Hartlepool takeaway faces inquiry over claims it stayed open until 5am

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

By Nic Marko
Monday, 13th June 2022, 5:34 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council licensing department has submitted an application to review the licence of King Kaz in York Road.

The site has a premises licence allowing “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”.

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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 with the premises that “someone suspected of acting as an unlicensed taxi driver has been operating” from the site.

The review application states bosses at King Kaz “denied this, and of knowing the driver in question”.

The application, from the council’s licensing service, 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.

“As the unlicensed driver operates from King Kaz, the premises is not promoting the public safety licensing objective.”

The documents add the council team also have concerns over the takeaway not responding to requests to provide CCTV footage and proof of door staff being in place after 11pm on weekends, as is required by conditions on the licence.

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, said he is “very, very upset over the review”.

He said: “I’m not open late, I’m closing 3am, my closing time. I’m having no problems in the shop, all the customers have been happy, there’s no fighting or problems.”

He stressed he does not know of any unlicensed taxi driver operating outside the site and that, on “two or three” occasions when he has had suspicions over a driver, he asked them to leave the area.

The licensing review is currently open for additional representations until June 22 and a hearing will be scheduled after that date.

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