Southall Burger Restaurant Given Extended Hours in Face of Objections

Both council officers and police opposed original application

Amigos restaurant in Southall. Picture: Google Streetview


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June 19, 2023

A Southall burger restaurant has been given the go-ahead to extend its opening hours despite both representatives from the council and the police objecting to its initial application. Amigos applied to change its closing times from midnight from Thursday to Sunday and 2am on Friday and Saturday to 5am every day.

The director, Sahir Rana, said the reason for his application was to improve the ‘financial viability’ of the business as he attempts to recover more in-person customers post-Covid. Increased hours, the director says in his application would allow the business to serve workers who have unsociable work hours, especially from nearby Heathrow.

The panel heard that Amigos would take special efforts to ensure that the new opening hours would not affect neighbouring businesses or residents with Rana himself aiming to take Security Industry Association training to help with crowd control.

However, concerns were raised by several different attendees including Robert Dear, Licensing Regulatory Services Officer, Ewelina Kaczowka, Noise and Nuisance Officer and PC Vickie Hewison of West Area Ealing Police. Mr Dear pushed for the application to be rejected outright, challenging the director’s and his representative’s, Graham Hopkins, claim that there are no residents near the premises.

He pointed out that within 50 metres there were numerous properties on South Road and Beaconsfield Road, where residents might be disturbed by customers coming out late at night from Amigos or heading to it. Mr Dear also pointed out that Southall is known as an area rife with anti-social behaviour which he was concerned would be exacerbated by a restaurant being open into the early hours of the morning.

Ms Kaczowka also raised concerns about the noise from customers late at night and requested a dispersal plan from the applicant which she said acted as satisfactory for mitigating some of the noise. However, she was also reticent to give the application approval as she said she was not convinced by the staff training measures promised.

Chair of the licensing panel Cllr Julian Gallant asked Ms Kaczowka if the number of opening hours the applicant was asking to increase was reduced to “something less substantial” if she would be more likely to approve. The council officer said she would.

Finally, PC Vickie Hewison gave a history of Amigos from a law enforcement perspective, flagging several incidents that occurred either in or around the premises. While discussing the application, the constable alluded to the idea that more people going for food late at night could increase crime due to Southall’s association with crime and anti-social behaviour. PC Hewison told the panel that Southall is a special policy area meaning it has an increased number of considerations when it comes to law enforcement.

She added that the number of hours being asked for by Amigos were “excessive and outside of the London Borough of Ealing’s core hours.”

The officer took the panel through the restaurant’s recent history of criminal incidents with the most recent of these occurring May 4 2022. A man suffered from grievous bodily harm near the front after being attacked by four men drunk and smoking cannabis.

Hewison also told the panel there was another incident, this time in Amigos which involved a dispute between an ex-staff member and a current member of staff which led to an assault occurring on the premises in 2021. There are a few more accounts of anti-social behaviour happening outside the store in 2021 that PC Hewison relayed to the panel. In response, Mr Rana said that although there had been incidents in the past, he believes he has worked hard to reduce the number of issues around his shop with the store being incident-free as of the first half of 2023.

After deliberating the panel decided that the hours requested were excessive however did grant an extension to the restaurant’s current opening times. The licensing sub-committee’s decision was to grant an extra 2 hours from Sunday to Thursday meaning the shop could now close at 2am and an extra hour Friday and Saturday meaning late night refreshments could be served until 3am. The approval stipulates that restaurant service must close at 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The licence was granted on the condition that certain conditions be met:

There shall be three members of staff on duty every night from 23:00 hours.
The premises manager shall be required to do conflict management training and a recognised SIA security certification training.
No unaccompanied children or young people under 18 are to be allowed on the premises after 21:00 hours daily.
There will be no deliveries to the premises between 23:00-07:00hours.
There shall be no lone working at any time.

Rory Bennet - - Local democracy reporter


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