Agenda item

10 AM: LSC (4) Floors 17&18, 31 London St, 9 Winsland Mews & 128-144 Praed St Development

Ward
CIA*
SCZ
**

Site Name & Address

Application
Type

Licensing Reference No.

Hyde Park

N/A

N/A

Floors 17 & 18
31 London St, 9 Winsland Mews & 128-144 Praed St Development Site

New Premises Licence

21/00850/LIPN

*Cumulative Impact Area
** Special Consideration Zone

This will be a virtual meeting. Members of the Public can view the live broadcast using the media links on the Council’s website.

Minutes:

APPLICATION FOR A NEW PREMISES LICENCE [LICENCE NUMBER: 21/00850/LIPN]

Premises

Floors 17 & 18, Paddington Square Development
31 London Street
9 Winsland Mews; &
128-144 Praed Street
London

Applicant

Great Western Developments Ltd represented by Craig Baylis, Solicitor, Kingsley Napley LLP, and Jonathan Ring of the Applicant Company.

Cumulative Impact Area (CIA) & Special Considerations Zone (SCZ)

CIA:   Not Applicable

SCZ:  Not Applicable

Ward

Hyde Park

SUMMARY OF APPLICATION

The application was for New Premises Licences for a rooftop bar and restaurant on the 17th and 18th Floors of the Paddington Square development.

Representations Received

Representations were received from –

1.     The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

2.     The Environmental Health Service (EHS)

3.     Paddington Waterways & Maida Vale Society (PWMVS)

4.     Southeast Bayswater Resident’s Association (SEBRA)

5.     A Local Business

6.     A Local Resident

SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS

Mr Kevin Jackaman, Senior licensing Officer – Presenting Officer

Mr Kevin Jackaman, Senior Licensing Officer, presented the report of the Director of Public Protection and Licensing that was before the Sub-Committee. In so doing, he noted that the applicant had applied for both live and recorded music until midnight, and not just live music, as stated in the report.

Presentation by Mr Craig Baylis, Solicitor, Kingsley Napley LLP, on behalf of the Applicant

Mr Baylis noted that a differently constituted Westminster City Council Licensing Sub-Committee had considered six applications for New Premises Licences for the same development at an (in-person) Licensing Sub-Committee (LSC) meeting on Thursday, 19 August 2021. He stated that a key point that had come out of that meeting was that these were applications for “Skeleton” Premises Licences and it would be for the eventual Premises Operators to apply to the LSC for variations to these Premises Licences in accordance with the proposed Operating Schedules.

Mr Baylis referred to the Schedule of Planning Conditions set out on Pages 24-46 of the Additional Information Pack. He noted that, in relation to Condition 35 and the requirement that the Applicant submit an Operational Management Plan (OMP for the Retail and Restaurant uses, it had been agreed by the LSC at its meeting the previous week, that a suitable condition be added to any Premises Licences such that Premises Licence Holders would also be bound by this requirement and would have to produce and OMP.

Referring to Pages 25 and 26 of the Agenda Pack, Mr Baylis noted that all the Premises Licence conditions proposed by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) had been agreed by the Applicant. In response to a question by the Chairman, Mr Baylis confirmed that these conditions had been agreed irrespective of the Operating Hours that might be approved by the LSC, with the exception of Proposed Condition 21 (security measures for customers entering the Premises after 00:00 hours), should the Sub-Committee be minded to grant the application in accordance with Core Hours.

Mr Baylis then presented details of the application. In so doing, he drew parallels with “The Shard” at London Bridge station, which had been one of the Applicant’s other developments, and which entailed similar considerations as the current development, including access to rail and underground services, and entry and exit to and from retail and commercial office space within the development. In particular, Mr Baylis described the proposed operation of the two lifts on the outside of the development which would take customers to and from the 17th & 18th Floors, and how the lifts would be managed to assist in the dispersal of customers from the Premises.

Mr Jonathan Ring

Mr Jonathan Ring, on behalf of the Applicant, provided a detailed description of the development. In so doing, he noted that, given the transport links to and from Heathrow Airport from Paddington Station, discussions had taken place with a number of Tech firms with links to companies on the west coast of California about leasing office space in the development. Mr Ring also described the public realm elements of the development and how these would be managed, including access to and from the Underground station.

Mr Baylis then addressed the various policy considerations set out in the report that was before the Sub-Committee, and the reasons why the Applicant was seeking to operate beyond the hours set out in the Council’s policy on Core Hours.

Questions by Members of the Sub-Committee

Mr Baylis and Mr Ring then answered numerous questions by the Members of the Sub-Committee including –

1.     Why there had been no discussions between the Applicant and Residents and Residents’ Associations prior to today’s meeting and proposal to include Residents and Residents Associations in consultations on the Operational Management Plan.

2.     The operation of the Licensed Premises, primarily as restaurants, and the Applicant’s assertion that there would be very little “vertical drinking”, the exception being the rooftop terraces where customers may wish to stand as they looked at the views from the rooftop.

[The Chairman noted that Proposed Premises Licence Condition 29 on Page 26 of the main Agenda Pack, stated that –

No more than 25% of the available floor space in the internal bar area, nor more than 50% of the external terrace areas shall be available for vertical drinking”].

3.     Dispersal of customers using the two lifts to and from the 17th & 18th Floors (each lift having a maximum capacity of 17 persons) and the use of SIA security staff to oversee dispersal at ground floor level from the lifts into the public square on the opposite side of the building from St Mary’s Hospital.

4.     The capacity of the Premises, which could be anywhere between 300 and 500, depending on the eventual layout of the Premises by the Operators. It had been agreed with the Environmental Health Service (EHS) that there be a condition included in the Premises Licences stating that it would be for the EHS to determine the Capacity of the Premises upon completion of any works carried out by the operators.

5.     To address concerns expressed by the Police about Crime and Disorder, the Applicant had agreed Condition 21 (supra) on Page 25 of the Main Agenda Pack, as proposed by the Police.

6.     There was a proposal for a taxi rank in the area but it had, as yet to be decided where this would be located, which would be subject to consultation with local stakeholders.

Presentation(s) by Responsible Authorities

Environmental Health Service (EHS)

Mr David Nevitt, Environmental Health Officer, stated that the EHS had made representations as the application was significantly beyond the Council’s Core Hours; concerns had been expressed by local Residents; and to allow the Sub-Committee to consider the suitability of the Operational Management Plan (OMP) proposals in promoting the Licensing Objectives.

Mr Nevitt made the following points –

1.     That it was unlikely that the activities on the 17th & 18th Floors and the rooftop terrace would impact significantly on local residents.

2.     The main concern for the EHS was the late-night dispersal of customers, and that the applicant had gone some way to allaying these concerns by describing the way in which dispersal of customers would take place and how this would be supervised.

Questions by Members of the Sub-Committee

Mr Nevitt, and Mr Ring on behalf of the Applicant, answered several questions by Members of the Sub-Committee –

1.     The operation of the lifts which would stop at the 1st & 2nd Floors before rapidly ascending and descending to and from the 17th and 18th Floors.

2.     When considering the dispersal of customers, issues which had to be addressed included –

(a)  How do people disperse;

(b)  Where do they go when dispersing; and

(c)  How does dispersal impact, if at all, on local residents?

Mr Baylis stated that, until such time as the OMP had been agreed, it was not possible to address all the issues regarding dispersal. However, he confirmed it was the Applicant’s proposal that each of the Premises Licences should contain a condition requiring the Premises Licence Holder to operate in accordance with the provisions of the OMP, and that the OMP be incorporated into the lease terms and conditions of each Licensed Premises.

Mr Baylis then described the operation and intended operation of the transport links in and around Paddington station and the proposal that Premises Licence Holders have SIA door security staff at the entrance to their Premises, as well as SIA security staff on the ground floor level where customers would exit from the lifts. In addition, the developer would have their own security staff and CCTV to manage the public realm parts of the development.

3.     The EHS were satisfied with the OMP. However, as the Development progressed and more information became available, it would be appropriate to review and update the OMP.

Representations On Behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

PC Bryan Lewis, on behalf of the MPS, stated that the MPS had maintained their representations as there was insufficient information in the Operating Schedule to determine how the application would Promote the Licensing Objectives given that the hours of operation exceeded Westminster City Council’s Policy on Core Hours.

In particular, the Police had concerns that the proposed operating hours until 3 AM gave rise to the possibility that, although a Premises might operate primarily as a restaurant, it’s operation late at night may become more like that of a nightclub. In addition, depending on the success or otherwise of the Premises, it may be that the Premises Management may wish to cater for a wider, rather than an exclusive, customer base.

PC Lewis noted that there were additional risk factors to be taken into consideration in relation to rooftop terraces. Also, the Police had adopted a standard Counter Terrorism Premises Licence Condition which was included in all central and/or, “complex” buildings Premises Licences. The Condition required Members of Staff to undertake a nationally approved online “Counter Terrorism Awareness Training” course.

[In his summing up, PC Lewis noted that, at particularly busy locations, the Police usually required Street Marshals to direct customers dispersing from late-night venues to local transport hubs and taxi ranks. In response, Mr Baylis stated he would prefer to wait until there was detailed consideration of the Operations Management Plan as that would be the appropriate time to determine measures such as the inclusion of Street Marshals].

Questions by Members of the Sub-Committee

in response to a number of questions by Members of the Sub-Committee, PC Lewis provided information in relation to concerns about –

1.    The likelihood of restaurants operating until 3 AM operating in a manner that was akin to that of a nightclub (nightclubs posing the highest risk with regard to Crime and Disorder).

2.    Customers congregating on the 17th and 18th Floors while waiting to get into the lifts to leave the Premises.

PC Lewis confirmed he had no concerns about the proposed arrangements for dispersal of customers on the ground floor and that the Premises was ideally located for dispersing customers given the transport links at Paddington station. However, as this was a crime hotspot. Therefore, any Dispersal Policy would have to include arrangements to ensure there were security staff outside the Premises who would monitor customers as they made their way to taxis; the railway station; and London Underground.

In response to questions by the Chairman regarding the Counter Terrorism Awareness Training proposed by the Police, Mr Baylis stated that this condition had not been imposed by the Licensing Sub-Committee at its meeting on 19 August 2021 and that it was his preference that this condition be considered when the Premises Licence Holders applied for variations to any existing Premises Licences, should the applications be granted.

Regarding the possibility raised by PC Lewis that the Premises may operate more like a nightclub, Mr Ring stated, on behalf of the applicant, that he would be willing to accept a Premises Licence condition that prohibited there being any dedicated dancefloor area or areas, irrespective of the Premises Operating Hours.

Mr Richard Brown, Citizens Advice Westminster, Licensing Project (On Behalf of SEBRA and PWMVS)

Mr Brown stated that Southeast Bayswater Residents’ Association (SEBRA), with its extensive knowledge of the area, wished to be of assistance to applicants and it would have been helpful if the Applicant had consulted with SEBRA prior to today’s meeting. However, SEBRA welcomed the opportunity to comment on the Operational Management Plan (OMP) in due course.

Mr Brown referred the Sub-Committee to his submission set out on Pages 51 to 55 of the Additional Information Pack. He stated that Paragraph 4.5 of his submission detailed various concerns of SEBRA and Paddington Waterways & Maida Vale Society (PWMVS), including the proposed Operating Hours; dispersal; capacity; security for the Premises and the Development as a whole; and the negative cumulative impact that granting the applications would have on one or more of the Licensing Objectives (detailed in Paragraph 14.42 of his submission).

Mr Brown then addressed the Sub-Committee about these concerns before reviewing the proposed Premises Licence conditions that had been agreed with the Applicant. In so doing, he welcomed the conditions that had been agreed between the Applicant and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) but noted that SEBRA and PWMVS remained concerned about several of the proposed conditions. Addressing these concerns, Mr Brown referred to the lack of detail in the OMP stating that such information was necessary if Members were to consider granting the extended hours in the applications that were before the Sub-Committee today. In so doing, he referred to the provisions within the Licensing Act 2003 regarding Provisional Statements.[1]

Mr Brown stated that SEBRA and PWMVS would be content for Core Hours to be granted and possibly a little later if restaurant conditions were to apply to the Premises Licence. However, SEBRA and PWMVS would ask that, if the Sub-Committee was minded to grant considerably later hours than those permitted under the Council’s Policy on Core Hours, then the following conditions should apply –

1.     That there be a “Last Entry “condition which was considerably earlier than the applied-for hours to prevent customers from venues which had already closed from arriving at these Premises seeking entry; and

2.     That there be no sale of Late-Night Refreshment for consumption off the Premises after 23:00 hours.

Mr John Zamit, Chairman of SEBRA

Mr Zamit addressed the Members of the Sub-Committee on a number of points, as follows –

1.     SEBRA regretted the lack of consultation by the Applicant with SEBRA and Residents;

2.     That there should have been a lot more information in the Operations Management Plan (OMP), including information on the proposals in relation to Late-Night Refreshment;

3.     Westminster City Council had opposed applications for taxi ranks at certain locations within the vicinity of the development site as this would interrupt the flow of traffic;

[Mr Zamit then described the location and operation of various taxi ranks around Paddington station].

4.     There had been no discussion about the impact of the development on nearby hotels, despite the Mercure Hotel on Praed Street having submitted a representation.

5.     To ensure that there was sufficient time to allow the dispersal of customers in accordance with the proposed operating hours, it would be necessary to have a terminal hour for the sale of alcohol which would then allow “drinking up time” of, say, half an hour, by which time, customers would have to be off the Premises.

6.     That he was not aware of any other restaurants in London that were operating until 3 AM.

[Mr Baylis subsequently confirmed there were a number of restaurants not in Westminster which did operate similar hours to those applied for by the Applicant, and that The Shard had been granted Premises Licences that permitted 24-hour operations.]

7.     If the Premises were going to operate until late, then it would be appropriate to impose a Restaurant condition, and that he hours of operation should be restricted to Core Hours.

8.     There was no reference in the OPM about where Uber drivers would pick up and drop off their customers and there was a concern that vehicles picking up and dropping off customers would continue to do so in a way that was potentially dangerous and at locations where picking up and dropping off passengers was prohibited.

9.     Last entry to the Premises should be 11 PM. SEBRA welcomed the proposal for security staff at the entrance to the Premises to assist in dispersal and to control entry to the Premises.

10. It was SEBRA’s understanding that this application made provision for a restaurant with a small bar for restaurant customers on the 17th Floor and a restaurant on the 18th floor, also possibly with a small bar for restaurant customers.

11. SEBRA was concerned that by 3 AM, when it was proposed that the Premises would close, many train services would have ceased to operate and SEBRA was not aware of any plans to introduce late-night or all-night train services.

In response to questions by Members of the Sub-Committee, Mr Baylis confirmed that:

(a)  There was a terrace on the 17th Floor and that the Planning Permission required that the terrace be open to the public until 6 PM.

(b)  There would be no food deliveries from any of the Licensed Premises in accordance with Paragraph 35c) of the Planning Permission which stated:

“You must apply to ask for approval of an operational management plan for the Retail (Class A 1) and Restaurant (Class a 3) uses. This must include the following: –

c) No home deliveries option.”

[Mr Zamit proposed that this condition should be included on each of the Premises Licences conditions and not just in the Planning Permission].

(c)  If the Sub-Committee was minded to grant approval to the Premises operating until 3 AM, the Applicant would be willing to fix the terminal hour for the sale of alcohol at 2:30 AM thereby allowing half an hour “drinking up time”.

(d)  It had been agreed with the Police that last entry would be 2:30 AM.

With the Chairman’s permission, Mr Baylis addressed the Sub-Committee on the proposed Hours of Operation. He stated that, when looking at each of the elements in the Development, including the retail elements in the Sub-Basement and Basement areas; the Restaurant operations on the Ground & First Floors; the Office Space on the 2nd to 14th Floors; and the Restaurant/Bar operations on the 17th & 18th Floors, it could be seen how each element integrated into the Development as a whole.

It was the Applicant’s expectation that that the 17th and 18th Floors would be leased to international, high-end tenants who would then have to spend approximately £7 million fitting out these two floors. Accordingly, the Applicant wished to be able to make a substantial offer in terms of the Hours of Operation of these Premises to attract tenants who would be willing to make the necessary investment in these Premises.

Mr Baylis then listed a number of restaurants in London whose Premises Licences permitted the Premises to operate until 3 AM or, in the Case of The Shard, were permitted to operate 24 hours a day.

Councillor Hyams noted that, as the Premises Licence Holders would be applying for variations of any Premises Licences granted by the Sub-Committee, it may be preferable to consider applications for an extension of Premises’ Hours of Operation at the time the application for a variation to the Premises Licence was considered.

Horatio Chance, Legal Officer

At the Chairman’s invitation, Mr Chance, Legal Adviser to the Sub-Committee, noted that the Licensing Sub-Committee (LSC) at its meeting on 19 August 2021 had considered a number of Premises Licence applications in respect of the same development. In so doing, the LSC had agreed a number of Premises Licence Conditions which should apply to each of the Premises. Mr Chance then read out agreed Premises Licence Conditions and asked if the Applicant would be willing to accept similar conditions in respect of the present applications before the Sub-Committee.

Mr Chance went on to note that the Applicant had agreed, during the course of the proceedings, to the following proposed Premises Licence conditions –

1.      Westminster City Council Model Condition (MC) 93: “The consumption of alcohol on the Premises shall cease at 02:30 hours”.

2.      Last Entry to the Premises.

3.      There would be no dedicated dancefloor(s) in any of the Licensed Premises.

Mr Chance proposed that the wording of this condition should read, as follows –

“The Premises Licence Holder shall ensure that there is no dedicated dancefloor at the Premises”.

Mr Chance also proposed that the wording of Condition 19 on Page 25 of the Agenda Pack be amended to read, as follows –

“The Premises Licence Holder shall ensure that table service is to be available at all times”.

In response to a question by the Chairman about including Condition 35 of the Planning Permission in the Premises Licence conditions, Mr Chance stated that Condition 30[2] tied the Applicant to providing various policies: Dispersal; Operational Management Plan; Servicing Plan; and Public Realm. He stated that this condition, dovetailed with Condition 35 of the Planning Consent and that the Licensing Sub-Committee Decision would make reference to the requirements of Condition 35. He confirmed that the Licensing Sub-Committee decision could be drafted in such a way as to include a requirement for consultation with the amenity societies on Condition 35.

In response to a question by Councillor Hyams regarding propose condition 28 which stated –

“There shall be no sales of hot food or drink for consumption off the premises after 23:00 hours save for food or drink order to be delivered from the premises to a customer’s home or business address.”

Mr Baylis stated that the applicant was willing to amend the proposed condition by deleting the words –

“… save for food or drink order to be delivered from the premises to a customer’s home or business address.”

Mr Chance then referred to MC41 which he proposed should also be included in the Premises Licence Conditions viz.

“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.”

Mr Baylis confirmed he was willing to accept MC41 as one of the Premises Licence conditions.

In response to a question by Mr Chance, Mr Baylis confirmed that MC38 (alcohol must be ancillary to substantial table meals) & MC66 (Premises must operate as a restaurant as defined in policy) would not fit the proposed business model and it was for that reason that the Applicant had agreed to MC41.

SUMMING UP

The Chairman invited the various parties to sum up their presentations.

Adjournment

Having heard those parties who wished to sum up their presentations, the Chairman closed the live part of the meeting to allow the Members of the Sub-Committee to adjourn to consider their decision.

DECISION

It was the Sub-Committee’s decision to APPROVE the application as set out in the Full Reasoned Decision drafted by the Licensing Sub-Committee’s Legal Adviser, which is attached as an Appendix to these Notes of the Meeting.

REASONS FOR THE DECISION

Having read the report by the Director of Public Protection and Licensing that was before it; the written submissions of the applicant and those parties objecting to the application; and, having heard presentations and representations by, and/or on behalf of, those parties present at the proceedings, as well as the responses by those parties to questions put to them by Members of the Sub-Committee, the Sub-Committee was satisfied that, in accordance with the Home Office Guidance,[3] and on the evidence before it, it was reasonable, appropriate and proportionate, in all the circumstances, to APPROVE the application.

In reaching its decision, the Sub-Committee took the following matters into consideration -

1.      The Applicant had agreed to –

(a)  The Premises Licence Conditions proposed by the Metropolitan Police Service;

(b)  That the terms and conditions of Paragraph 35c) of the Planning Consent would be incorporated into a Premises Licence condition applicable to each of the Licensed Premises; and

(c)  A condition for each Licensed Premises that there would be no dedicated dancefloor area or areas, thereby reassuring the Members of the Sub-Committee that it was not the Applicant’s intention that any of the Premises would operate as a nightclub.

2.      The Environmental Health Service (EHS) was –

(a)  Satisfied that the Operational Management Plan (OMP) submitted by the Applicant was sufficiently detailed for the purposes of these “Skeleton” Premises Licences, and that it would be kept under review and updated as work on the Paddington Square Development and the Licensed Premises progressed;

(b)  Of the opinion that the use of the Rooftop Terrace by customers was unlikely to be a source of nuisance to local residents; and

(c)  The Applicant’s proposal that there would be SIA door staff on the Ground Floor to assist in the dispersal of customers from the Premises as they exited the two lifts taking customers to and from the 17th and 18th Floors was sufficient given the transport links in the immediate vicinity.

3.      The submission by Richard Brown that, if the Sub-Committee was minded to grant the Premises Licences applications, given the current lack of detail in the OPM -

(a)  It would not be possible to assess the impact these applications would have on the Promotion of the Licensing Objectives should the Sub-Committee be minded to grant the Hours of Operation as set out in the Premises Licence application;

(b)  Therefore, the applications for both the 17th & 18th Floors and the Rooftop Terrace & Bar if granted, they should be restricted to Core Hours.

 



[1] Section 29 of the Licensing Act 2003 allows anyone interested in making a future application for a Premises Licence to obtain a Provisional Statement, which will give an indication of the likelihood of obtaining a Premises Licence. The statement can be applied for Premises that are being constructed, about to be constructed, extended, or altered for the purpose of being used for one or more licensable activities. A Provisional Statement does not convert into a Premises Licence once the construction is complete.

[2] See proposed Premises Licence Condition 29 in the subsequent application, Rooftop Terrace & Bar, Paddington Square development

[3] Revised Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003, April 2018

Supporting documents: