Kings Heath restaurant given permission to serve food till midnight

10 residents had opposed the plans to extend the licence hours at the venue which had wanted to serve food until 3am

A restaurant has been granted a licence to serve food until midnight following claims later hours would represent a “slippery slope” in the area.

The Burger and Sauce restaurant at the corner of Kings Heath High Street and Grange Road had been opposed by ten residents, Cllr Lisa Trickett (Lab, Brandwood and Kings Heath) and the council’s environmental health team.

The restaurant currently opens from 2pm to 11pm according to its website, but had been seeking to open from 12 noon to 3am.

The business shortened its hours applied for, with late night refreshment ending at 2am and recorded music until 12 midnight.

A licensing sub-committee has given approval for the restaurant to serve until midnight on Friday and Saturday only, with recorded music ending at midnight on Friday and Saturday and 11pm on weekday nights.

Why did residents oppose the original application by Burger and Sauce?

Residents said there had been antisocial behaviour outside the venue – a former Argos – and pictures of “illegal parking” had been submitted with objections.

Cllr Trickett had said it had a “form of management that is utterly inappropriate to the late night opening of a venue that could easily become a food and fight magnet for people leaving late night pub openings”.

What did the Burger and Sauce representatives say about their application?

Speaking at the hearing, applicant Munwar Hussain said: “I have read and listened to the objections raised and as much as we appreciate the concerns of the local community and responsible authorities, I must put forward our counter arguments regarding their concerns.”

He said there was no evidence of antisocial behaviour and nothing has been reported to the business or the police.

He added: “If there were such issues, I am sure the police would have objected and they probably would have sat with us today.

“There is no record of us breaking any of the licensing objectives.

“Given this I feel the claim is slightly baseless because we are not breaking any of the licensing objectives. I don’t think this is fair.”

He said there was no application to sell alcohol and the recorded music the business was seeking to play would be “background music” which would not be audible outside the premises.

On the subject of parking he said availability on the high street is “very limited”. He said signs had been put up to encourage people to park responsibly and avoid littering and loitering.

Parking on Kings Heath High Street near the Burger and Sauce restaurantParking on Kings Heath High Street near the Burger and Sauce restaurant
Parking on Kings Heath High Street near the Burger and Sauce restaurant

He said no complaints have been raised to the restaurant and no “official complaints” have been reported to the business by police, environmental health or any other responsible authorities.

He said several neighbouring businesses are operating past 11pm – including some “until 3.30am” and Burger and Sauce wants to stay in line with neighbours’ operating hours.

He said: “The reason we are applying for these extended hours is to provide for our local community. If they wish to purchase late night food, we would like to be able to cater for them, just as our neighbours are able to do so.

“We as a business opening slightly later will let us help our employees financially, help them provide for their families.

“To add to that, we as a business need these extra hours to survive. In the current climate it’s difficult for all businesses with the cost of gas, electric, goods, rents, rates – everything going up at the moment.

“Trading becomes very difficult and we need this extra custom to survive.”

What did the environmental health officer say about the application?

Addressing the sub-committee, an environmental health officer said none of the nearby takeaway restaurants were operating past 12 midnight with one exception.

He said: “The nature and character of that area is residential and commercial to a certain extent but no so much late-night commercial.”

He added operating until late at night would have an impact on the four apartments being created above the former Argos – immediately above the restaurant.

Why are there concerns about turning Kings Heath High Street into a ‘night-time economy’?

Cllr Trickett said the application was part of a “push” to transform the area into a “night-time economy” and that it was the start of a “slippery slope”.

She said: “Kings Heath High Street – while we have a mix of residential and commercial property – is absolutely not part of the night-time economy.

“It’s not policed for a night-time economy, its not managed in terms of street cleansing – it’s just not set up for such late night uses.

“What has to be a concern is such applications as this […] start that push of again changing the purpose of an area from a mixed economy that serves a local community to a night-time economy.

“There are families in the properties in the flats above the shops in that block.

“There is no other café or restaurant in that vicinity that is open so late.”

She said there are always “three to four” parked cars outside the restaurant which block the pedestrian and said she questioned the capability of managers of the business in dealing with the problem.

Kings Heath, 07/01/22Kings Heath, 07/01/22
Kings Heath, 07/01/22

What have local residents said about more local food outlets opening?

A resident speaking against the application said: “I do feel there has been a slow drip, drip, drip over the years in particular of food outlets.

“While it’s great that they cater to all tastes and pockets, I think we have reached saturation point where the drawbacks begin to vastly outweigh the positives of them.”

In relation to Burger and Sauce, he said: “There has been a noticeable increase in antisocial behaviour. We do routinely hear loud altercations, gangs squabbling, boisterousness, swearing.

“There’s a lot of revving of cars, lots of car horns, lots of jostling going on with vehicles coming and going. The increase in illegal and antisocial parking has been massively disruptive.”

He said he had previously failed to drive into Grange Road because of cars parked blocking the entrance to the road.

What did the council committee say about their decision to allow Burger and Sauce to open later?

The sub-committee consisting of chair Cllr Nicky Brennan (Lab, Sparkhill), Cllr Mary Locke (Lab, Stirchley) and Cllr Mike Ward (Lib Dem, Sheldon) has now given its decision.

The decision notice states: “[…] The applicant company was prepared to reduce the hours for licensable activities by an hour (ie to 2am); however, taking the representations into account, the members considered that 2am was still too late an hour given that residents lived nearby.

“Although the operating schedule was satisfactory, there would be an unacceptable level of risk to the licensing objective of prevention of public nuisance to permit operation to that hour.

“The sub-committee therefore considered that the correct course was to permit operation to 12 midnight on Friday and Saturday nights only; on all other days the end time would be 11pm.

“This would ensure that the applicant company could uphold the licensing objectives in a partially residential area.”

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