Police challenge Brighton takeaway bosses’ request for late-night licence to sell beer

Police have opposed an application for a drinks and late-night refreshment licence by the people running a new takeaway in Whitehawk.

The owners of Portos Grill, in Arundel Road, Brighton, want to be able to sell beer and peri peri chicken until midnight from the old Fabric Warehouse premises.

Sussex Police licensing officer Hannah Staplehurst was concerned about the adverse effects on levels of crime and anti-social behaviour, adding to the strain on the police.

She spoke out at a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel today (Thursday 14 January), saying: “Granting a new late-night refreshment licence with on and off-sales of alcohol could lead to people congregating in this area after an evening out in the city.

“This is proven by calls to police by other licensed premises in the area experiencing issues such as anti-social behaviour, caused by intoxicated members of the public, and the police having to assist in detaining people or moving people on.”

There were three other licensed businesses in Arundel Road, the panel was told, with a nearby off-licence in Whitehawk Road and alcohol available from a convenience store and Co-op.

One of the three members of the licensing panel, Conservative councillor Dee Simson, asked about a business closing after an affray. Ms Staplehurst said that there were previously issues at a nearby pub.

Councillor Simson was concerned about the lack of conditions on the proposed licence, saying that it should be “tied down” to a food-led operation.

Green councillor Lizzie Deane, who chaired the panel, asked if the owners would accept a ban on spirit sales.

Sandra Aguiar, a director of Portos Grill owner KL Direct, told the panel that she would be happy to accept “restaurant conditions” and to be able to sell beer and wine only.

She said that the takeaway was intended to be mid-market, like Nandos, and the owners just wanted to offer customers the chance to buy a beer with their meal.

She said that any customer would have to buy a full meal to drink alcohol, not just a bag of chips.

Ms Aguiar said: “We don’t think we’re going to attract the wrong crowd you’re concerned about.

“Our offer is premium. Our prices are not cheap. You can’t buy anything cheaper than £7. We don’t intend to act as an off-licence or bar.”

She said that if people just wanted to buy a beer, they would be more likely to go to nearby Lidl or one of the off-licences in the area.

Even though the application was until midnight, Ms Aguiar said that the plan was to offer deliveries only after 10pm.

Once the business was operating, Ms Aguiar was expected to be the “designated premises supervisor”, with day-to-day responsibility for drink sales.

She told the panel that she was a personal licence holder and had 15 years’ experience working in the restaurant and catering industry.

The panel retired to make its decision which will is due to be made public within five working days.

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