BRIDGWATER NEWS: Domino’s gets a pizza of the late-night business
COUNCILLORS have ignored police objections and given the green light for pizza chain Domino’s to stay open until 3am for takeaway visitors in Bridgwater.
There was strong opposition to the move from at least one nearby resident, the police and local environmental health officers with fears over late-night trouble and anti-social behaviour.
But members of Sedgemoor District Council’s licensing and gambling panel agreed on Tuesday (September 5, 2017) to the applicants’ request for a late night refreshment licence daily from 11pm to 5am with opening hours specified as 24 hours a day – although it has been stated the premises will remain closed to the public between 3am and 5am apart from deliveries.
Its previous licence allowed for late night refreshment until 11pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday with opening hours specified as 4pm to 11pm Sunday to Thursday and 4pm to midnight Friday and Saturday.
A representative of the applicants told councillors that Domino’s was a “global brand that required strict compliance with its rules and procedures and that there had been significant investment in the Bridgwater premises” in Eastover.
He said that the police fears were “speculative at best” and lacked the evidence to support them.
He also said that concerns from the environmental health team were “confused and lacked details” and that again it was “speculative containing hearsay and irrelevant information.”
The licensing panel was told in support of the application that there was “no reason to believe that if Domino’s was trading until 3am it would become a magnet for problems” with the takeaway being on the east side of town as opposed to the west where the majority of late-night outlets were situated.
“Most people enjoying the pubs and clubs on the west side of town would still most likely frequent the nearest late-night refreshment premises rather than travel some 800metres to Domino’s,” said the applicants.
A police officer told councillors that the number of incidents contained in their records regarding late-night refreshment premises was “not necessarily an accurate depiction of the issue” as some may never have been reported or dealt with by the premises themselves.
A council report said: “The panel appreciated that it was impossible to know at this stage what impact a late licence may have in the Eastover area.
“However for the panel to impose conditions or restrictions on the licence real evidence was required that was significant and that had not been provided.”
The report added: “The panel accepted Domino’s was a global brand with an image it needs to protect and to that end it imposed significant requirements on its franchise holders by way or terms and conditions to ensure that that brand was not tarnished in any way.
“It was reasonable to expect, as detailed in its operating schedule that Domino’s would work with all parties, responsible authorities especially, to ensure that the premises did not cause any nuisance or disturbance to the neighbourhood.”
The panel decided that there was not enough evidence to amend the requested opening hours or to impose a requirement for door staff to be employed.
“Therefore it was the decision of the panel that the application for a late-night refreshment licence for Domino’s at Eastover in Bridgwater be granted,” said the report with the conditions that an incident log book be kept and maintained and made available to the council and police and that the premises remain closed to the public between 3am and 5am.
The applicants AKS Partners Ltd, who are based in Milton Keynes, have told the council that a CCTV system with recording equipment would be in use during opening hours and customers would be encouraged to leave the premises in a “quiet and orderly manner” in a bid to do what they could to prevent any anti-social behaviour problems.
MORE NEWS – catalogue of crime at Bridgwater late-night takeaways - http://www.bridgwaterpress.co.uk/blog/2017/09/08/bridgwater-news-fighting-asb-criminal-damage-not-really-what-you-want-on-a-takeaway-menu/ .