Agenda item

Licensing Act 2003 - Application for a Premises Licence respect of Merridale Supermarket, Clifton House, Merridale Road

[To consider the application for a new premises licence]


In attendance

For the premises

Simon Bailey – Solicitor

Lord D Deol – applicant

Mrs Deol – wife of applicant


Responsible Authorities

Elaine Moreton – Licensing Authority

Sergeant J Flanagan and PC M Harvey – West Midlands Police

Michelle Smith – Public Health


Other Persons

Mr Moore and Mr Singh – local residents


The Chair introduced the parties and outlined the procedure to be followed at the hearing.


The Section Leader (Licensing) outlined the report submitted to all parties in advance. 


At this juncture, Mr Bailey submitted the application for a premises licence on behalf of the applicant.  He advised that the premises would be a supermarket and not solely concerned with the sale of alcohol and summarised the steps to be taken to promote the four licensing objectives, as detailed at page 20 of the application.  Responding to questions, he advised that the timings for the sale of alcohol had been reduced to 8am to 11pm. 


In addition to the application, Mr Bailey produced letters from local businesses and a petition from local businesses supporting the premises licence application.  The documents were printed and circulated to all parties at the hearing.  The Council’s Solicitor advised that if these simply added to the application made, they could be submitted at any time prior to the hearing.  Council procedure provided that any additional information should be provided a number of days in advance of the hearing to allow all parties the opportunity to consider the information.  Little weight could be attached to the petition as the details could not be verified.


Responding to further questions, the applicant advised that he would not be running the premises himself as it would be leased out, that he was associated with Banks’ Bistro but had no involvement with any other signatories to the petition.  It was confirmed that the opening hours would be 7am to 12 midnight and that notices would be displayed advising of the restrictions on the sale of alcohol and as landlord he would keep strict control.  In view of Responsible Authority concerns, Mr Bailey suggested that the opening hours be the same as those for the sale of alcohol and confirmed that late night refreshment would therefore be no longer applicable. 


At this juncture, the Responsible Authorities outlined their representations.


Elaine Moreton, on behalf of the Licensing Authority, advised that she could not support the application in its present form due to the insufficient information contained within the operating schedule.


The Section Leader (Licensing) confirmed that, should the licence be granted, the some of the conditions contained within the operating schedule on the initial application would not be enforceable. 


The meeting was adjourned at this point to enable Mr Bailey to confer with his client.


The meeting was re-convened and Mr Bailey suggested that there were two options available, these being:


1.    to withdraw the application in order to firm up the operating schedule, or

2.    apply the same terms as a nearby licensed premise.


The Council’s Solicitor advised that option 2 was not possible as any decision today had to be evidence based.  A third option would be to adjourn to enable further consultation to take place between the parties.  It would only be possible to dispense with the hearing if all parties, including the local residents, agreed.  A discussion ensued on the way forward and Mr Bailey confirmed that his client was prepared to continue with the hearing.


At this juncture Sergeant Flanagan outlined the objections of the West Midlands Police, indicating that there were serious concerns regarding anti-social behaviour in the area and the applicant had himself complained to the police in this regard.  Fifteen calls had been made to the police in the previous five weeks.  He responded to questions form the Sub-Committee and other parties with more details relating the incidents, adding that the problems in the area had been persistent and consistent over a period of approximately two years.


Michelle Smith advised that the Graisely Ward had the highest alcohol related hospital admissions and deaths and Public Health believed that the current problems would be exacerbated by the presence of another licensed premise.


At his juncture the local residents outlined their concerns.


Mr Moore drew attention to a deterioration in the area as properties were sold and new landlords housed problem tenants and drew attention to issues of anti-social behaviour in Chapel Ash in the bus shelter outside a current licensed premise.


Mr Singh indicated that he had brought a petition into the Civic Centre but was advised that it was too late to submit it.  The Council’s Solicitor advised that those signing the petition had been at liberty to make representations in their own right within the time limits set by statute.  Limited weight should be attached to any petition as identities could not be verified. The petition was, however, copied and circulated to all parties at the hearing. A discussion ensued regarding the ‘blue notice’ displayed on the premises and it was confirmed that the representations period had been extended and that any received after 25 August would have been out of date. 


Responding to questions, Mr Smith advised that he was involved ina licensed premises in Chapel Ash and that the police had used CCTV footage from the premises in regard to their investigations.  He outlined the measures the premises took to promote the licensing objectives.


All parties were afforded the opportunity to make a closing statement.





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