To receive the report of the Chief Officer Elections and Regulatory on an application for the grant of a premises licence, made by Mr Josh Owen Miller, for Residential Property 222 Queenswood Drive, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 3ND.
The report of the Chief Officer Elections and Regulatory presented an application for Member’s consideration for the grant of a premises licence for a residential property at 222 Queenswood Drive, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 3ND.
In attendance at the meeting for this item were:
· Josh Miller – Applicant
· Contanze Bell – Applicant’s representative
· Bob Patterson – West Yorkshire Police Licensing Officer
· Councillor John Illingworth
The Legal Officer outlined the proceedings for the hearing.
The Licensing Officer presented the application providing the following information:
· The application was for the grant of a premises licence at 222 Queenswood Drive, which is a residential property. The applicant is Mr Josh Miller, he is also the proposed designated premises supervisor.
· The application was for the sale of alcohol every day between the hours of 21:00 and 03:00am. No non-standard timings for bank holidays or special occasions had been proposed.
· The applicant proposed to store alcohol on the ground floor in one room and dispatch directly from the premises to the delivery address.
· The application was appended to the submitted report at Appendix A. The applicant proposed to promote the licensing objectives by taking steps identified in Section M of the application form.
· Representations had been received from West Yorkshire Police and the Environmental Protection Team in their capacity as a responsible authority. The objection from Environmental Protection Team was appended at Appendix C, with further information submitted as supplementary information as the officer was unable to attend the meeting. The objection from West Yorkshire Police was appended at Appendix D, with additional information also submitted by the police as supplementary information.
· The licensing authority had received seven individual letters of objection and an email objection from each of the Ward Councillors, all of which opposed the application on grounds of noise disturbance and public nuisance. Redacted copies of the representations were attached to the submitted report at Appendix E. Supplementary information had been received from Cllr Illingworth one of the Ward Councillors who was present at the meeting.
· Attached at Appendix F was the list of other licensed premises in the area with their licensed activities.
Ms Contanze Bell, the applicant’s representative informed the sub-committee of the following points:
· The proposal was for an alcohol delivery service from 222 Queenswood Drive. There had been email exchanges detailing how the service would operate and addressed issues of noise and disturbance.
· Originally Mr Miller had proposed to keep the alcohol in his vehicle. However, he now realises that this is not possible and appreciates the difficulties in doing this. Therefore, the proposal is now for the alcohol to be stored in a ground floor room in the premises. Mr Miller will take calls and email orders and then deliver from the premises to the delivery address.
Responding to questions from the sub-committee Ms Bell provided the following information:
· Noise concerns were not well founded as Mr Miller shares the property with his parents who would not tolerate being disturbed by Mr Miller loading his vehicle.
· The premises is on a busy road which has buses running on it until 01:00am. There is also a taxi business nearby which operates a 24-hour airport taxi service which has not had a representation submitted by Environmental Protection Team in relation to noise and disturbance.
Mr Bob Patterson the Licensing Officer for West Yorkshire Police was present at the meeting and informed the sub-committee of the following points:
· Since a private meeting with Ms Bell prior to the hearing he had formed a different view to that presented in emails and the supplementary information in relation to the operation of this service delivery model. He said that the main obstacles of the application had been in the delivery, dispatch, and storage of alcohol. However, these had now been addressed.
· It had been clarified that age verification would be addressed at point of delivery. Should a delivery not take place the alcohol would be returned to the premises.
· Since 2005 there has been over 130 delivery establishments set up in Leeds with about 110 still operating. The differences from this operation and those established operations are the way in which Mr Miller receives the orders, the payment for the orders and the times of business, with most establishments delivering a 24-hour service from lock ups rather than a residential property.
· It was noted that Mr Miller had applied for his personal licence.
· Mr Patterson said that his objection to the application had been the fact the operation had specified that the service would be from a vehicle and as per the Licensing Act this is not possible. Had he known in advance of the proposals for this to be from a premises he would have withdrawn his objection.
Responding to questions from Members the sub-committee were provided with the following information:
· Conditions are set as standard with individual cases requiring a few ‘tweaks’.
· The supplementary information outlined the conditions for this type of operation, he highlighted that the alcohol must be dispatched from the premises, more employees and dispatch via a third party should business increase and the need to return to the premises before selling again. He also said that should the date and times of dispatch not be adhered to this could result in a heavy fine or custodial sentence.
Cllr Illingworth was present at the meeting and set out his concerns as follows:
· This is area is populated by students who have late night parties The Kirkstall and Headingley ward councillors receive many complaints in relation to noise and disturbance.
· In relation to the road on which the premises is located he said that it is busy during the day but generally quiet through the night. This is an area where families with children live and for the wellbeing of the residents it should be a peaceful and relaxing place to live.
· He was of the view that he did not see how this type of business could not be operated without causing noise and disturbance. Bottles of alcohol rattling and slamming of vehicle doors whilst loading. The noise of motorised vehicles is multiplied during the quieter hours of night.
· He also had concerns in relation to outdoor parties and events and was of the view that delivery should only be to an address not to parks or other open spaces.
Responding to questions Cllr Illingworth provided the following information:
· 9pm until 3am captures the peak time for student parties, it was also the time when most anti-social behaviour occurs. He had not spoken to any residents in relation to an alteration of the operating hours.
· This is a quiet area, although it was acknowledged that there is a hub which has a post office and social club. It was noted that the social club does have a limited terminal hour.
Ms Bell in summing up addressed some of the concerns raised:
· Mr Miller has a clean DBS check.
· He had worked for Hermes Delivery Service so had experience of customer service, and age verification. Whilst working as a delivery driver he had not received any complaints from neighbours.
· It was noted that Mr Miller also visits the gym often late at night and had not received complaints from neighbours of noise or disturbance.
· Mr Miller would not have customers calling at the premises for sales, sales would only be for delivery.
· Mr Miller has an SUV which is quite new and has automated boot so has a soft close. He has offered to look into similar closing mechanism for driver and passenger doors. He would not use the car radio.
· Loading of alcohol would be via the side patio door which is a sliding door so quieter than a normal door.
· He has offered to look at how bottles could be loaded without rattling.
· He lives with his parents who would not tolerate any noise or disturbance and would be an inherent checking balance to be a sensible and considerate neighbour.
· The area has an existing established economy with taxi business across the road, late night buses and a rugby ground nearby.
· She said that Mr Patterson had been impressed with Mr Miller in his answering of questions in relation to age verification etc. There had been a genuine misunderstanding in relation to the use of his vehicle for the business.
· She said that she had been surprised that the Environment Officer had spoken to Mr Millers mother in relation to this application as she is not the applicant and not involved in the business.
In response to further questions from the Members, the following information was provided:
· Mr Miller would accept all conditions as set out.
· If the business increased Mr Miller would employ his brother to assist him with deliveries who would be equally minded to being a good neighbour. If the business increases to such an extent, he would look at new larger premises.
· Alcohol can only be delivered to an address. If sale does not take place the alcohol must be taken back to Queenswood Drive before being sold again.
RESOLVED – To grant premises licence as set out with the additional condition that no car radio to be used, side patio door to be used for dispatch from premises and vehicle to have a boot with automated soft close mechanism.