Licence Refused for New Restaurant Mezaziq

Council agrees late night openings unsuitable for residential area

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A new Shepherds Bush restaurant has been refused a premises licence after police and residents voiced concerns that its late night opening would lead to crime and disorder.

An application was made by Shazil Hamid, for Mezaziq, to be opened on Goldhawk Road, in the building which was the Brackenbury Arms pub till it closed three years ago.

The application was for late night refreshment, entertainment, such as recorded music, and to open until 11.30pm from Sunday to Thursday, and until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.

The application also asked for longer opening hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and Eid with the restaurant staying open until 5am.

The request was turned down by Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s licensing sub-committee on Monday March 12 on the basis that the licence as it stood would not meeting two of the four vital licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder, and the prevention of public nuisance.

Eleven residents, including Rosemary Petit representing Brackenbury Residents’ Association, and Annabel Clarke, representing Cathnor Park Area Action Group, made representations against the application citing late night openings as ‘unsuitable for a residential area’.

Ms Petit said: “In our view, a close of 11pm is quite late enough”, while Ms Clarke said: “The applicant should not be granted a licence later than 11pm as this would be in keeping with the majority of the surrounding licensed premises and should also prevent large numbers of patrons arriving after midnight.”

Cllr Victoria Brocklebank-Fowler, who chairs the sub-committee, said: “After having heard such strong representations from residents, local councillors, the police and the council’s environmental protection team, we believe that granting a licence would have created public nuisance and crime and disorder. We felt that we had to refuse the application to prevent these things from happening.”

The Metropolitan Police had asked for the premises’ opening hours to be curtailed to 11.30pm seven-days-a-week, with no seasonal variations, and for several conditions to be imposed on the licence. These included no shisha being smoked on or outside the premises, that CCTV should cover the areas inside and outside of the premises and that one member of staff on site at all times should have a first aid qualification. However, by the time of the licensing hearing, the owners of Mezaziq had not agreed to any of the recommendations.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s environmental health team also expressed their worries that the restaurant’s licence would lead to problems with noise disturbance with people leaving the restaurant in the early hours of the morning, and because of the noise from extractor fans.

When making their decision, members of the sub-committee also took into consideration the fact that Mezaziq falls under the Shepherds Bush cumulative impact area, known as a ‘saturation zone’, where there are already many bars, pubs, restaurants and off-licenses in a tightly packed and small space.

The cumulative impact policy, brought into effect last summer (2011), works by presuming that any new or changed licence would have a negative impact on an area that already has many licensed shops and bars. The policy states that the licensing authority should refuse all applications that fall within the saturation zone, but only if representations are received.

Where anyone making valid representations tells the licensing sub-committee they believe a new licence could impact on any of the four licensing objectives – the prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm – then the applicant has to explain how the granting of a premises licence would not have a detrimental impact on the area.

Mr Hamid now has 21 days from receipt of the decision letter to appeal the sub-committee’s decision at Magistrate’s Court.

March 23, 2012