Alcohol mixing business given go ahead in Hartlepool – but no taste tests at home allowed

A new business mixing different spirits of alcohol has been given the go-ahead to launch – but no home taste testings will be permitted.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 17:08 pm

An application had been submitted by Susan Connor for a new premises licence for ‘Rummage & Rootle’ to open at her home on Brierton Lane in Hartlepool.

The application said she had hoped to ‘compound spirits’ for sale to the public, build up a business using online sales, and offer taste tastings from the site and on site sales.

However concerns were raised by residents the plans could lead to increased anti-social behaviour and nuisance issues such as parking problems on the road.

Hartlepool Borough Council Licensing sub-committee decided to grant the licence but only so far as ‘off-sales’ of alcohol over the internet.

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The request to hold ‘tasting sessions’ in the applicant’s home was refused.

In effect, this means that she can sell her drinks over the internet or at market stalls, but she cannot have people coming to her home to try out her products.

The decision came despite Ms Connor previously agreeing to a condition stating there will be no sales on the premises, apart from internet sales, except at pre-booked tasting events.

In total three letters of objection had been submitted to the council raising concerns over the plans.

One letter, signed by four residents, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that this will lead to anti-social behaviour in this area.

“I do not know who will decide whether or not this application is approved, I would just like to ask if they would like something like this opening next door to them.”

Another letter of objection said: “I believe that this will bring extra traffic to the area which will cause problems as it is directly facing the access and egress to the cemetery.

“This area becomes congested during different times of the day.

“This area is very quiet and crime rate is low and this application would have an impact on other residents.”

Applicant Ms Connor had previously sent a response to the licensing support unit at Cleveland Police ahead of the meeting stating how she would include additional safety suggestions from the police.

These included the installation of CCTV and a strict challenge 25 verification policy.

The response said: “The premises will keep and maintain an incident/refusals book. This will be used to record all incidents of crime and disorder, anti-social behaviour and refusals that occur at the premises.

“The incident/refusals book will be solely used for this purpose, will be kept at the premises and will be made available for inspection by the police or any other responsible authority.

“The only time alcohol is to be carried on the delivery vehicle, is to complete current order(s) between licensed premises and customers addresses.

“All deliveries will be made in person by a company employee will be recorded, with that delivery being signed for by the recipient. Records will be kept for 3 months.

“An age verification system will be employed on the company’s website, prior to the customer being allowed access to the sales pages.”

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service