Google Street View of Sendero Coffee, Lavender Hill, Battersea

Sendero coffee, a relatively new addition to Lavender Hill (on the corner of Lavender Hill and Queenstown Road), has applied for an licence to permit additional sales and activity.

The application is for:

  • The sale of alcohol from 4pm to midnight every day.
  • Live music from 7pm to 10pm every day.
  • Recorded music from 6.30pm to midnight every day.
  • Provision of late night refreshment from 11pm to midnight every day.

Sendero is primarily a coffee shop (and a good one to boot, I’d highly recommend it) and I think it is a good addition to Lavender Hill, providing an attractive destination at the less desirable end of a road that, despite its potential, always seems to struggle.

This licence application is not that big and largely within the council’s policy. However, you might think it moves the shop away from being a coffee shop to something else although with only the upstairs flats as immediate neighbours it might be a suitable venue for later opening and quiet entertainment.

If you want to make a representation you have until 6 October. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
London
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk

The newly opened Four Thieves, 51 Lavender Gardens has applied to the council for some changes to its licence, mostly to tidy up—rather than change—the conditions attached to the licence, but also to allow them to open from 8am for breakfast.

The Four Thieves has not been open that long, but to me seems a good replacement for the Battersea Mess, operating as a community pub with some character. Talking to the manager on the opening night he seemed as passionate about the quality of coffee he could serve at breakfast as of the beer he serves in the evening (a passion I can share).

If you want to make a representation you have until 17 October. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
London
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk

Shaftesbury has become something of a hot-bed of licensing activity recently. While the ongoing issues with Thirsty Camel seem to be over (the licensing sub-committee on 5 August granted the licence after the applicant assured them he had no personal or business relationship with the Kapoors, the previous managers of the business), two other licensed premises in the ward are having their licences reviews.

The first is Best One on Eversleigh Road. Trading Standard have requested the review following the sale of products to underage customers in test purchases. In February 2013 a test purchase resulted in the sale of tobacco to a 15-year old girl and the business owner was cautioned. This May a subsequent test purchase took place when another 15-year old girl was able to buy alcohol. Trading Standards are requesting a three month suspension of the licence in this case.

Lavender Grocers on Lavender Hill are the subject of the other review. In this case a 15-year old girl (I have no idea if this is the same 15-year old, it seems like a rather Victorian approach to child labour if it is the same girl all the time) was able to buy tobacco. Trading Standards are requesting conditions be added to the licence in order to prevent a recurrence.

As ever, if you wish to make observations on either of these reviews they must be made by 1 September 2014 and they must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
London
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk.

A vintage Thirsty Camel

I’ve said before how grateful I am to Thirsty Camel on Lavender Hill for so tirelessly helping me with content for this blog. However, even I’m finding it tiresome. Indeed, I’ve dug out an old photo to remind me how Thirsty Camel looked when (it feels like) it all started.

To do a brief recap: they had a temporary licence suspension a few years ago for selling booze to children, then they lost their licence for selling counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes. They appealed this decision, but in the meantime the owners wife, and a company director, applied for another licence. This was rejected. And now the story continues…

Thirsty Camel have applied for another alcohol licence. The application is for the sale of alcohol from 8am until midnight on Sunday to Thursday, and from 8am until 2am the following day on Fridays and Saturdays.

I believe (but have been unable to confirm) that this application is from another person associated with the current management, and therefore continue to have little confidence that the business’s operation will improve. I know several residents objected to the previous applications, but since this is a new application they would need to repeat that objection.

If you wish to make a representation you have until 17 July. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

Given the premises track record of selling counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes and underage sales I consider the first and last items on that list are relevant to this application, although the last application drew some complaints about anti-social behaviour associated with the shop, so they are getting close to objections on all four criteria.

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
London
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk.

The Thirsty Camel off-licence on Lavender Hill

I’ve just found out that Thirsty Camel’s application for a new licence was rejected at last night’s licensing panel hearing.

The current licensee had lost his licence after being found selling counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes but a new licence application was made by an associate, presumably so they could continue trading in exactly the same way as before.

Despite my libertarian instincts, this is a good result: in trading illegal cigarettes (and previously selling to underage drinkers) the shop was competing unfairly with other retailers and putting customers at risk with products that were potentially harmful.

The Lavender, on Lavender Hill

The council have received a licensing application from The Lavender, 171 Lavender Hill. They are seeking to extend the hours of playing recorded music, providing late night refreshment and the sale of alcohol until midnight Monday to Wednesday, until 1.00am the morning after Thursday and Sunday and until 2.00am the morning following Friday and Saturday.

The recorded music license is requested from 10.00am, alcohol sales from 8.00am.

It has been a long time since I regularly used The Lavender. Indeed the last time I can recall spending any length of time in there was the night after the riots, when I probably drank a bit too much while discussing the previous night’s events with a group of local traders.

As such, it’s difficult for me to make any comment, since I have little idea how the place has changed since its recent makeover. Having said that, it might some on the neighbouring residential roads might think it is a little too late for a school night.

If you want to make a representation you have until 26 June. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
London
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk

The Thirsty Camel off-licence on Lavender Hill

I am incredibly grateful to Thirsty Camel on Lavender Hill. I often feel guilty about not posting enough on the blog, but they are doing their utmost to give me a regular stream of posts. It’s like they are specialists in knock-off cigarettes, underage booze and giving something to local politicians to write about.

That small intersection of people who read this blog and pay attention may have noticed that—despite losing their licence at a recent review—Thirsty Camel continues to trade as normal. They have appealed the previous decision and trading can continue as before until the appeal decision; however clear-cut I might think the case is, this is quite right, there has to be protection for businesses to make sure councils get these decisions right.

The business is, however, covering all outcomes and has applied for a new licence for the premises. While this is legally a new and separate application, it is made by someone connected with the current licensee and I cannot help but have concerns about it. I know the council’s trading standards team will be looking at the application very carefully.

The application is for the sale of alcohol from 8am until midnight on Sunday to Thursday, and from 8am until 2am the following day on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you wish to make a representation you have until 2 May. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

Given the premises track record of selling counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes and underage sales I consider the first and last items on that list are relevant to this application.

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
London
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk.

The Thirsty Camel off-licence on Lavender Hill
Thirsty Camel, otherwise known as Best One, on Lavender Hill. Picture from Google Street View

Best One on Lavender Hill, which trades as Thirsty Camel, has seen its shopkeeper lose his licence to sell alcohol. The review took place after the store was found to be selling counterfeit tobacco and had previously had a licence review after selling alcohol to underage customers which resulted in a temporary licence suspension.

The start of the council’s press release gives the impression it may have been a fairly open and shut case:

A Battersea shopkeeper has had his licence to sell alcohol revoked after thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes were found hidden in his storeroom.

Trading standards officers found nearly 700 packets of contraband tobacco when they searched the Best One store in Lavender Hill. Nearly a third of the packets were fake while the others could not be legally sold in the UK and were smuggled into the country.

The case raises a huge number of points. One of which is that, however noble efforts to reduce smoking are, there are serious risks in plain packaging: which would make counterfeiting easier.

It also highlights the importance of regulation in some areas. I know some businesses feel the council’s various enforcement arms can be heavy handed—especially when most abide by all the necessary laws and regulations—but in cases like this there has to be protection for both the consumer but also competing businesses who, by virtue of abiding by the law, are disadvantaged by those who are not so upstanding when it comes to their business practice.

Grill on the Hill, in pre-Grill on the Hill guise, and Best One, dressed as Thirsty Camel. Pictures from Google Street View.
Grill on the Hill, in pre-Grill on the Hill guise, and Best One, dressed as Thirsty Camel. Pictures from Google Street View.

There are two licensing matters in Shaftesbury ward currently scheduled for consideration by the council’s licensing committee. The first is a new application for ‘Grill on the Hill’ at 89 Lavender Hill. The application is to sell alcohol between 9.00am and 11.00pm seven days a week and to provide late night refreshment until 11.30pm every night.

The premises were 1st Stop Audio Visual, so this will be the first food and drink offer on that particular stretch of shops, but there are plenty of similar offerings nearby. It does not seem that unreasonable an application, although it will be a change of use that might concern the immediate neighbours. Representations, however, must be made by today (the application was submitted before Christmas).

The other licensing matter concerns Best One (now trading as Thirsty Camel) at 246 Lavender Hill. This is a review of the licence against the prevention of crime and disorder licensing objective after ‘illicit tobacco products’ were found on the premises. This particular branch of Best One has previously found itself the subject of a review back in 2011 after it was caught selling alcohol to underage customers. The closing date for representations on this review is 30 January.

For either case, the representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
London
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk.

The council have received a licensing application from Social Pantry, 170 Lavender Hill. They are seeking a licence to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises between 10am and 11:30pm seven days a week, and to provide late night refreshment between 5pm and 11.30pm seven days a week.

Social Pantry is a relatively new café on Lavender Hill, but definitely serves one of the better coffees in SW11 (although I think they sometimes let the milk get a bit too hot) and this application is to clearly allow them to offer a slightly different trade in the evening. Personally, it’s hard to see how it would be a problem for any of the council’s licensing objectives, but you might think differently.

If you want to make a representation you have until 30 December. Representations must relate to the four licensing objectives:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • Public safety
  • The protection of children from harm

The council’s licensing pages provide more information.

If you wish to make an observation you can do so by writing to:
Head of Licensing
Licensing Section
London Borough of Wandsworth
PO Box 47095
London
SW18 9AQ

or by emailing licensing@wandsworth.gov.uk