Police oppose late licence for new restaurant at Brighton Marina

A new restaurant has applied for a licence until 2am but faces opposition from Sussex Police.

The applicant Heman Rasul has asked Brighton and Hove City Council for a late licence for the new Al Agha Lounge Middle Eastern restaurant at the Waterfront in Brighton Marina.

But police licensing officials are concerned about the prospect of crime and disorder and public nuisance, not least with more people living at the Marina.

The council carried out a licensing policy review recently and settled on a midnight closing time for new restaurants.

A licensing panel is due to decide the Al Agha Lounge application at a hearing starting at 10am next Wednesday (12 May).

A letter of objection from an unnamed police licensing officer said: “The description of the new premises is a Middle Eastern restaurant as well as a cocktail and shisha bar with seating both inside and out for approximately 150 customers.

“As with any operation that will include the sale and consumption of alcohol, we are concerned about the negative effect in relation to crime and disorder as well as public nuisance, especially with a late-night venue.

“Although the applicant has offered a number of conditions, we are unable to see how a new and additional late licence in this area will not have a negative impact.”

Sussex Police would prefer alcohol sales to end at 11.30pm and the restaurant to close at midnight.

Further proposed conditions include ensuring a member of staff is on duty in the 50-seat outdoor area at all times, there is no “vertical drinking”, and a personal license holder is on duty from 7pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

Conditions suggested by the applicant include waiter service of alcoholic drinks to seated customers only and full training in alcohol sales to all staff, with refreshers at least every eight weeks.

The 150-seat restaurant on the first floor of the Waterfront building previously housed the Blue Mango Indian restaurant.

Blue Mango was linked with the disgraced owners of Jimmy’s, a restaurant on the ground floor of the Waterfront building, which closed suddenly. The owners owed the council £200,000 in business rates.

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