D-Day for Hartlepool takeaway accused of illegally opening until 5am

A Hartlepool takeaway is to face a hearing over concerns around staying open beyond its permitted hours and links to an unlicensed taxi driver.

Hartlepool Borough Council licensing department has called for King Kaz, in York Road, to face a review of its premises licence.

The site is permitted to provide “late night refreshment” until 3am for seven days a week.

But council licensing chiefs said they have observed trading “as late as 5am on a number of occasions”.

King Kaz, in Hartlepool town centre, faces a licence review amid claims it has stayed open without permission until 5am.

Licensing officers have also raised concerns “someone suspected of acting as an unlicensed taxi driver has been operating” from the site in a “silver Ford Mondeo”.

The case will be heard by the council licensing sub-committee on Thursday, July 28, where councillors will make a decision over the site’s licence.

Meeting documents outline how King Kaz bosses have stated they “do not work with any unlicensed taxi drivers” and the suspect is “banned from the shop”.

The council licensing service’s review application said: “The premises licence holder is aware of the licensed hours on the premises licence but it regularly trades much later.

“The premises licence holder has been advised by the licensing service that King Kaz pizzeria was being used as a base for an unlicensed taxi driver but despite this, the unlicensed driver has continued to operate from the premises.”

A statement from Ian Harrison, the council’s trading standards and licensing manager, notes he has been in contact with the site since January over concerns.

He added that since April the council’s CCTV control room has been monitoring late night activity at King Kaz and the presence of the silver Ford Mondeo.

Numerous alleged incidents include six dates in which the vehicle has been pictured at the site, with incidents of the driver “going into the shop” and “giving lifts”, and seven occasions when the takeaway has remained open past its licensed hours.

The documents add the council team have concerns over the takeaway not responding to requests to provide CCTV footage.

Muhammad Umar Arshad is listed as the premises licence holder for the site.

Arshad Chaudhry, a family member who helps with the running of the takeaway, speaking in June, said he was “very, very upset over the review” and denied opening beyond 3am and any links to an unlicensed taxi driver.

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