To consider the attached report for a new premises licence.
The three Councillors that presided over this item were Councillors M Sartin (Chairman), C P Pond and S Heather. The Chairman introduced the Members and Officers present. The Chairman welcomed the participants to the Sub-Committee. In attendance for the application was the applicant, Mr M Scrace. Ms D Fox was present as an objector.
a) The application before the Sub-Committee
The Licensing Compliance Officer, D Houghton, informed the Sub-Committee that an application had been made by Quality and Excellence Ltd, of 12 Forest Drive, Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex CM16 7EY for a new premises licence at 12 Forest Drive, Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex CM16 7EY.
The application was for the following licensing activities:
Sale by Retail of Alcohol
Monday to Friday, 08.00 – 17.00
Saturday 08.00 – 16.00 off sales only
Opening times of the premises
Monday to Saturday 06.00 – 17.00
The application was received by the Licensing Authority on the 12 October 2020. The new premises licence application and the operating schedule setting out conditions, which would be attached to the licence if this application was granted, were published in the agenda. The application had been properly advertised at the premises, in a local newspaper and the public notice was attached to the agenda. All residences and businesses within a 150-metre radius of the premises had been individually consulted.,
The authority had received one representation from a resident, Ms D Fox. The objections related to the prevention of crime and disorder, prevention of public nuisance, the protection of children from harm and public safety. The applicant had agreed recommended conditions with Essex Police and the Quality Assurance and Safeguarding Service (Family Operations), which were detailed in the agenda. Essex Fire and Rescue had acknowledged the application and the Parish Council had also responded, both of which were detailed in the agenda report.
b) Presentation of the Applicant’s Case
The applicant, Mr M Scrace, explained that the reason to sell alcohol started when his son lost his job as a head chef. The business wanted to sell its customers a restaurant-style meal, as meal boxes, accompanied with a bottle of wine. He had agreed with the Police that alcohol would only be sold on the premises and not be delivered. Therefore, he would only sell bottles of wine in the shop. The wine would be supplied by New Hall Farm Vineyards near Maldon, Essex as they liked to support cottage industries. The objector had referred to the shop being used as an off-licence, but Quality and Excellence Ltd would only be selling wine to accompany the meats it did. The sale by retail of alcohol being applied for was from 08.00, but the shop was open from 06.00 when they started work. He had always had a policy that if customers walked past then he would serve them and sell food, but he did not intend to sell alcohol and rarely saw people before 08.30 in the morning.
c) Questions for the Applicant from the Sub-Committee
Councillor C P Pond asked if selling bottles of wines was just an extra service, to which Mr M Scrace replied, yes. He wanted to have about twenty bottles of assorted wines on display from New Hall Fam, which would be an added extra but would not be the mainstay of the business. Councillor C P Pond asked, would the wines be behind the counter and not accessible to the public, and who was the designated premises supervisor? Mr M Scarce replied that he had organised a small display behind the counter and the wines would not be accessible to the public. It would just be an added extra but not the mainstay of the business. He was the DPS with another employee, who provided cover for when he was not there. His son, who one of his managers, planned to qualify as a DPS after Christmas, so there would be three of them on site.
Councillor S Heather queried if the wine would only be sold with food or could someone walk in and buy a bottle of wine. Mr M Scrace replied that if a customer walked in and bought a bottle of wine, he would sell it, but because of the layout of his shop people would not readily see the wine from outside the shop as they would mostly be purchasing other produce.
Councillor M Sartin asked about the premises opening time with people in the shop from 06.00 but it was not usually open until 08.30. Mr M Scrace replied that it took three hours to set the shop up. Commuters used to pop in and place an order to collect later, so he opened the shop at 06.00, but since Covid-19 not many customers shopped before 08.30 now. Councillor M Sartin stated that a licensing application did not state the type of alcohol being sold but asked the applicant if it was his intention to also include beers and ciders. Mr M Scrace replied he would possibly sell craft beers and ciders during the summer, but this would only be seasonal with wines as his mainstay.
d) Questions for the Applicant from the Objectors
Ms D Fox remarked that she was relieved to hear that the shop would only supply wines with meal boxes, which sounded much better than lots of different types of alcohol being sold
Ms D Fox asked about deliveries to the shop. Mr M Scrace replied that as they intended to collect the alcohol themselves, there would not be any additional deliveries.
e) Presentation of the Objectors
The objector had nothing further to add.
f) Questions for the Objectors from the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee Members had no further questions to raise.
g) Questions for the Objectors from the Applicant
The applicant had no further questions to raise.
h) Closing Statement from the Objectors
The objector had nothing further to add.
i) Closing Statement from the Applicant
The applicant had nothing further to add.
j) Consideration of the Application before the Sub-Committee
The Chairman advised that the Sub-Committee would now proceed into private deliberations to consider the application. Therefore, the webcast was stopped and would resume when the private session was completed.
During their deliberations in private session no issues of law or policy arose and so the Committee was not required to call on advisory officers for advice.
The Committee took note of all oral and written submissions and representations and of its statutory duties and the Authority’s licensing policy.
The Committee noted that the single objector, Ms Fox, was concerned about the potential for noise caused by deliveries and by customers. The Committee noted that Ms Fox’s concerns about noise from deliveries appeared to be allayed when the applicant explained that the alcohol to be sold on the premises would not be delivered but, rather, would be collected by the applicant or his employees from a local supplier. The Committee concluded that this arrangement would alleviate any concerns as to noise from deliveries.
The Committee noted that the applicant proposed to sell locally sourced wine, beer, and cider, as part of “meal box” food promotions and that, while alcohol would be available to buy independently, this would not be the primary mode of sale. Given this the Committee concluded that there was no real risk of anti-social behaviour caused by the premises.
That the application for a premises licence in respect of 12 Forest Drive, Theydon Bois, Essex CM16 7EY, be granted, subject to:
(1A) the conditions as submitted by the applicant on 12 October 2020; and
(1B) the conditions which have previously been agreed between the applicant and Essex Police as set out on page 88 of the agenda relating to the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm as detailed below:
Agreed Conditions with Essex Police
The Prevention of Crime and Disorder
· CCTV will be installed that covers all parts of the public area
· CCTV footage will be retained for 31 days
· Persons on duty will have the ability to download CCTV and review footage if requested by Police or authorised officers
· Alcohol will only be sold on the premises and not for delivery
The Protection of Children from Harm
· We will use the Challenge 25 scheme
· We will have appropriate Challenge 25 signage on display at the premises
· We will use approved photo ID (passport, driving licence, Military ID), this will be the only acceptable forms of ID
· Staff training register will be maintained at the premises and made available to Police and authorised officers
· Register of refusals to sell alcohol will be maintained at the premises and made available to the Police and authorised officers
which the Sub-Committee considered were reasonable and proportionate and would not undermine the licensing objectives; and
(2) the mandatory conditions contained in Sections 19 - 21 of the Licensing Act 2003.
The applicants and the objectors were reminded of their right of appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of date of the written notification of this decision.