16 Hatcham Park Road, London, SE14 5QD
Lewisham LBC, Licensing Committee
10 January 2023
1. Dean Ekaragha (“the Applicant”) has applied for a premises licence for 16 Hatcham Park Road, London, SE14 5QD (“the Premises”). The application seeks authorisation for the sale by retail of alcohol 7 days per week between 19:00 and 03:00 and for late night refreshment between 23:00 and 03:00.
2. Relevant representations have been received from the Metropolitan Police and One Housing Group, the freehold owner of the Premises.
3. The Licensing Committee held a hearing on 10 January 2023 to consider the application. The Applicant did not attend the hearing but representatives of both objectors did attend.
4. In the application form, the Applicant explained that the Premises is a residential property. The Applicant intends to operate a business from the Premises selling alcohol and refreshments via online platforms such as Uber Eats. No customers will attend the Premises which will be used only to store and dispatch products sold to customers online.
5. One Housing Group, in their objection, explained that the Premises comprises a single room occupied by the Applicant under the terms of a licence agreement within a supported housing scheme which is “used to house those deemed vulnerable”. They explained that under the terms of the licence agreement, the Applicant does not have permission to operate a business from the Premises. In their oral representations, they pointed out that some of the occupiers of the supported housing scheme were recovering from alcohol and substance misuse and the presence of alcohol in the scheme could put their recovery at risk.
6. The police objected on grounds of public nuisance, pointing out that the noise caused by delivery drivers and vehicles coming and going from the Premises would be likely to cause a considerable amount of noise, resulting in nuisance, inconvenience and potentially anxiety and worry for the other occupants of the supported housing scheme, as well as other neighbouring occupiers. They also highlighted the late hours of the proposed operation. In their oral representations, the Police also pointed out that Hatcham Park Road is a narrow, one-way street and that traffic to and from the Premises would be likely to cause congestion and therefore further disturbance.
7. The Committee noted that the Council’s Safer Communities Service had agreed conditions with the Applicant and had not submitted an objection.
8. Having considered the written and oral evidence and representations made by the parties, the Committee has decided to refuse the application. Its reasons are as follows:
· The Premises is a residential property in a residential area. If licensed, it will attract frequent traffic until 3am every night of the week which would clearly cause disturbance to occupiers of the sheltered housing scheme and other neighbouring properties, at a sensitive time of the night.
· As well as being in a residential area, the Premises is part of a supported housing scheme. The Committee did not think that running an alcohol-focussed business in this environment would be appropriate, and could potentially put vulnerable adults at risk, contrary to the public safety licensing objective.
9. There is a right of appeal against this decision. Any appeal should be made to the magistrates’ court within 21 days beginning with the day on which the appellant was notified of this decision.
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 the Senior Licensing Officer to introduce the application.
3.2 Mr Lockett said that this application was being held in relation to representations received in respect of an application for a new premises licence for 16 Hatcham Park Road, SE14 5QD which was a residential road. The applicant lived at this address.
3.3 Mr Lockett outlined the application. He said that two representations had been received from the Metropolitan Police and the landlords of the property. Conditions had been agreed between the applicant and the local authority and had been included in the agenda.
3.4 Mr Lockett then outlined the options available to members under the licensing objectives, when making their decision.
3.5 Members were informed that the applicant was not present.
3.6 P.C Bobb spoke on behalf of the Metropolitan Police. He said that the Police objected to the application under the licensing objective of the presentation of public nuisance.
3.7 16 Hatcham Park Road was a 3 roomed house that accommodated vulnerable adults. If the application was granted, the applicant would be able to sell online alcohol from 7am until 3am 7 days a week. Customers would not attend the Premises, but deliveries would be made to and from these Premises. P.C Bobb said that the noise from these vehicles would cause a noise nuisance for other residents in the property and it could also affect their mental health. The noise caused by the delivery drivers would also affect all the residents in the road
3.8 Hatcham Park Road is located approximately 200 metres away from New Cross Road and is a one-way street at this section of the road. In an effort to deliver goods and drive away quickly, P.C Bobb suggested that delivery drivers could drive the wrong way back down this one-way street. This would cause road traffic accidents. There were very few parking spaces in the road and delivery cars, or vans would need to double park during delivery and other vehicles would be unable to pass down this narrow road.
3.9 P.C Bobb recommended that the application be refused. If the applicant wished to re-apply, Licensing Police would assist with the application.
3.10 Ms Khan, representing One Housing addressed the Committee. She said that this Housing Association objected to the application because vulnerable residents lived in the property. They were recovering from health issues, and the presence of alcohol would be counterproductive to the work undertaken by the customer, and care team over many years. Substance misuse had been identified as one of the main triggers for relapse in vulnerable people.
3.11 Ms Khan said that the application was in breach of the tenancy which prevents the running of a business from the property.
3.12 Councillor Hayes asked whether the applicant had been advised that he should not run a business from the property. Ms Khan confirmed that this would have been explained when the tenant signed the tenancy agreement.
3.13 Both objectors applauded the applicant for attempting to improve themselves and run their own business. However, it was not appropriate for a business to be run from this property.
3.14 Members confirmed that they had been present throughout the meeting and had not lost connection.
3.15 A decision letter would be sent out within 5 working days. She thanked all parties for their attendance, and they left the meeting.