TBS response by letter (May 27th) with reference to the licence application for 'Lower East Side', 3, Zetland Road:

To Nick Carter Esq, Licensing Manager, Bristol City Council:       Dear Mr Carter

Applicant name: Mr Stephen Varcoe
Premises: Lower East Side, 3 Zetland Road, Bristol, BS6 7AG
Application received date: 7 May 2014  Application ref number: 14/00682/PREM 
Proposed relevant licensable activity to be carried on or from the premised: Sale of alcohol Monday to Sunday 10 am to 11pm    Opening hours applied for:  8 am to 11 pm

As you are you are aware the Gloucester Road CIA covers a stretch of Gloucester Road from its junction with Pitt Road and Rudthorpe Road to the Arches on Cheltenham Road and also includes a section of Zetland Road.

Your  Policy, and we quote from your Licensing Policy 2011, shows that 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 policy will apply to further applications for the grant of new licenses or significant variations of existing licenses in respect of premises that primarily sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, other late night uses, restaurants and take away outlets. The main focus of the policy is likely to be on alcohol led establishments and premises that keep customers in the area at times when the promotion of the licensing objectives is most challenging (for example late night refreshment from “fast food” outlets).

So, you will be aware that these premises  fall within the Gloucester Road CIA and we therefore understand that the presumption is to refuse such an application.  As far as we are aware these premises do not have a licence so this would be a completely new facility.  The application is for longer hours than the previous application which was withdrawn. (Application ref number: 13/02475/PREM)

The CIA was imposed in 2010, 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. As you are aware, events  down the road in Stokes Croft make us suspect that antisocial use of alcohol continue to be a problem.  The development of this establishment would 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.

Whilst the sale of alcohol at these premises may be a new facility, it is not one which is desired in the area and will, we fear, risk further nuisance and public disorder. Your records will show that there are many restaurants and places to drink alcohol or buy alcohol in this area and you may have seen  the 'normal' Sunday morning squalor and unpleasantness not only at Stokes Croft, the Cheltenham Road and in the CIA of the Gloucester Road including Zetland Road.   If not, please say so prior to the hearing and we will be pleased to supply photos.

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 but we feel that at some stage the policy should be upheld.

We request that this application is refused on the grounds of the Council's own policy guidelines.