Agenda item

Application to vary a premises licence in respect of Darbar Restauarant, 17 Kirkgate, Leeds, LS1 6BY

To receive and consider the attached report of the Head of Licensing and Registration regarding an application to vary a premises licence made by Ms L Keenan.



Members heard from the Applicant that the proposals were for a variation to remove two conditions on the licence relating to the number of covers and the need to serve alcohol ancillary to meals.  In effect this was to change the premises from a restaurant to a bar/ live music venue.


The Applicant had met with the police and Environmental Health and as a result had agreed a dispersal policy and tried to address their concerns by offering conditions including a reduction in the hours for live music.


The Applicant explained the concept was for a music venue for professionals aged 18 to 30 similar to a venue run by the same individual in Manchester.  That venue had been successful and had turned around the premises and there were no complaints or trouble.  The Applicant was clear that he was not seeking to attract the sorts of customers who frequented the bars on Call Lane.  His music policy would be light rock similar to other venues run in other parts of the city centre.


In answer to questions he confirmed that the capacity would be 350 people and that they were not aiming to operate as a night club even though he accepted they would have permission for night club hours.


Members then heard from West Yorkshire Police who outlined that the reason for the conditions was to tie the premises to restaurant use and prevent it changing into a bar.  The police submitted that the premises were in the Cumulative Impact Policy area but accepted that Kirkgate was not a violent crime hotspot.  However it was located in close proximity to Briggate which was a violent crime hotspot and had been in the top three streets for the last five years (Briggate and Lower Briggate excluding New Briggate).  Police said that under the proposed new licensing policy this would be classed as an area of concern rather than a hotspot however since the policy was published for consultation crime in the area in question had increased.


The peak time for offences on Briggate was midnight to 05:00 hours.  Overall violent crime in the city linked to the night time economy was reducing but 36% still occurred on the street and could not be linked to specific licensed premises.  This was the reason behind the Cumulative Impact Policy itself.


On conditions the police noted the dispersal policy and the aim to disperse the customers towards Kirkgate and away from Briggate.  The conditions offered by the Applicant at 3 and 4 should include the approval of West Yorkshire Police and there should be set times when door staff would be on duty.


Members then heard from Environmental Health who also objected on cumulative impact grounds.  Environmental Health indicated that there were flats 20 – 25 metres away above shops and that there was a night club already operating in this area from which Environmental Health had had a complaint about noise from people on the street.  Environmental Health do not have the powers to control such noise and allowing a second venue to open would bring more people and therefore more complaints.  Environmental Health were unconvinced by the dispersal policy and did not feel it would address this problem of public nuisance.


In relation to noise breakout Environmental Health informed the Committee that the premises had submitted a noise report for planning purposes which made a lot of assumptions and which Environmental Health were not particularly happy with.


On the question of conditions Environmental Health felt that keeping the conditions of operating a restaurant created a buffer zone reducing public nuisance in the area.  Adding conditions to the individual licence would mitigate the increasing impact to a degree but would not prevent it.  About 20% of noise complaints received by Environmental Health for the night time economy are from the noise of patrons on the street rather than noise breakout from the premises.


In response the Applicant stated that they would agree to Environmental Health conditions and the police conditions.  Their security company would be involved in marshalling customers under the dispersal policy and there was a discussion with a local taxi firm on a direct link to ensure patrons could be collected from the premises.  Queues would be kept inside where possible or marshalled and the small smoking area would be supervised.


In answer to questions the Applicant confirmed that planning permission had been granted and members requested a copy of the permission and noted the noise attenuation condition and that permission was for a change of use from A3 to A4/D2 allowing use as a bar or night club.


RESOLVED – After careful consideration the Committee decided to refuse the application to grant a variation to the Licence as they felt that the conditions discussed during the hearing would not be effective to address the problems of an increased number patrons in the street going to and from the premises and the change was likely to add to the cumulative impact of premises in the city centre.

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