A night club boss faces opposition to his plans to sell takeaway drinks on Brighton seafront.
Too many drunks, too few toilets and too many people flocking to the prom, making social distancing “almost impossible”, were among the objections from Sussex Police.
Shooshh said that it planned to trade – effectively as an off-licence – from 10am to 10pm for seven days from next Wednesday (10 June) under “temporary event notice” rules.
The club’s bosses plan to serve food and drink to no more than 30 customers at a time from the outside terrace of its King’s Road Arches premises.
It comes a fortnight after Brighton and Hove City Council licensing bosses wrote to all beach and seafront licensees.
The letter said: “The Licensing Team, Seafront Office and Sussex Police are receiving many reports of large gatherings, public nuisance, public urination and heavy littering on the seafront and beach.
“We have serious concerns that these issues are occurring during the current covid-19 pandemic.
“While we understand that the government’s restrictions on trading are affecting businesses, the most important message is still to control the virus and save lives.”
Sussex Police sent a letter to the council licensing team about the plans by Shooshh, setting out the reasons for its objection.
The force said: “The premises is located along Brighton and Hove’s busy seafront area between East Street and West Street.
“The location has a number of bars and restaurants that already are permitted to offer off-sales as well as a number of off-licenses within the locality.
“These premises trade under premises licences that often have strict conditions attached. Unless imposed by a licensing sub-committee, a TEN (temporary event notice) cannot have conditions applied to it.
“If this notice is permitted, we believe any food and drink purchased will be for consumption on the beach.
“We have noticed since the bars and restaurants in this area have reopened, an increase in daytime intoxication along the seafront which increases the risk of crime and disorder occurring.
“As this notice is for off-sales, the venue will not be able to monitor who will be consuming the drinks purchased. Proxy sales could occur to already intoxicated persons or to under 18s.
“Alcohol and the beach is not a great mix. Currently there are limited lifeguard provisions along the seafront due to covid-19.
“By permitting additional facilities to sell alcohol we increase the risk of intoxicated persons entering the water and coming to harm.
“Under covid-19 it is the responsibility of everyone to social distance – due to the high numbers of persons flocking to this area, social distancing is almost impossible in this area.
“By permitting this notice, an additional venue operating is adding to the attraction of people heading to the beach area and risking further transmission of the virus.
“There is very limited public toilet facilities open currently. This has led to an increase in public nuisance within the area due to people using open public areas to urinate.”
A council licensing panel is due to hold a “virtual” hearing at 10am on Monday (8 June) to decide whether to pull the plug or impose conditions.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this sort of story.
Here we are in this phoney war period between either the virus being defeated or else returning in a big second wave and no-one knows quite how to react. We live in the no-mans land of mixed messages.
On the one hand we need our businesses open again and in this case there’s clearly a demand for beer on Brighton seafront as the whole place is marketed as party central.
On the other hand we’re now terrified of people getting tanked up, failing to social distance, and then we have to clear up their takeaway rubbish.
Never mind that people can buy beer elsewhere and still arrive on the beach with six packs of lager.
Never mind that least least 20% of the population don’t give a toss about Covid 19 and you’ll find them carrying on as normal – whilst the rest of us live in fear at home.
Never mind that these seafront panics are temporary anyway because the weather turns cold today and the beach is empty.
And whatever we decide today we’ll need another policy tomorrow, as the rules change almost daily.
Those that are serving drinks from sea front bars and clubs should have their licences removed permanently. It is just irresponsible. If the licencees are trading they obviously not responsible enough to hold a licence. People will bring drinks from elsewhere but at MUCH lower capacity, they have to carry it.
David, why exactly?
Do you mean they shouldn’t be serving any drinks at this time?
These are businesses that are operating within the law and which normally serve beer outside their premises, sometimes with food. As lockdown rules ease, they are attempting to get some turnover to keep their long term prospects afloat. They are still having to pay rent and other bills and will have lost a huge part of their annual income that they will never get back.
I’m just wondering what our seafront will look like in a few months time with many of the current businesses lost and with so many people unemployed once the furlough scheme ends.
when i come down from portslade with me mates i love a few pints on the beach then a kebab and football kick about – aint no harm
seafront is for fun, booze, the lads – thats what clubs are for
Init lee. I live on Portland road. It’s not a nice place to live. I love coming down for a pint on a Saturday. Leave them be blood
Shoosh should be shit down, the guys who run it launder money for gangsters.
They dont pay their staff for months and when they do they mark wages slips to the time of £3000 plus, so it messes up their benefits.
It’s the dodgiest deal going and I’m sure the cops object as they know about the money laundering schemes they get up to.
One day the evidence will be there for them to be locked up nicely in jail for many, many moons.
I wonder if the management know that their office and vehicles are bugged….so we can supply the organised crime squad information on what they are planning
Good luck shooosh, you will need it