Agenda item

New Premises Licence - Wo Fat Restaurant, 270-272 High Road, Loughton

(Licensing Team Manager) To consider the attached report.


The three Councillors that presided over this item were Councillors C P Pond, I Hadley and L Mead. The Chairman welcomed the participants and requested that they introduce themselves to the Sub-Committee. In attendance on behalf of the application was Mr Y Cheung, a Director of Win Rise Limited. In attendance on behalf of Essex was Mr P Jones, and Mr D Linnell, representing Loughton Residents Association. The Chairman then introduced the Members and Officers present, and outlined the procedure that would be followed for the determination of the application.


(a)        The Application before the Sub-Committee


The Licensing Enforcement Officer informed the Sub-Committee that an application for a new Premises Licence had been received in respect of the Wo Fat Restaurant at 270-272 High Road in Loughton, along with representations from interested parties. The application had requested permission for the following hours:



Mon - Thu

Fri – Sat


Sale of Alcohol

12.00 – 14.30

17.00 – 23.00

12.00 – 14.30

17.00 – 23.30

12.00 – 23.00

Recorded Music

12.00 – 14.30

17.00 – 23.00

12.00 – 14.30

17.00 – 23.30

12.00 – 23.00

Late Night Refreshment


23.00 – 23.30


Opening Hours

12.00 – 14.30

17.00 – 23.00

12.00 – 14.30

17.00 – 23.30

12.00 – 23.00


The Licensing Enforcement Officer stated that the application had been properly advertised and the Council had received four representations relating to the prevention of public nuisance. Essex Police Licensing had also responded and offered a number of recommended conditions, which had been agreed with the Applicant and would be added to the Licence if the application was approved. A response had also been received from Essex Fire & Rescue Service, but they had no objections to the application.


(b)        Presentation of the Application


Mr Cheung stated that the primary reason for the application was to allow the restaurant to be open a little later at weekends. Mr Cheung acknowledged that there were flats in the High Road as well as businesses and recognised the concerns of local residents, but staff employed in the restaurant lived in the flat above it and the restaurant had been in operation for 40 years now. The customers of the restaurant were not usually troublesome, and simply wanted to leave a later at weekends.


Mr Cheung emphasised that all of the suggested conditions had been agreed with Essex Police, and the Licensing Enforcement Officer had assisted with the application process as Mr Cheung had no previous experience of licensing procedures.


Mr Cheung concluded that he wished to run the business with integrity and transparency, and he would be happy to compromise with the application if the requested hours for Fridays and Saturdays were agreed.


(c)        Questions for the Applicant from the Sub-Committee


In response to questions from the Sub-Committee, Mr Cheung confirmed that he would be the Manager and Designated Premises Supervisor for the restaurant, and that the recorded music would be background music with no singing.


(d)        Questions for the Applicant from the Objectors


Mr Linnell enquired about the use of the parking space behind the restaurant. Mr Cheung confirmed that it was used by delivery vans for another premises nearby, but that occasionally it was used by Mr Cheung or other staff.


(e)        Presentation of the Objector’s Case


Mr Linnell expressed his concerns about customers leaving the restaurant after 11.00pm and causing a disturbance if the application was granted, as there were flats either side of the restaurant and a row of cottages. Therefore, a closing time at weekends of 11.00pm would be preferable. The Sub-Committee was also reminded that a new block of flats was being built behind the restaurant.


Mr Jones from Essex Police stated that there was no suggestion that the Applicant had any links with the previous owners, who had employed illegal immigrants at the restaurant.


(f)         Closing Statement from the Applicant


Mr Cheung reiterated that the extra 30 minutes on a Friday and Saturday evening would make a huge difference to the business as this was when the restaurant was at its busiest. The Sub-Committee was reminded of the permissible hours for other Chinese restaurants in the vicinity, and that the ‘Challenge 25’ initiative would be in operation during the opening hours of the restaurant.


Mr Cheung concluded by stating that the restaurant was a small family run business, with ten members of the family involved in the business, and requested that the Sub-Committee grant the additional hours on Friday and Saturday evenings at the very least.


(g)        Consideration of the Application by the Sub-Committee


The Sub-Committee received no formal advice from the Officers present.


The Assistant Solicitor advised the Sub-Committee of the options available when reaching a decision in this case. The Licensing Manager reminded the Sub-Committee that the additional Licence conditions suggested by Essex Police had been agreed by the Applicant and would be added to the Licence if the application was granted.


The Sub-Committee noted that there were a number of other eating and restaurant establishments in the vicinity, and that a closing time of 11.30pm on Friday and Saturday evenings would not be unreasonable as the premises was a restaurant not a public house or bar. Therefore, the Sub-Committee felt that there were no good reasons for refusing the application. 


The Sub-Committee returned to inform the participants of its decision, and the Chairman reminded the Applicant that they had 21 days from the date of the written notification of the Sub-Committee’s decision to exercise their right of appeal to a magistrate’s court.




(1)        That the application for a Premises Licence at Wo Fat Restaurant at 270-272 High Road in Loughton be granted as requested in the application, subject to the following conditions which the Sub-Committee considered to be reasonable, proportionate and in the public interest for the promotion of the Licensing Objectives:


                        (a)        the operating schedule as set out in the application to grant the                         Licence; and


(b)        the addition of the suggested conditions by Essex Police to the Licence (pages 93 – 94 of the agenda refers) previously agreed by the Applicant.

Supporting documents: