Letter sent by the Bishopston Society to Nick Carter, Licensing Manager, Bristol City Council

Dec 15th 2013

Dear Mr Carter

Hot Cha, 268 Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol Application received date: 26 November 2013  Application ref number: 13/04855/PREM   Proposed relevant licensable activities to be carried on or from the premises: Sale of Alcohol Monday to Sunday 11:00 – 22:30. Opening hours applied for: Monday to Sunday 11:00 - 23:00

You will be aware that  268 Gloucester Road is sited within the Gloucester Road CIA. This stretch of Gloucester Road, which is a major transport route in and out of the city, features a mix of retail and leisure uses with primarily residential areas behind the frontages. The request for a CIA to be introduced was made by the Police and supported by local residential amenity groups. The potential for increased public nuisance and crime and disorder arising from further licenses being granted is a major concern for local residents in this area and the Police. In particular the area, which has a significant concentration of alcohol led late night venues, witnesses a high number of assaults and other related crime and disorder including public nuisance and risk to public safety. The ability to prevent further encroachment into the normal sleeping times of local residents is also a key aspect of this policy.

The CIA was imposed at the request of the police on the area partly in recognition of the fact that alcohol misuse has resulted in chronic antisocial behaviour which has had an unacceptable nuisance impact on local residents.  The development of this establishment could have a negative impact on Crime and Disorder, which is one of the licensing objectives  within the CIA -  please refer to the Council's own policy on this area.  We understand from the policy guidance that the cumulative impact policy is intended to be strictly applied and that applications which would seek to be allowed as an exception to the cumulative impact policy will generally be favourably considered if they are judged to encourage a greater variety of types of entertainment than currently exists in these areas.  We believe that this application does not meet this criteria. 

We are aware that the Council has been minded to allow a considerable number of new or varied licences since their Policy was put in place.  We attach a list of premises as at January 2012 supplied by the Council –  we were told that the spreadsheet contains all issued premises licences from your database – but that there may be a few premises where the licences haven't yet been issued.  We also attach our  list of applications for licenses  made since the CIA came into operation.

We appreciate that the applicant is only seeking a license from 11 am to 10.30 pm with a closing time of 11 pm and it is likely that the Licensing Committee will grant this, but we are concerned that another new license adds to the cumulative number of licenses already granted – this is in fact the third application for a license for premises within the Gloucester Road CIA for which the closing date for comments is December 2013!

As such we request that this application is refused on the grounds of the Council's own policy guidelines