPS. The Premises also benefit from another Premises Licence for other areas which include the Ground and First Floor and is used for private functions only. The Premises are not located within any area of Cumulative Impact.
Under Policy HRS1, for hours outside the core hours will be considered on their merits, subject to other relevant policies, and with particular regard to the matters identified in Policy HRS1.
Under Policy PB1, applications outside the West End Cumulative Zone will generally be granted subject to the matters identified in Policy PB1.
Under Policy MD1, applications outside the West End Cumulative Zone will generally be granted subject to the matters identified in Policy MD1.
Under Policy RTN1, applications outside the West End Cumulative Impact Zone will generally be granted subject to the matters identified in Policy RTN1.
SUBMISSIONS AND REASONS
Ms Jessica Donovan, Senior Licensing Officer, outlined the application. Representations had been received from Environmental Health, Metropolitan Police and four interested parties. The premises are within the Marylebone High Street ward and do not fall within an area of cumulative impact.
Mr James Anderson, on behalf of the Applicant, outlined changes that had been made to the application following a zoom call with residents – (1) on Sundays, licensable activities would stop at 01:00 hours and the Premises would close at 01:30 hours (2) to limit occupancy to 380. Mr Anderson explained that the Premises cannot serve anyone who isn’t a member or a bona fide guest – who will now have to book no later than 21:00 hours if they want to attend that day (4) a last entry condition of 02:00 hours that does not apply to members and guests, (5) making an operational management plan a condition of the licence, (6) agreeing all alcoholic drinks on the mezzanine can only be consumed by people who are seated.
Mr Anderson noted dispersal was the dominant concern that people have. Mr Anderson explained there are already two licences on the site. One has a maximum occupancy of 800 and is a midnight licence, 11 TENS were approved in 2019. Mr Anderson stated this is a Premises and operator used to dispersing large groups of people at night in short time periods. The other licence is a wedding gallery licence which is for the same space as that being applied for today aside from an external area to the east which is not part of this application.
Mr Anderson stated there is lots of opportunity around the Premises to control guests – there is not dispersal directly onto the street. Mr Anderson submitted there are not really concerns about what happens inside given the substantial noise attenuation abilities of the Premises, but rather people queuing and leaving. He stated they will be affected positively by the type of client the Premises will attract – comparing it with a nightclub attracting people 18-25 with comprehensive bag searches and similar. At the Premises, members will be let in with a members guest ticket so they do not think there will be an issue with queuing. Queuing may happen for events but the Applicant believes they have the space available to stop it being an issue.
Mr Anderson stated the Premises is good for dispersal – it is on a busy road with taxis going west towards three main railway stations, night buses, three tube stations and taxis can drop off and collect from Osnaburgh Street after 20:00 hours.
Mr George Hammer explained it is a family-owned local business. He has lived in Marylebone for over 30 years. He noted that Marylebone High Street was launched in his store. He explained that he has built 14 years building a premium venue, and they have only had one or maximum two incidents. He stated the licence is personal to Hammer Holdings so the Sub Committee can be satisfied that it is not going to be assigned to a low-end operator. He and his partners have a long lease over the Premises. Mr Hammer stated they have a dedicated operations manager who ensures all operations are done properly. Mr Hammer stated locals love the venue and love dining there. Mr Hammer explained they have had several meetings with local residents.
Mr Hammer explained it is a very solid sound-proof building which they have done many acoustic tests on and they are satisfied there will be no sound spillage. He concluded by noting when they took the building on it was unloved but now is a vibrant part of Marylebone.
In response to questions from the Committee:
(a) Mr Anderson stated they are not applying for a club premises licence because that is something that is only available to a not profit organisation. They haven’t limited the application to members and guests only because with a premises of this size it wouldn’t be commercially viable to operate without opportunity for groups who have booked events or diners in the mezzanine. The applicant has tried to strike a balance between doing what they can commercially but also moving away from a space where the public can merely enter on payment;
(b) Mr Anderson stated that whatever they do in the basement they must retain the seating in the plan or the same number. He stated there is room in the basement for people who area not seated and there will be some discrete places people can dance;
(c) Mr Anderson stated that they would not be making this application in a stress area because it would be contrary to policy and no exceptional circumstances spring to mind. However, he submitted that they are entitled to take advantage of where the Premises is and that is not an area of stress or concern identified by the Council. Mr Anderson submitted that the core hours are a guide – if the applicant satisfies the Sub Committee on the merits and they meet all other policies, then the Sub Committee can grant the application. Mr Anderson stated the Applicant can operate the Premises in a way which can promote the licensing objectives;
(d) Mr Hammer stated the corporate colour for Chameleon is green, so they light the building either green or white. They have the ability to light the building in another colour as well. Mr Hammer stated he thought the lighting highlighted the building beautifully;
(e) Mr Anderson noted the policy stated that if the Applicant satisfies the Sub Committee in relation to the licensing objectives, then the Sub Committee can grant the application – there is no policy reason not to grant the application;
(f) Mr Anderson clarified the venue capacity of 380 does not include staff. Mr Hammer stated on full occupancy they would expect to have between 20-30 staff. This estimate includes security staff, many of whom would be outside;
(g) Mr Hammer explained that, in common with many other new institutions, they do not use the term member but rather “friend”. “Friends” are only invited by invitation. This is a positive as they only get the right type of members. They do not charge for membership but are very strict to make sure that they get the right sort of crowd – the reason being it is a large venue with huge overheads. They have to keep the average spend quite high (currently £70 a head). Members have to be recommended and they are met personally;
(h) Mr Hammer stated the average price to book 1 Marylebone for a day is £15,000. By its nature, this inhibits downmarket boozy young groups. This cost is purely for the use of the space and is without any production;
(i) Mr Hammer stated they use a sophisticated booking service which allows them to retain a lot of information about clients which they can use to stop people booking in the future.
PC Bryan Lewis, Metropolitan Police, explained the Police maintained their objection due to the hours sought. He stated he had done a site visit and found a meeting with the Applicant reassuring.
PC Lewis stated the location is on a busy road with fast-moving traffic. Dispersal would have to be very rigorous. PC Lewis noted that at late night the area is very quiet with no witnesses so there is a risk of street robberies.
PC Lewis stated that if the Premises is run as a true members club then it shouldn’t cause a problem – noting the many members clubs in Westminster which rarely come to police attention. However, he stated that if events are relied upon for funding and the Premises does not differentiate carefully between people then that could pose a threat. PC Lewis explained that problems with members clubs typically result from non-member guests.
In relation to same-day booking, PC Lewis queried how can you can risk assess bookings made for the same day. He stated he was not comfortable with booking by 21:00 hours on the same night.
PC Lewis stated that if run well and predominantly as a members club then he could not foresee many problems with the Premises.
In response to questions from the Committee:
(a) Mr Anderson noted that the Applicant had accepted on the mezzanine all customers should be seated so by implication cannot go to the bar. The Applicant resisted waiter / waitress service in the basement because they did not want to tell guests they had to remain seated after 01:00 hours as that is not a threat in their view which requires that sort of restriction;
(b) Mr Hammond explained a number of factors behind the Applicant’s reluctance to have waiter / waitress service after 01:00 hours. The economics of the situation. He also noted the agreement on the mezzanine, and suggested a compromise of only waiter / waitress service on the mezzanine at all times;
(c) PC Lewis explained that waiter / waitress service manages alcohol consumption. Mr Anderson questioned this, noting an individual was more likely to show signs of being intoxicated in the process of ordering drinks at a bar as opposed to at a table. PC Lewis noted the difference was someone could take drinks back for others with bar service. Mr Anderson suggested the difference is not so great that it warranted a condition bearing in mind all the other conditions accepted by the Applicant. Mr Hammer noted the fact that the Applicant had taken on board the Police’s comments that they did not like vertical drinking;
(d) PC Lewis noted that if the Premises was operated diligently then a condition requiring waiter / waitress service at 01:00 hours may not be needed;
(e) Mr Anderson stated the Applicant likely didn’t object to larger events booking 24-48 hours in advance, but would rather avoid this for diners. PC Lewis stated 24-hours is important, including diners. Mr Anderson stated they cannot accept this as it would put them at a trading disadvantage that restaurants do not have;
(f) Mr Hammond noted they are a conscientious and careful operator. He stated the Premises is a huge building and it is important that they have diners. He explained the Applicant was happy to accept a condition requiring people to book in advance but not for dining;
(g) Mr Anderson stated the Applicant was happy for Model Condition 38 to be included;
Mr Dave Nevitt, Environmental Health, explained EHS maintained their representation for two reasons. First, because of the late hours sought. Second, they would like to make sure the concerns of local residents are fully addressed. He stated it is true to say it is a well-managed and well-operated Premises.
Mr Nevitt stated the amendments as outlined by Mr Anderson are welcome and accepted by EHS. In relation to the basement and mezzanine, Mr Nevitt stated that has substantial structural integrity and he does not think there will be noise breakout. Mr Nevitt noted the Premises is neither in a CIA nor a SCZ and as such the application needs to be judged on its merits.
Mr Nevitt noted the question of whether the Premises is a members club or a nightclub is a helpful one but is not defined anywhere. In his view, the Premises is not so much a nightclub but a members club that operates entertainment and alcohol – this was based on the fact that at a nightclub music and dancing is the primary element. Mr Nevitt stated the capacity reduction is well within the limits of what the Premises can contain. Mr Nevitt noted the Premises is surrounded by offices on three sides and a busy road. The nearest residences are across the road. He stated this meant the Premises is in a good location for not disturbing residents.
Mr Nevitt stated he was happy with regards to the discussion as to conditions so far and had no further comments to add.
In response to questions from the Committee:
(a) Mr Nevitt stated he did not want any further conditions to be added to the operating schedule;
(b) Mr Nevitt stated capacity conditions normally exclude staff as they are concerned with the safety of the public.
Mr Richard Brown, representing the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Forum, the Marylebone Association and Portland Village Association, stated each of the groups he represents have an interest in the wellbeing of the area. They are keen to promote and be as supportive as possible of responsible business.
Mr Brown stated the representations are concerned with what happens outside the Premises, noting the late hours applied for. He stated their concern was whether the risks posed by the late hours could be mitigated by measures. Mr Brown stated his clients concerns were:
(1) Arrivals to the Premises – there is a last entry condition at 02:00 hours which means there will be late arrivals as well as late dispersals;
(2) A nearby hotel would become a beacon for people leaving the Premises;
(3) Smoking – Mr Brown noted there are conditions regarding smoking but there hasn’t been discussion about where the designated area will be;
(4) Servicing – Mr Brown stated it would be helpful to know how and when this will take place. He requested the model conditions pertaining to servicing to be added to the licence with alternative timings;
(5) Interrelation between members and guests – Mr Brown stated that someone booking a table doesn’t stop them being members of the public, not that they oppose this.
Mr Brown questioned the efficacy of 02:00 hours last condition if members and guests can enter at any hour.
Mr Brown noted the policy approach is relatively straightforward. It is outside core hours, must be dealt with on the merits and a licence can only be granted if the relevant criteria in CD1 and PM1 in particular are covered.
In response to issues arising from Mr Brown’s submissions:
(a) Mr Hammer stated they would be happy to comply with the model conditions suggested on servicing;
(b) Mr Anderson submitted that in light of all the conditions in place there is no need for a last-entry condition;
(c) Mr Anderson stated they are confident guests would not negatively impact the nearby hotel. He noted there has never been an issue between the two premises. All the activity at the Premises is at the front and side and in his submission there is no reason for people to turn back towards the hotel;
(d) In relation to it being on a “red route” Mr Anderson noted there is a single line which allows for pick-up and drop-off on Osnaburgh Street after 20:00 hours.
Mr Mark Gazaleh stated they had a constructive meeting with the Applicant. Mr Gazaleh stated it is moving from a successful business to a nightclub which has increases in frequency and volume and this increase external risks. He noted a particularly sensitivity about dispersal. He stated Mr Munday’s concerns were that people leaving the Premises would seek sanctuary in his hotel lobby or elsewhere. Mr Gazaleh noted in was the detail in the operational management plan that would be key.
Mr Yoram Blumann stated the most impacted premises by this application is the hotel across. He stated the manager assured him they were not consulted on the application. Mr Blumann stated he had met with the Applicant and they would run a well-established business. They are really concerned about the fact that it is a restaurant for which it appears anyone can make a booking 24-hours in advance, noting the issues of arrival and dispersal.
Mr Guy Austin stated if the application was being made elsewhere they would be far more concerned than they are.
The Sub Committee has a duty to consider the application on its individual merits and took into account all of the committee papers, supplementary submissions made by the Applicant and the oral evidence given by all parties during the hearing in its determination of the matter.
The Sub Committee noted that the Applicant had engaged with local residents and Responsible Authorities. The Sub Committee were grateful to the Applicant for seeking to proactively work with responsible authorities, interested parties and the Sub Committee in order to ensure the licensing objectives were promoted. The Sub Committee were mindful of the fact that the Applicant had amended the Application at the beginning of the Hearing and, importantly, amended the condition relating to booking notification, limiting the mezzanine to only waitress / waiter serving and accepting the model conditions concerning servicing during the Hearing so as to pragmatically meet the concerns of the Police and Interested Parties.
The Sub Committee were mindful of the fact that the Premises was a unique building in a location which was relatively far removed from local residents. The Sub Committee placed weight on the statements made by the Applicant and Environmental Health that the construction of the building was such that there would be noise leakage. The Sub Committee noted that one interested party stated that if the application was being made anywhere else, they would be far more concerned than they were for this location.
The Sub Committee had regard to the fact that the Applicant is also an experienced operator. There are already two licences for the building and there have been virtually no complaints made. The Applicant was widely accepted to be a responsible operator. The Sub Committee considered this indicated the Applicant would ensure the licensing objectives were promoted. The Sub Committee noted that the Applicant had a detailed operational management plan and dispersal policy. Whilst interested parties had expressed concern about dispersal into the locale, the Sub Committee considered the inherent benefits of the location alongside the Applicant’s positive steps to manage patrons leaving would ensure that the licensing objectives were promoted.
The Sub Committee noted that there was some minor disagreement as to whether the Premises would operate as a members club or a nightclub. On balance, the Sub Committee considered the Premises would properly be described as a members club given the entry requirements, membership requirements and, importantly, the fact that dancing and music would not be the primary event for most individuals attending the Premises.
Taken together, the Sub Committee were of the view that although the application was for beyond the core hours, the application accorded with the relevant policy criteria and would promote the licensing objectives.
Having carefully considered current policies, the committee papers and the submissions made by all of the parties, both orally and in writing, the Committee has decided, after taking into account all of the individual circumstances of this case and the promotion of the four licensing objectives:
In summary, the Committee has decided, after taking into account all of the individual circumstances of this application and the promotion of the four licensing objectives:
1. To grant permission for Live Music (Indoors) Monday to Saturday: 10:00 to 03:00 hours Sunday: 10:00 to 01:00 hours.
2. To grant permission for Recorded Music (Indoors) Monday to Saturday: 10:00 to 03:00 hours Sunday: 10:00 to 01:00 hours.
3. To grant permission for Late Night Refreshment (Indoors) Monday to Saturday: 23:00 to 03:00 hours Sunday: 23:00 to 01:00 hours.
4. To grant permission for the Sale by Retail of Alcohol (On Sales) Monday to Saturday: 10:00 to 03:00 hours Sunday: 10:00 to 01:00 hours.
5. To grant permission for the Hours Premises are open to the Public
Monday to Saturday: 07:00 to 03:00 hours Sunday: 07:00 to 01:30 hours.
6. That the Licence is subject to relevant mandatory conditions as specified in the Agenda papers.
7. That the Licence is subject to the following additional conditions imposed by the Committee which are considered appropriate and proportionate to promote the licensing objectives.
Conditions imposed by the Committee after a hearing
8. Licensable activities are only permitted under this licence as long as Hammer Holdings Limited is the Premises Licence Holder (licence to be transferred following grant).
9. Licensable activities may only be provided to:
(i) Members of The Chameleon Club and their bona fide guests (not exceeding 4 guests per member)
(ii) Persons attending a pre-booked and bona fide private function or event booked 24 hours in advance of attendance to which members of the public are not admitted.
(iii) Persons who are seated taking a substantial table meal where consumption of alcohol by such a person as ancillary to their meal.
10. No person shall be admitted to membership of the Club or be entitled to take advantage of any of the privileges of membership without an interval of at least 48 hours between their nomination or application for membership and admission.
11. A list of the names and addresses of members of the Club shall be kept on the premises at all times together with a book showing the names and dates of attendance of any guests introduced by members. Both the list and the book shall be produced on demand for inspection by the Police or an authorised Officer of the Council.
12. The name of the person organising the event shall be kept at the premises and if the event involves a guest list, then the list of those guests will be retained at the premises and made available for immediate inspection by Police or an authorised Officer of the Council.
13. The maximum occupancy (excluding staff) for the premises is 380. There will be a minimum number of seats provided at all times the premises conduct licensable activities of 120 on the mezzanine and 180 on the basement.
14. The supply of alcohol shall be by waiter or waitress service only on the Mezzanine.
15. 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.
16. 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 a PASS hologram.
17. 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.
18. 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 the nuisance.
19. Patrons permitted to temporarily leave and then re-enter the premises due to smoke or to make a phone call shall not be permitted to take drinks with them.
20. 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 and will include the external area immediately outside the premises entrance. 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.
21. 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.
22. After 20:00 hours, there shall be a personal licence holder on duty on the premises at all times when the premises are authorised to sell alcohol.
23. After 23:00 hours, all staff engaged outside the main entrance on Marylebone Road to the premises, or supervising or controlling queues, shall wear high visibility yellow jackets or vests.
24. After 23:00 hours, patrons permitted to temporarily leave and then re-enter the premises, e.g., to smoke or make a phone call, shall be limited to 12 persons at any one time.
25. After 23:00 hours, an attendant shall be on duty in the cloakroom during the whole time that it is in use. The attendant shall have a means of contacting Security immediately e.g., radio or personal alarm.
26. 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.
27. There shall be no payment made by or on behalf of the licence holder to any person for bringing customers to the premises.
28. 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.
29. Patrons permitted to temporarily leave and then re-enter the premises to smoke shall be restricted to a designated smoking area, agreed with the Responsible Authorities.
30. The premises licence holder shall ensure that any patrons smoking outside the premises do so in an orderly manner and are properly supervised by staff so as to ensure that there is no public nuisance or obstruction of the public highway.
31. In the event that a serious assault is committed on the premises (or appears to have been committed) the management will immediately ensure that:
(a) The police (and, where appropriate, the London Ambulance Service) are called without delay.
(b) All measures that are reasonably practicable are taken to apprehend any suspects pending the arrival of the Police.
(c) The crime scene is preserved so as to enable a full forensic investigation to be carried out by the Police; and
(d) Such other measures are taken (as appropriate) to fully protect the safety of all persons present on the premises.
32. The consumption of alcohol on the premises shall cease at 03:30 hours.
33. Whenever the premises have an event or function that may pose a higher risk in terms of crime and disorder or public safety such as but not limited to one including significant numbers of guests under 25 then the premises will conduct a risk assessment as to whether it is necessary to search customers’ bags or their persons or for SIA door supervisors on duty at the premises to use bodyworn video cameras and such risk assessment will be available for inspection by the Police or Local Authority Licensing Officer.
34. At least 2 SIA door supervisors shall be on duty at the entrance of the premises at all times after 23:00 hours on Fridays and Saturdays whilst it is open for business and they must display their SIA licence when on duty so as to be visible and from 23:00 hours there will be a minimum of 1:100 ratio to customers thereafter. On Sundays to Thursdays inclusively a minimum of 1 SIA door supervisor will be on duty at the premises from 23:00 hours and from them a ratio of 1:100 but with a minimum of 2 at 100 customers.
35. There will be a dispersal policy in operation at the premises. The policy will be available for viewing by the Responsible Authorities upon request.
36. No waste or recyclable materials, including bottles, shall be moved, removed from or placed in outside areas between 20:00 hours and 08:00 hours.
37. No collections of waste or recycling material (including bottles) from the premises shall take place between 20:00 hours and 08:00 hours on the following day.
38. No deliveries to the premises shall take place between 20:00 hours and 08:00 hours on the following day.
39. The maximum number of private events in the premises and the basement area shall not exceed 50 days per calendar year.
40. The premises shall operate in accordance with an Operational Plan. The Plan will be available for viewing by the Responsible Authorities upon request.
41. The last entry to the premises by Members and their bona fide guests shall be 02:00 hours.
If problems are experienced, then an application for a review of the Premises licence
can be made.
This is the Full Decision reached by the Licensing Sub-Committee.
This Decision takes immediate effect.
The Licensing Sub-Committee
9 June 2021