Next Thursday (July 7), a Hastings Borough Council licensing panel is set to consider an application to extend the hours of a late night food licence for Flames Grill, a takeaway in Havelock Road.
The application seeks to extend the licence from 3am to 4am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights — the same hours the takeaway had before a licensing hearing in February 2020.
The 2020 hearing had been called in light of a request from Sussex Police to revoke the licence following a ‘series of serious violent incidents’ connected to the premises.
Despite the police calls to revoke the licence entirely at the time, councillors instead opted to cut back opening hours and impose stronger conditions. These conditions, which were solidified following a later court hearing, included those around the takeaway’s CCTV system and a requirement to employ door staff.
The business says it has complied fully with these conditions and is not seeking to remove them as part of this application. The only change would be the extra hour of opening on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, as well as on Sundays before bank holiday Mondays.
It also points out that it has also been able to open until 4am ‘without incident’ on a number of occasions in the past year, through the use of Temporary Event Notices (TENs).
Even so, the application is opposed by council licensing officers, who argue the hours would go beyond what would normally be granted under local policies.
The application is also opposed by Sussex Police, which argues the reduction in hours had reduced crime and disorder related to the premises.
In a letter to the council, Inspector Kara Tombling, of the Sussex Police Licensing Team, said: “We feel that crime and disorder caused by people congregating in and around the premises has reduced because they are required to close from 0300 hours.”
She added: “Being allowed to increase their hours on a permanent basis, we believe will only increase the risk of crime and disorder, public nuisance and public safety for not only the public but also the staff.”