Brighton takeaway's late licence application turned down

Posted On 09 Jan 2012 at 1:56 pm

A Brighton takeaway has been refused a licence to serve food and drink round the clock.

The Sussex Grill, in St James’s Street, Brighton, wanted to serve non-alcoholic drinks and hot and cold food from 7am to 5am every day.

It currently has a licence to trade from 8am to midnight.

More than a dozen people wrote letters of support and several neighbours objected.

One supporter was Councillor Ben Duncan, who represents Queen’s Park ward for the Green Party on Brighton and Hove City Council.

He wrote: “The presence of security guards at the premises during the extended hours will contribute positively to community safety.

“The proposed operation would not add substantially to the night-time noise in the area as it is situated adjacent to a bus stop serving a night-time bus route.

“Refusal would affect the future viability of the business.”

A council licensing panel heard Dr Janie Thomas object on behalf of the Kingscliffe Society.


Dr Thomas, of Charles Street, Brighton, said: “Those of us who object absolutely dread having another round-the-clock takeaway.

“So many people have submitted objections, not for the fun of it, but because they’re desperate. There are many neighbours who would value a good night’s sleep.

“The claim by the applicant that there would be a largely professional clientele is unpersuasive.”

She said that a takeaway serving people who had been drinking all night would mean more litter, high jinks, urinating and disturbance.

Another objector, Roger Rolfe, of nearby Princes Street, said: “I cannot even think of going to bed before 2am.

“In Brighton we decided to have a mix of people who never sleep with people who are desperate to sleep.”

He shared sample entries from a “noise diary” with the panel, including frequent screaming and couples arguing.

Licensing expert Doug Simmonds spoke for the applicant. He said that while the St James’s area was residential, St James’s Street was more of a mixed use street.

He offered to amend the application to 2am – the usual cut-off time for premises in mixed use areas.


The applicant, Mumtaz Ahmad, a mother of two from Wilfrid Road, Hove, said: “There are many benefits attached to extending our opening hours.”

She said that longer hours would create jobs in Sussex Grill and among door staff and added: “We would be providing a service to our community.”

Currently, she said, staff cleaning the premises were having to turn away doctors after a night shift and police officers.

Objectors said that a nearby premises that had operated illegally after midnight under previous owners had attracted clubbers and drunks.

Councillor Dee Simson, who chaired the panel, said that she and her Conservative colleague, Councillor Lynda Hyde, and Green councillor Pete West had listened carefully to all the representations.

The premises were in the council’s cumulative impact area, where licences would be granted only in exceptional circumstances.

Councillor Simson said that the panel did not believe that exceptional circumstances had been proved.

She said that extended hours would bring more people to the area and that the panel was refusing the application.

Sussex Grill was also recently refused planning permission to extend its opening hours.

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