Pump and Boneyard ordered to pay £25k to Council after losing licencing appeal
A former petrol station and off-licence in Shoreditch that was turned into a late night bar and restaurant without proper consent has lost its licence and must pay Hackney Council more than £25,000.
The “misbehaving licensee” of the Pump and Boneyard, in Shoreditch High Street, must stop selling alcohol completely, and hot food and drinks after 11pm, after district judge, Angus Hamilton, dismissed an appeal against the revoking of its licence by the Council’s licensing sub-committee on 13 August 2015.
A total of 24 witness statements were given to the court at the four-day hearing from both sides, including 18 for the Council. Of the 18, 13 gave evidence in open court, seven of whom were residents.
The Council had received numerous complaints from people living nearby about noise, anti-social behaviour and the affect that this was having on their lives.
The Council argued the shop and forecourt had been completely transformed from the former Texaco petrol station and minimarket into a huge vertical and seated drinking establishment, just outside the Shoreditch Special Policy Area.
Furthermore, this change had not gone through the proper process and was adding to the problems already being experienced by residents in the area.
In his summing up the judge said that, Robert Newmark, who spoke on behalf of the owning company, Le Brea Ltd, had: “Clearly demonstrated contempt for the laws and regulations that govern the transformation of a petrol station and minimarket into a bar and eating place, selling up to £5,000-worth of alcohol a day.”
The judge also stated it was “entirely legitimate for the licensing authority to consider the issue of cumulative impact when they call in for review the licence of, as is the case here, a misbehaving licensee.”
Residents living near the Pump and Boneyard had been subjected to months of noise and anti-social behaviour that was having a very real effect on their lives. We are pleased that the judge dismissed the appeal and upheld the decision to take away the venue’s licence.
Having the proper and correct licence is important as it ensures that the interests of residents are taken into consideration. The vast majority of venues do work closely with us so that they do not have a significant negative impact on the local area.
Two unsuccessful attempts had been made by Mr Newmark to secure variations to the existing licence so that the venue could legally operate as a bar and restaurant.
Despite this, the venue launched regardless whilst attempting to comply with the off-sales of alcohol requirement by selling it from the former minimarket for consumption on the forecourt.
Changes to licensable activity and/or plans of a licensed premises must be authorised by new or variation licence applications.
The hearing took place at Thames Magistrates Court, in Bow, on 13, 18, 19 and 20 January 2016.
The judge also did not accept that changes to the premises were minor and stated that the Pump and Boneyard was a “wholly new and utterly different creation from what existed previously”.
Because of the disregard for the licensing process and incidents of public nuisance the judge concluded that the concerns of residents were unlikely to be addressed by further conditions on the licence.