Venue: Remote - Via Microsoft Teams - the public are welcome to observe via the Council's website at https://lewisham.public-i.tv/core/portal/home
Contact: Clare Weaser
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings of the Licensing Committee held on 21 June and 13 July 2022 be confirmed and signed.
The Committee’s decision was to serve a counter notice, meaning that the proposed event cannot go ahead. The reasons for the Committee’s decision are set out below. In coming to its decision, the Committee has considered all of the papers in the reports pack and the evidence presented and submissions made by both the Applicant and the police at the hearing.
2. The Premises does not currently hold a premises licence. It is located immediately adjacent to The Den football stadium, home of Millwall FC. The TEN proposes to use the hardstanding in front of the Premises (described by the Applicant as its forecourt) to sell alcohol from a van to people coming to the stadium to watch Millwall’s home match on 13 August 2022, which kicks off at 1500. Alcohol will only be sold to customers in plastic vessels. The applicant stated that only home fans would be passing by the Premises and she knew around half of them. Although there was no security plan or risk assessment in place, she would close the event down if there was trouble and pointed out that there is usually a heavy police presence at home matches which would be able to intervene. She was not aware of how many people were likely to attend the proposed event.
3. The police objected on the basis that policing home matches at The Den is a complex operation which is planned several weeks ahead and would be undermined by the proposed event. Entry and exit routes to and from the stadium are carefully monitored as are established local drinking venues, which have strict licence conditions in place meaning they can be managed via the licensing process. The police stated that allowing the proposed event to go ahead would cause significant problems to the policing operation, primarily in terms of obstructing the free flow of fans and traffic to and from the stadium, fans lingering at the Premises and excess alcohol consumption. PC Pearce, speaking on behalf of the police, said that it was unacceptable for the Applicant to rely on the police to provide security for the proposed event and that any officers deployed to the Premises would have to be taken away from other policing responsibilities at the stadium, increasing pressure on police resources. There are already problems when coaches of away fans arrive in this location and are often mobbed by home fans, which will likely be aggravated by the availability of alcohol at the Premises.
4. The Committee was aware that home matches at The Den are well managed by the police and were very concerned that the proposed event would undermine the policing of the match on 13 August 2022. They were also concerned that the Applicant had not prepared a risk assessment for the proposed event and therefore could not be satisfied it would go ahead safely and in a way that promotes the licensing objectives. They considered it unacceptable for the Applicant to rely on the police to ... view the full decision text for item 3.
3.1 The Chair welcomed all parties to the Licensing Committee. She introduced those present, and outlined the procedure to be followed for the meeting. She then invited Mr Lockett to introduce the application.
Senior Licensing Officer
3.2 Mr Lockett said that this hearing was in relation to representations to an application for a Temporary Event Notice for Millwall Café 1-3 Zampa Road. The proposed event site was outside the existing unlicensed café, adjacent to but outside, Millwall Football club. The application was for the sale of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises on 13 August 2022 between 11am and 3pm. Alcohol would be sold from a van parked on the forecourt with drinks dispensed into plastic containers and the event would be limited to 499 people. The Metropolitan Police had objected to the TEN on the grounds of public safety and the prevention of crime and disorder. Mr Lockett outlined the steps available to members when making their decision.
3.3 Ms Grimes said that a number of events had been held and there had not been any trouble. She proposed to sell alcohol on 13 August 2022 in plastic cups. She worked in the café, knew a lot of the Millwall supporters and had experienced nothing but respect from them. Food would be available and there was a seating area where patrons could relax before the game. In addition, she had managed pubs with her business partner and was able to manage challenging behaviour and large crowds.
3.4 The Chair said that match day was very busy with a lot of people in the area. She asked the applicant how she would manage her customers safely and responsibly. Ms Grimes said that the away fans went into a different entrance and there should not be any of these supporters in the vicinity of her café. There would be Police presence so it was very unlikely that trouble would start in Zampa Road
3.5 Councillor Warner noticed that there was not a risk assessment, which was a requirement of the Council. He asked Ms Grimes what risks there could be and whether there would only be home fans in the area. He also asked how many employees worked in the café and how she would make sure there were no more than 500 people in the area if the application was granted. Ms Grimes said that it would not be easy to count the number of patrons in the licensable area. The staff in the café were separate to the bar. She was not sure how many staff would be in the café but there would be three or four in the bar. If there was any trouble, she would close and stop serving customers and would never sell alcohol to people who were drunk.
3.6 Councillor Warner asked whether any security staff or bouncers would be employed for the event. Ms Grimes said that there was always a strong Police presence when there was a match and ... view the full minutes text for item 3.