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Agenda item

Royal George at 85 Tanner's Hill, London, SE8 4QD


Royal George at 85 Tanner's Hill, London, SE8 4QD

Lewisham LBC, Licensing Committee

Application for variation to premises licence




Samuel Smith (Southern) (“the Applicant”) has submitted an application to vary the premises licence for the Royal George at 85 Tanner's Hill, London, SE8 4QD (“the Premises”).


1.    The Premises is currently authorised for the following licensable activities:


Sale by retail of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises

10.00 – 23.00 Monday 10.00 – 23.00 Tuesday 10.00 – 23.00 Wednesday 10.00 – 23.00 Thursday 10.00 – 23.00 Friday 10.00 – 23.00 Saturday 12.00 – 22.30 Sunday


2.    The application proposes the following:


 ·Change the layout and associated plan of the premises on the Ground floor

. · Extension of hours for the following activities:


Sale of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises

23:00 – 00:00 Friday 23:00 – 00:00 Saturday


Late Night Refreshment

23:00 – 00:30 Friday 23:00 – 00:30 Saturday


Opening Hours

10:00 – 00:30 Friday 10:00 – 00:30 Saturday



3.    There were five relevant representations in response to the application, received from members of the public.  Objections were received from the Police and Licensing Authority.


4.    The Licensing Committee held a hearing on 8 August 2023 to consider those representations.


5.    In making its decision, the Committee has considered all of the papers in the reports pack and the evidence and submissions presented by the parties at the hearing.  It has also taken into account the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and the Home Office’s statutory guidance.


6.    The Committee’s decision is to grant the application subject to the conditions recommended by the Police and Licensing Authority which are attached.  Its reasons are as follows:



·         The Committee noted that the applicant had agreed the conditions recommended by the Police and the licensing Authority.


·         00.30 was considered to be a reasonable time for the premises to close and was in line with this Council’s licensing policy.


·         The Committee were concerned about communication between the premises and residents. Particular note was made regarding a claim made by one of the applicant’s representatives that the problem regarding deliveries had been resolved. This claim was not shared by a resident.


·         The Committee also expressed concern that patrons were not brought inside the premises at closing hours. The premises did not have a dispersal policy and it was agreed that this should be added to the conditions on the licence.


·         Although the Committee had concerns about the application, they put weight on the fact that the conditions had been agreed and considered it appropriate to vary the licence as sought, subject to the conditions attached to this notice.


7.    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.














































1. The premises shall install and maintain a comprehensive CCTV system. All entry and exit points will be covered enabling frontal identification of every person entering in any light condition.


2. The CCTV system shall continually record whilst the premises is open for licensable activities and during all times when customers remain on the premises.


3. All recordings shall be stored for a minimum period of 31 days with the date and time stamping. Recordings shall be made available within 24 hours upon the request of the Police or authorized officer throughout the preceding 31-day period.


4. 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 to the public. This staff member must be able to show a Police or authorized council officer recent data or footage with the absolute minimum of delay when requested.


5. The CCTV must cover all areas of the venue that the public has access to. There should be no obstructions to any internal camera that creates areas that are not wholly covered by CCTV, apart from within toilet cubicles and directly covering men’s urinals.


6. Any smoking area must be covered by CCTV that is to the same standards as the internal CCTV system.


7. A proof of age scheme, such as Challenge 25, must be operated at the premises where the only acceptable forms of identification are (recognized photographic identification cards, such as a

driving licence or passport / Holographical marked PASS scheme identification cards) appropriate signage must be displayed.


8. A record shall be kept detailing all refused sales of alcohol. The record should include the date and time of the refused sale and the name of the member of staff who refused the sale. The record shall be available for inspection at the premises by the police or an authorised officer of the Council at all times whilst the premises is open.


9. All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.


10. The premises shall prominently display signage at all entrances informing customers: -


(Police may be called if drugs or weapons are found)

(CCTV is in operation throughout this premises and is made available to the police.)

(Management reserve the right to refuse entry)


11. A record book of banned individuals shall be held by Duty Manager and will be made available to Police and Council upon request.


12. Notices shall be prominently displayed at all exits requesting patrons to respect the needs of local residents and businesses and leave the area quietly.


13. No noise generated on the premises, shall emanate from the premises nor vibration be transmitted through the structure of the premises which gives rise to a nuisance.


The front outside area for customers will be closed at 2200hrs, and smoking customers will be permitted to use the rear garden until the closing time of 2300hrs and midnight on Fridays & Saturdays. Drinks are not permitted in the rear garden past 2300hrs.


15. 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.


16. The premises licence holder shall ensure that any patrons drinking and/or smoking outside the premises do so in an orderly manner and are supervised by staff so as to ensure that there is no public nuisance or obstruction of the public highway.


17. During the 30-minute cool-down period after the sale of alcohol ceases, the volume of any music being played must be decreased.


18. Loudspeakers shall not be located in the entrance lobby or outside the premises building.


19. 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.


20. All documents of members of staff will be retained for a period of 12 months post-termination of employment and will be made available to the police, immigration and/or Licensing officers upon reasonable request.


21. All staff must attend induction training and receive refresher training every six months.


22. Staff are to engage in training in Ask Angela and such topics in Vulnerability towards women and girls, as well as drink spiking awareness campaigns.


23. The Premises Licence Holder and/or Designated Premises Supervisor shall keep up-to-date policies and staff training records in relation to the following: Requirements of the Challenge 25 scheme, drugs, identification & recognition of drunks, identification recognition and responsibilities of dealing with vulnerable persons and the correct procedures to be followed when refusing service regular training must be provided to all staff at least every six months, a record of the training will be maintained for at least twelve months.


24. An incident log shall be kept at the premises, and made available on request to an authorized Local Authority or Police Officer, which will record the following:


a)  All crimes reported to the venue.

b)  All ejections of patrons

c) Any complaints received.

d) Any incidents of disorder.

e) All seizure of drugs or offensive weapons.

f) Any faults in the CCTV system.

g) Any refusal of the sale of alcohol.

h) Any visit by a relevant authority or emergency service.


25. Ashtrays and cigarette bins must be provided to ensure rubbish and smoking debris can be collected and not left to impact the streets outside the premises.


26. At the close of business, staff will ensure that customers are moved on and encouraged to leave; to ensure that customers do not cause noise disturbances outside the premises.


27. The premises is to have a dispersal policy in place to show how they intend to move on customers and this document should be available for inspection on request of Police and Local Authority Enforcement Officers.


































4.1      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 Safer Communities Officer to introduce the application.




4.2    Mr Obazee said that this hearing was being held to determine the variation of a premises licence application made by Samuel Smith Ltd for Royal George at 85 Tanner’s Hill, London, SE8 4QD. He outlined the application.    


4.3       The application for the premises licence had been advertised in accordance with regulations. During the 28-day consultation period, the licensing authority received five objections, from members of the public. Further representations were received from the Police and Licensing Authority. Representations received were not considered vexatious or frivolous. Photographic evidence received from members of the public had been circulated to all parties. Proposed conditions had been drafted by the Police and Licensing Authority.

4.4      Mr Obazee then outlined the steps available to members, when making their decision, to promote the four licensing objectives. The Chair confirmed that the written submission, received before the meeting from the applicant, had been circulated to all parties.




4.5      Mr McCann addressed the Committee on behalf of the applicant. He gave an historical background to the Royal George. The operator Sam Smith was unique in that he did not have any other brands or styles of operation. The traditional pubs had freeholds or long leaseholds and a licence had not been reviewed for any of his pubs. Sam Smith pubs did not have TV or music so patrons were able to have a conversation.


4.6      The application for the change of layout was important but not controversial. The internal layout was small and an additional room at the back of the premises would be used as an overflow for patrons. This would encourage more customers to sit inside the pub rather than outside.


4.7      Mr McCann said that the main concern of the objectors living opposite the premises was the extension of hours and the use of the premises at the front. There were no conditions on the licence, this was because no changes had been sought since 2003 when the Licensing Act came into force. If the application was granted, 27 conditions had been agreed and would be placed on the licence. He drew members’ attention to the condition that drinking time at the front of the premises had been reduced from 11.20pm to 10pm. This would be supervised by staff.


4.8      Mr McCann said that drinking was permitted outside on the front of premises. There had not been any representation from environmental health. Photographic evidence had been lodged with the licensing authority taken at closing time as patrons left the pub. There was no evidence of anti-social behaviour, people were not screaming or waving. Just small groups planning to go home. However, it was not known when these photographs were taken.


4.9      The local area was not quiet late at night. There were four railway lines directly adjacent to the pub. People frequently parked in local streets, after the pub had closed; drink alcohol and play music.


4.10    In conclusion, Mr McCann said that the manager of the Royal George, Ms Eves and her team, had a good relationship with local residents. She was always on hand if they had any concerns. The change of layout was important if the premises was to remain commercially viable and most London pubs had a licence until midnight. If the application was granted, all conditions had been agreed, more checks and balances were in place, particularly drinking at the front of the premises which would be reduced by 1hr 20 minutes 6 days a week. The four licensing objectives would be upheld, particularly the prevention of public nuisance.


4.11    Councillor Brown asked why condition 16, which prevented drinks from being taken outside, was not agreed. Mr McCann said that he was concerned about the wording of the condition because if a patron bought a drink and sat in the benches at the front of the premises, this would be a breach of the licence. Ms Rhodes clarified that she had spoken to the applicant, and it had been agreed that the front of the premises would close at 10pm; patrons would only be able to leave after this time. The small rear area would then be used for smoking and there would be a drinking up time of 11.20pm. Mr McCann asked for smoking to be allowed in the rear garden after 11pm.


4.12    Councillor Huynh referred to objection number 4; the objector claimed they had contacted the premises to move patrons from the front of the premises at 10pm to the rear garden. The objector did not receive a response. Councillor Huynh asked about previous attempts made by management to contact the local community about noise at the front of the premises, and the contact they had had with the community. Mr McCann said that Ms Eves had been in contact with the local community, but there had been no obligation to stop patrons from drinking at the front of the property after 10pm. Ms Eves said that previous complaints about noise at the front had been regarding deliveries late at night but this had been resolved. There were signs asking patrons to leave quietly and respect the neighbourhood. Steps had been taken to ensure that patrons respected neighbours. Mr McCann said that it was hoped that with the additional hours, there would be a more gradual dispersal rather than leaving the premises en masse. 




4.13    P.C. Butler said that the Royal George was an old premises. It had been operating for a long period of time without any conditions. New residential buildings had been built around the premises in recent years. In order to reduce the impact on the community, the Police had recommended a raft of conditions for the committee’s consideration. It was of concern that the applicant had initially not agreed condition 16 and to patrons drinking outside. This had been resolved following discussions with the applicant.


4.14    P.C Butler said that there were concerns about the number of speakers and patrons hanging around outside the premises causing a disturbance in this quiet residential road. He recommended a dispersal policy.


4.15    P.C Butler said that most of the conditions recommended by the Police had been agreed by the applicant. He had concerns about impact; times had changed, so had communities. Residents’ properties had flourished around the premises. This had an impact on residents regardless of how long the premises had existed.


4.16    Ms Rhodes said that it had been agreed with the applicant, that the two conditions relating to the decrease of music after the sale of alcohol ceases and the prevention of speakers outside the premises would remain.


4.17    The first objector addressed the Committee, and the following points were made.


  • He was regularly woken up at night by the noise from customers shouting and conversations continuing well after 11pm. Staff did not intervene. Extending the hours would move this noise and disturbance later into the night.
  • The brewery had been contacted on numerous occasions by residents requesting help to manage noise nuisance, but nothing had changed.
  • The reason given for wanting to extend licence hours had been economic issues and patrons wanting to stay later but to local residents the pub appeared vibrant. There was not enough room inside the premises so they spilled onto the streets.
  • The premises was successful under the current hours and the noise from patrons already stretched the limits of what was reasonable for a residential area.
  •  He recommended that customers should move inside the premises after 10pm. Customers should not be able to sit, drink, smoke or congregate outside after 10pm. In addition, customers should be asked to leave quietly after closing time.
  • The applicant stated that noise was created by parked cars playing music. Although this happened occasionally, most of the noise was created by the pub. He strongly disagreed with Ms Eve’s claim that the issues with deliveries had resolved. Large barrels still rolled down the hill after 10pm. This had been reported to the brewery but no action was taken.
  • He supported successful local businesses, but measures should be taken to reduce late night noise and disruption.


4.18    The second objector addressed the Committee, and the following points were made:


  • She was frustrated because she felt that the presentation made by the solicitor and the designated premises supervisor, dismissed residents’ concerns and how their lives had been impacted by the noise created by the premises.
  • Moving patrons into the premises by 10pm should be a simple procedure and she asked why this had not been possible. She said that this should be in place and managed before the extension of hours was granted.
  • The premises was located in a narrow street, close to residential properties. Residents in their bedrooms and living rooms suffered from noise nuisance as patrons left the premises and sat outside. Management dismissed their concerns and their photographic evidence and did not work with the community.




4.19    Mr McCann said that in response to the first objector, and the two requests made, these had been agreed by the applicant. He agreed that residents could be given his contact details if they did not receive a response from Sam Smith and he agreed to give the details of the area manager as well. He hoped that the agreed conditions would re-assure residents and explained that conditions were legally enforceable and if breached, could lead to a review of the licence. He hoped that the extension of the hours would help to increase revenue slightly but it was a difficult time for pubs. Costs had increased enormously but he accepted that there should be checks and balances to give local residents re-assurances that conditions would be adhered to.


4.20    P.C Butler and Mr Rhodes did not have any further comments because conditions had been agreed with the applicant.


4.21    In response to a question from the first objector, Ms Rhodes confirmed that there should not be any activity in the front outside area after 10pm and this included drinking, smoking, sitting, and congregating.



4.22    The Chair said that she was satisfied that members of this Committee had read and heard all the information required to make a decision. All members confirmed their attendance throughout the meeting.


4.23    The Chair said that a decision letter would be sent out within 5 working days. She thanked all parties for their attendance, and they left the meeting.



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