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LOZELLS PUB: Fears of ‘fights on daily basis’

LOZELLS PUB: Fears of ‘fights on daily basis’

Image: LDRS

There are fears of a return to “fights on a daily basis” if plans go ahead for a former Lozells pub which closed last year.

An application for restaurant Nyam and Jam to serve alcohol at the former Observatory in Barker Street, Lozells, is due to be considered by a city council licensing sub-committee next week (Sept 6).

The pub lost its licence last year after complaints about antisocial behaviour, a stabbing and a suspected “petrol bomb” being thrown. It was branded “very poorly-managed” by councillors.

But now, there are plans for a new restaurant and cocktail bar at the site which would serve alcohol from 12:00pm until 11:00pm.

Police have said “the issues that led to the revocation would be replicated” while a petition signed by 273 residents and six letters of objection were received by the council.

Mark Swallow of West Midlands Police’s licensing team said their objections were based around the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance and the promotion of public safety.

He said: “West Midlands Police have examined the application and believe that if this license was to be granted then the issues that led to the revocation would be replicated.”

“West Midlands Police would therefore respectfully request to raise an objection to this application.”

Presenting the petition, Cllr Waseem Zaffar (Lab, Lozells) said the previous premises caused problems which “substantially hindered the quality of life for local residents”.

He said: “Local residents would often have music being played into the early hours of the morning, illegal parking, people drinking and urinating in their front gardens and side entrances to the properties, rows and fights on a daily basis.

“These have all come to a stop with the premises not having a licence – to approve this licence would be to bring all these issues back to a neighbourhood which is desperate to move on from historical challenges and feels as if it has just turned a corner.”

A representative for the South Road Housing Co-operative – who previously opposed the Observatory – presented a letter on behalf of 50 residents.

It raised concerns about the new venue being based in a residential area, listed parking fears and suggested antisocial behaviour problems could return.

It stated: “Between July 2008 and May 2020 there was a total of 23 complaints of anti-social behaviour reported to BCC [Birmingham City Council] Licensing.

“These complaints related to noise nuisance, BBQ’s on the pavement outside the premises, anti-social behaviour outside the premises (including fighting in the street, violence and physical assault) as well as licensable activities outside of the permitted operating hours.

“As a result of this, the premises has had a negative impact on the quality of life for local residents.

“Regrettably, there is nothing within the application to suggest that reopening of the premises will have any benefit to the local community.”

A further letter from a resident states they have had “sleepless nights due to fear and anxiety” in relation to the premises.

A representative for Laverne Restaurant & Cocktail Bar Ltd wrote in the application: “As the applicants, we will ensure that we fully uphold all four licensing objectives, at all times.”

They made pledges around CCTV, a refusals log and staff training in order to prevent crime and disorder.

They added: “The premises licence holder will ensure that the disturbance caused to the general public is kept to a minimum, signage will be placed in a prominent place asking customers to respect our neighbours.

“All doors and windows will remain closed when recorded music is played, other than for access and egress.

“Staff will ensure that the frontage of the restaurant is inspected regularly for litter and rubbish, clearing any debris away.

“No rubbish, including bottles, shall be moved, or placed in outside areas between the hours of 10pm and 8am.”

The licensing meeting will be held on September 6 from 10am and can be viewed on Birmingham City Council’s committee meetings YouTube page.

 

Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter


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