Agenda item

Application to vary a premises licence held by Grocery Store, 206 Woodhouse Lane, Woodhouse, Leeds, LS2 9DX

The report of Chief Officer Elections and Regulatory requests Members consideration for an application to vary a premises licence held by Grocery Store, 206 Woodhouse Lane, Woodhouse, Leeds, LS2 9DX.


The report of the Chief Officer Elections and Regulatory presented an application to vary a premises licence made by Mr Sarwat Abdulla Omar, for Grocery Store, 206 Woodhouse Lane, Woodhouse, Leeds, LS2 9DX.


In attendance at the hearing were:

  • Robert Jordan - Solicitor
  • Sarwat Abdulla Omar - Applicant
  • Gary Mann – Environmental Protection Team


At the hearing, despite best efforts, it was noted that the Sub Committee was made up of two Members, rather than three. All parties to the hearing agreed to proceed with two Members.


The Legal Officer set out the procedure for the hearing and the Licensing Officer presented the application which provided the Sub Committee with the following information.

  • The premises operates every day for the retail of alcohol for consumption off the premises, 09:00am to 22:00pm under its current license. The application proposed to extend these hours to 00:00 to 23:59pm. The application is also sought to include a service hatch as identified on the plans submitted. This will be in use between 00:00 and 06:00am.
  • The application had attracted representations from the Environmental Protection Team & West Yorkshire Police. Agreements between the police and an agreement had been reached prior to the hearing, and consequently their representation was withdrawn. Conditions from the police are at Appendix D of the report and the Environmental Health objections at Appendix E. The Environmental Protection Team’s objection was on the grounds of insufficient information as to the Licensing objective to prevent public nuisance.
  • The current license that was proposed to be varied was submitted as a new application in October 2020 and the premises had received no public objection or complaints from the local community; a copy of the original licence is attached at Appendix A.


 The Licensing Sub Committee was informed of the following points by Robert Jordan:

  • Some premises within the immediate vicinity of the Grocery Store have a license until 4am, the applicant would be satisfied with also receiving a license from 9am until 4am if deemed appropriate by members of the Sub Committee.
  • The current license permitted deliveries between 7am and 7pm which was proposed to stay the time in order to limit any potential disturbance to local residents and any potential noise and nuisance to be expected by the variation could be dealt with via conditions. It was noted there was no evidence of noise transmission to residents living in the flats above the shop and they were separated by concrete floors.
  • The mention of potential nuisance via cars parking outside the premises and people buying alcohol and then using seating not located at the premises, for example, outside The Packhorse pub or Mahmood’s restaurant, contained within Environmental Health’s objection, was deemed not relevant by the applicant team as there are bollards and a cycle lane immediately outside the shop front and the seating is not on their site or their issue to deal with, and based on speculation.
  • To manage the queues that mat occur the applicant was happy to increase the size of the lobby and noted stringent measures were already in place to deal with this.


Gary Mann from the Environmental Protection Team attended the meeting and provided the Sub Committee with the following information:

  • The potential noise and nuisance were noted to affect the residents of the several flats above the Grocery Store and many flats in the surrounding area. A section 106 agreement in place for the planning approval of the flats is that they are only to be occupied by students; it was noted that this leads to a faster turnover of residents who are less likely to complain despite being affected by nuisance.
  • The main themes of the objection were; cars could park in the cycle lane outside the premises, many people walk that way home from town who will then have an incentive to drink more and make more noise, the intensification of use, including the movement of staff would likely disturb residents as there had been no noise assessment report conducted or any mitigation schemes in place and the many tables and chairs of other premises in the area could be used by people to drink on after purchasing alcohol from the shop. Although the current license until 10:00pm has received no complaints, the new proposed hours will likely increase overnight noise which may receive complaints.
  • The application was considered to be in a ‘grey area’ as it is hard to predict noise and enforce measures to limit it; the officer urged members caution to approve noting the potential disturbance to peoples sleep through unnatural noise that was not previously there.


In response to question posed to the applicant team, members were provided with the following information:

  • The reference made to other premises being open until 4am within the vicinity of Grocery Store were mainly takeaways, nearby premises with an alcohol license were open until latest 2am. I was confirmed that the applicant would be accepting of opening hours until 2am to become in keeping with other local alcohol licenses.
  • There is an alcohol detox centre 200 metres from the shop which, as part of the conditions agreed with the police, staff will be provided with some training in order to deal with difficult situations which may arise from this. There are also restrictions in place regarding sale of cider and lager by volume.
  • The applicant will consider sound insultation and acoustic testing, should the Environmental Protection Team provide evidence that noise mitigation is necessary upon approval of a variation of the license.
  • The application had been submitted due to other premises fairly nearby having a hatch and later opening hours and also to assist with increase of sales to combat rising energy prices. It was confirmed that the applicant would be accepting of removing the hatch from the proposal in order to reduce the likelihood of queues which could lead to public nuisance. Customers can then enter the shop where there will always be more than one member of staff; a risk assessment can be implemented as part of the conditions to see if door staff would be appropriate.
  • Alcohol makes up around 10% of the shops sales so the intention is not just to be able to sell alcohol during the extended hours but food and household items also. 


In response to question posed to the Environmental Protection Officer in attendance, members were provided with the following information:

  • Noise conditions relate to licensed actives, for example music, so the noise related to administrating the shop, such as stacking the shelves would be unenforceable. Any retrofit of noise insultation was deemed difficult and expensive and may have been appropriate works when originally fitting out the shop.
  • There had been no complaints received to Environmental Protection Team related to the neighbouring site, Mahmood’s. As this restaurant was open until 4am, members were of the opinion that the seats were likely to be already occupied and the perceived use of them by drunk people was only subjective.


The Licensing Sub Committee considered at length all the information provided to them by both the applicant and the objectors.


RESOLVED – To grant permission modified as, no installation of the service hatch and opening hours limited to 9:00am to 2:00am.


Supporting documents: