The Licensing Sub-Committee last night imposed strict new conditions on two 24-hour off-licences on Brixton Hill. Council officials and the Police applied for the shops to be reviewed following allegations of serious breaches of their conditions, including the employment of illegal workers in both cases and the lack of proper security and management in one case in an area of high public nuisance.
Both cases were settled following negotiations between the shopowners, the Police and the Council. While no side got entirely what they were after, consensus was reached on a set of new conditions to ensure proper employment methods, measures to deter street drinkers and a reduction of hours so neither shop is open overnight. The allegations were particularly serious and the Police and Council had initially asked for the licences to be revoked altogether, so this compromise allows the businesses to continue trading on the condition that the issues are resolved.
Premier Food & Wine at 112 Brixton Hill will now be open until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Costcutter at 98 Brixton Hill will open until midnight Sunday to Thursday and until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and they will also ensure that they install a door and shutter so the premises can be secured overnight.
Cllr Martin Tiedemann was able to address the committee and a number of local residents made representations in writing that the committee took into account before signing off the conditions.
Brixton Hill has been featured in the New York Times Travel section as an up-and-coming destination, the pitch being that our locally-owned businesses “are successfully eschewing the onslaught of gentrification and proving that cool doesn’t have to come with a high price tag.”
The article highlights the stretch of Brixton Hill around the White Horse, including Alkaline juice bar, the Fish Lounge, Negril, F.Mondays and Kata Kata.
One local resident told the NYT, “It’s the music and cultural history that made all the developers want to come to Brixton in the first place. On Brixton Hill that creative community spirit is still alive; this area is for real people.”
Francklin of Kata Kata said he appreciates the authenticy of Brixton Hill. “My customers are local and happy to be in a place that is relaxed and fair with basic prices and honesty. That’s what this area is really good at, it’s honest… we want to keep Brixton Hill as it is. It should be the place where a 60-year-old resident can spend an afternoon across the table from a local politician.”
Premier Food & Wine at 112 Brixton Hill is subject to a review of its licence following the discovery of illegal workers employed at the shop and sleeping in the premises. This was part of an investigation by the Council and Police into 24-hour off licences, which they tell us are disproportionately associated with criminal offences in the area. Employment of illegal workers means that those employees are not subject to other rights at work and are easily exploited and can betray a lack of commitment to other laws.
The Council has therefore sought to deal with these serious offences by revoking the license. The details of their case can be read here.
The review will be considered by the Licensing Sub-Committee at a future meeting. Interested parties can make a written representation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 13th February. Residents can also contact councillors should they wish for representations to be made on their behalf. Representations should address the licensing objectives:
- Preventing crime and disorder;
- Public safety;
- Preventing public nuisance; and
- Protecting children from harm.
Top Joe’s, who have taken over UK Food & Wine at 262 Brixton Hill, have applied for the ability to sell alcohol 24 hours, seven days a week. Currently sales of alcohol are only permitted 8am to 11pm through the week and 10am to 10.30pm Sundays.
Last year the Licensing Sub Committee placed strong restrictions on the licence of UK Food & Wine after representations by the Council, Police and Cllr Martin Tiedemann. There were reports of sexual harassment, public nuisance and crime at the area, exacerbated by the sale of alcohol especially high strength alcohol and spirits. The store was found to be selling smuggled alcohol and there were other management issues. At the hearing, Licensing members decided to restrict the kinds of alcohol the store could sell and make other provisions to ensure the management kept to their responsibilities.
The new management are now seeking approval to extend the hours. Residents can make representations, either for or against, by emailing email@example.com – any representation must relate to at least one of the licensing objectives: preventing crime and disorder; public safety; preventing public nuisance; or protecting children from harm.
The deadline for representations has been extended to 15 October 2016.
Sainsbury’s have been granted planning permission for a training centre at the rear of their store on Brixton Hill at the corner of Lambert Road. This will comprise five training rooms and associated facilities for managers in the region.
The good news for local residents is that this will enhance cycle parking at the site and reduce unauthorised parking by shoppers at the store – something that councillors and residents have been calling for since the start of the year. Councillor Martin Tiedemann had made numerous complaints about the store not doing enough to prevent parking on the pavement and damage to the trees as well as the lack of cycling provision. Local resident Erin Gill created a petition calling for cycle parking at the store.
The proposals now are for six cycle stands on Lambert Road, which are intended for staff receiving training but will be able to be used by customers. Bollards will be placed along the edge of the private land to prevent parking to the side of the store. The development will be ‘car-free’ with a green travel plan to outline how Sainsbury’s will help its staff coming from further afield to use the excellent transport links in our area.
Cllr Martin Tiedemann commented, “I am pleased that Sainsbury’s and the Council took on board my concerns about parking on the pavement and the lack of cycle parking and will put measures in place. This will make for a more pleasant and safer environment for local residents and customers.”