A late-night takeaway owner wants to sell food until midnight but police and licensing officers are opposing his plans.
Fadi Bedewi, 35, runs Grill 66 in Queen’s Road, Brighton, and wants a late-night refreshment licence so that he can serve customers an hour after his current 11pm closing time.
Brighton and Hove City Council licensing officer Emma Bullen said that she was concerned about the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance.
While Mr Bedewi had no plan to sell alcohol, the takeaway was in a central part of Brighton and Hove that had been designated a “cumulative impact area” because of the saturation of licensed premises such as pubs, bars and clubs.
The council’s policies restricted the granting of new or extended licences in the cumulative impact area, save in exceptional circumstances, because it tended to have more crime and disorder, especially at night.
The takeaway, yards from Brighton railway station, is in the St Peter’s and North Laine ward which has the highest rate of alcohol-related incidents recorded by the police in Brighton and Hove.
Inspector Robert Lovell said in a formal letter of objection: “Sussex Police believe that granting this application will add to the existing negative cumulative effect in an area already saturated with late-opening licensed premises.”
He said: “Sussex Police have concerns over the granting of a new licence at this premises due to its location.
“Dispersal of persons from the city centre making their way to the train station or towards residential areas surrounding Queen’s Road will be impacted by a late-night refreshment premises.
“It would keep persons in the area longer, increasing the risk of crime and disorder and public nuisance.”
Ms Bullen said in her letter of objection that the takeaway had advertised later opening hours in 2017.
She said: “I wrote to the premises twice in December 2017 following a query from police licensing asking if the premises had a licence for late-night refreshment.
“At that time the premises was advertising its opening times online and on the premises as Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm until 12am and Friday and Saturday from 5pm until 2am.
“Letters of advice were written and the venue was monitored by police licensing on several occasions and was not found to be trading after 11pm so the case was closed.”
Grill 66 has since used “temporary event notices” to enable legal later opening on key nights of the year.
Mr Bedewi said that he inadvertantly opened too late when he bought the business in 2017 but had since kept to the letter of the law.
He committed to having security cameras as well as employing qualified door staff for the later trading times.
Mr Bedewi said that his takeaway was on the edge of the “cumulative impact area” and next to an area with more relaxed policies. These permitted takeaways to serve until midnight.
He said: “One has seen the authorities argue before, where premises have been just outside the CIZ (cumulative impact zone), that CIZ considerations should still be applied. So the reverse would equally apply.”
He said that Queen’s Road was one of the main streets serving the late-night economy and added that staying open after 11pm would not create problems, whether of crime and disorder or public nuisance.
He said that he had legally stayed open until 1am for Pride and Halloween when staff supervised the premises and there had been no problems.
The application, to trade unti midnight seven nights a week, is due to be decided by a licensing panel made up of three councillors at Hove Town Hall next Tuesday (18 June).