Caribbean restaurant in Stirchley granted alcohol licence

Family Vybz will now be able to serve alcoholic drinks to customers

A Caribbean restaurant in Stirchley has been granted a licence to sell alcohol after objections were dismissed as “fear” and “speculation”.

Dion Jackson, the owner of Family Vybz, applied for a licence on January 31 to offer alcohol to customers with their meals cooked in her six-seat restaurant until 10pm.

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The licensing committee at Birmingham City Council heard last Wednesday (March 16) Family Vybz was food-led and family-orientated, offering “authentic and delicious heart-warming meals”.

The application for a premises licence was intended to broaden its offer to the public; the additional sales would also help the business regain lost finances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Stirchley Primary School, directly opposite the business, failed to argue the granting of an alcohol licence will  mean children “witness drunkenness on their way home”.

Family Vybz in Stirchley

Why did the school object?

Mr John Hemming, a school representative, said: “Although we encourage all types of business in Stirchley we felt due to the proximity of the chicken shop to the school, selling alcohol during school hours  and certainly at home times, there might be that chance, of children witnessing or stumbling across clients having too much to drink or even takeaway food and alcohol being consumed on benches on the school exit on the Pershore road.”

What did Family Vybz say about the objections?

Mr Nick Semper, representative for Family Vybz and director at The Licensing Guys, dismissed the school’s objections as simply “fear” and “speculation” and pointed to the restaurant’s ability to host a maximum of six people.

“Representors have the burden to show that the premises operating under this operating schedule will undermine the licensing objectives and they have to demonstrate that with evidence,” he said.

“Our premises and its frontage will be monitored by modern CCTV and will be staffed by trained and competent staff. Exemplary due diligence control measures will be utilised [….] and Challenge 25 will be applied rigorously.”

Pershore Road, Stirchley

What did the licensing committee say about the application from Family Vybz?

It was revealed by the licensing committee Mr Semper offered Mr Hemming a site visit to inspect the operation and meet the applicants, but Mr Hemming did not attend the meeting.

The licensing committee ruled in favour of Family Vybz, and the agent, noting: “The agent observed, the person making representations simply wanted a blanket ban on any alcohol sales before 17.00 hours, Monday to Friday, seemingly irrespective of whether the school was open or not.

“Members carefully considered the representations made by the other person, but were not convinced that there was an evidential and causal link between the issues raised and the effect on the licensing objectives.

“The committee also noted that no representations from any of the responsible authorities had been received. West Midlands Police had seen no cause for concern.

“The offered conditions and the applicant were more than sufficiently robust to ensure the promotion of the licensing objectives. The premises was an established business, and the committee was reassured that the agent stated that the applicant wanted to work with the local community, not against them.

“The committee therefore resolved to grant the application.”

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