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.
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