Agenda item

Application under Section 17 of the Licensing Act 2003 by Mohammed Alif in respect of Kingsholm Store, 55 Worcester Street, Gloucester, GL1 3AW

Report of the Corporate Director for Services and Neighbourhoods



The Licensing and Enforcement Officer presented a report outlining an application by Mr Mohammed Alif in respect of Kingsholm Store, 55 Worcester Street, Gloucester, GL1 3AW.  The application was for the retail sale of alcohol (off sales only) Monday to Sunday (inclusive) from 06.00 to 23.00 hours.


Details of the application were referred to as Appendix 1 to the report.


The Sub-Committee noted that the Applicant had set out in Section P of the Operating Schedule the measures proposed to be taken to promote the four licensing objectives, should the licence be granted.


The Licensing & Enforcement Officer referred to Paragraph 4.3 of the report in relation to planning restrictions and explained that since publication of the report the licensing team had been advised by Planning that the current consent for the premises was for category B1 use which allows use as a light industrial workshop and in order to open the premises as a retail shop the applicant would need to apply for planning permission for a change of use to A1.   (A1 use allows amongst other things for the retail sale of goods other than hot food which would satisfy the licence application received)  Members were reminded should they accept this application it was important to remember that having a licence did not override other regulatory controls, and premises operating in breach of their planning permission would be liable to prosecution under planning law.


Members’ attention was drawn to a representation made by the Council’s Environmental Protection Team pertaining to concerns relating to the ‘Prevention of Public Nuisance’ licensing objective.  Since the report had been published an undertaking had been reached between the Applicant and the Environmental  Protection Team which had resulted in the Team withdrawing its representation.  Members were advised that this was merely an undertaking and not intended to be attached as a condition should the licence be granted.


No other representations had been received from responsible authorities.  However, the Police had, in agreement with the applicant, proposed that should a licence be granted the conditions detailed at paragraph 5.4 of the report be added. The proposed conditions agreed between the applicant and the Police would replace any similar steps intended to promote the licensing objectives as set out in the operating schedule.


The Licensing and Enforcement Officer drew Members’ attention to representations which had been received from four local residents as ‘Other Persons’ under the Licensing Act 2003.  These were shown at Appendix 6 to the report.  The Sub-Committee was advised that three of the four representations mentioned the number of licensed outlets already operating in the area and that this matter was not a relevant consideration under the Licensing Act 2003.  Members’ attention was drawn to paragraph 13.18 of the Home Office Guidance.


Some of these representations also referred to planning considerations.  Members were advised to disregard these issues as the Sub-Committee’s purpose was to consider an application for a premises licence to be granted and that planning matters would be considered by the Development Control Manager and/or Planning Committee at the appropriate time.


Members were advised that having considered the application, any relevant representations, the legislative provisions, the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and the Home Secretary’s Guidance,they had the following options as considered appropriate to promote the Licensing Objectives.


(a)       To accept the application and attach conditions as consistent with the operating schedule.


(b)       To accept the application and modify the conditions of the licence which includes altering, omitting or adding new conditions.


(c)        To reject the whole, or part of the application.


The Sub-Committee was reminded of the City Council’s licensing objectives:-


(a)  The prevention of crime and disorder

(b)  Public safety

(c)  The prevention of public nuisance

(d)  The protection of children from harm

Questions to the Licensing and Enforcement Officer


There were no questions from the Applicant to the Officer.


There were no questions from residents to the Officer.


Councillor Witts sought clarification on the validity of the proposed Designated Premises Supervisor’s licence which had been issued by South Gloucestershire Council.  The Licensing and Enforcement Officer responded that this was perfectly acceptable.


Presentation by the Applicant’s Advocate


Mr Kent confirmed that the Applicant had been mindful of the Licensing Act and Secretary of State guidelines when addressing the licensing objectives in his application.  His client had a proven track record as a retailer with a premises licence and intended that the store would benefit the community.  There would be a small amount of alcohol sold along with all the other foods, but this would not be a ‘budget booze’ cut-price store.  His client had co-operated with Police and agreed conditions to be attached to the licence.  Mr Kent referred to the recent agreement reached with the Council’s Environmental Protection team.  There would be no external deliveries as his client would purchase all goods from the Cash and Carry and would bring goods through the rear of the premises.  He reiterated his client’s wish to foster a good relationship with local residents.


Questions to the Applicant’s Advocate


There were no questions from the Licensing and Enforcement Officer.


The following questions were asked by residents:-


·         Did the Applicant have permission to use the rear of the premises?  Mr Kent responded that this was a planning matter.

·         It had been noted that the Applicant was parking wherever he wished.  Would he undertake to park his vehicle more considerately in future?  Mr Kent responded that his client was sensitive to parking issues.

·         Who was the target audience for the alcohol sales?  Mr Kent responded that this was not an issue for the Licensing Sub-Committee.

·         Did the Applicant think that having a licence to sell alcohol at 6 am was going to be beneficial to the community? Mr Kent responded that their commercial needs could not be taken into account. (The Chair clarified this point further for the benefit of those present.  He recognised the concerns of residents but pointed out that the Sub-Committee had to base its decision on the Licensing Act and Home Office guidance)

·         If the Applicant is keen to work with residents, what has he done in the run up to this application? When has he approached residents?  Mr Kent responded that the Applicant was under no obligation to approach residents.  The letter he had sent in response to representations set out his position and the Operating Schedule clearly laid down the steps he intended to take with the support of the Police.


Councillor Witts asked the Applicant’s Advocate if there would be a policy to sell a minimum quantity of alcohol.  Mr Kent referred Councillor Witts to the Operating Schedule.


Presentation by Resident


Mr David Dorman addressed the Sub-Committee and pointed out that the site was in a conservation area.  The Applicant had not made a planning application for a shop and the only permitted use was for a workshop.  He believed that the Applicant had demonstrated by his approach that he was prepared to sweep aside considerations.  Granting a licence would encourage others to buy a premises not intended for retail purposes.  Mr Dorman suggested that the Applicant should re-submit the application once all the planning issues had been dealt with.


There were no questions from the Applicant or the Sub-Committee to Mr Dorman.


Summing Up


The Licensing and Enforcement Officer made a closing statement and reminded Members of the options open to them.


Mr Dorman concluded by stating that although a metal door had been installed at the rear of the premises to allow deliveries that there was no approved access via that point and that the Applicant would need to obtain planning permission to use it.


The Applicant’s Advocate concluded by reminding Members that the Sub-Committee had only been convened because of residents’ complaints.  He re-affirmed that stock would be moved into the premises via a rear entrance.  Whilst the Applicant acknowledged anti-social behaviour in the area, he would only have responsibility for his own premises.  Members should not consider commercial need when making their decision.  The Applicant was an experienced retailer and was sensitive to residents needs.


The Decision


Members of the Sub-Committee withdrew to reach their decision.





That the application be accepted subject to the following conditions:-


1.    A CCTV system with minimum 4 colour-cameras recording at a frame-rate of not less than 15 frames-per-second shall be maintained in good working order at the premises.  One of these cameras shall provide a “head & shoulders” picture (I.D shot) of all customers entering the premises.  One camera shall be situated behind the Serving Counter so as to capture the faces and activities of customers at the point of sale.  One camera shall overlook the alcohol-display area.  The other camera shall be mounted externally so as to cover the area immediately outside the store.  The system shall record at all times the premises are open.  Recordings shall be kept for a minimum of 14 days and shall be produced promptly on DVD (preferred) or CD and, in any event within 3 days, at the request of Police, Trading Standards or Council Officers.  The system shall be checked daily and, should the system fail to operate on any occasion, the DPS (or representative) shall promptly notify the Licensing Authority Licensing department and Police Licensing department and shall take prompt steps to repair or replace the system.


2.    With the exception of alcohol displayed behind the Counter, alcohol shall not be displayed within 5 metres of the customer entrance/exit door.


3.    Spirits shall only be displayed behind the Counter. (as volunteered in the schedule)


4.    Challenge 25 shall be in operation. (as volunteered in the schedule)



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