A late hours opening bid in a city centre crime and disorder hotspot has been challenged by police, amid fears it will add to trouble in an already “deteriorating” area.
Leeds City Council licensing bosses will consider a 4am opening hours application for a takeway in Briggate at a meeting next week.
The application by Mahboob Hussain was made for a restaurant/cafe at 5 Briggate, Leeds, LS1 4AF.
Local businesses and residents have objected, with fears it will set a “precedent” in an area that is already at “saturation” point and has had a 17 per cent rise in crime in the past year.
Objectors include the police, who say: “This area is not improving – it is deteriorating – and this is the area where the applicant wishes to open a new business.”
A dossier of information being presented to the decision-making panel ahead of Tuesday’s meeting at Leeds Civic Hall says other bars and nightspots in the immediate area close at 2am and a later opening food joint would add to existing issues.
“If the precedent was set and other businesses granted such hours then there would be a significant added impact of noise disturbance deeper into the early morning hours to the surrounding residential premises,” the report says.
It points out that the council already has a policy to refuse applications for bars and nightclubs as well as late opening takeaways and restaurants in the hotspot area, unless the applicant can provide evidence that it will not add to problems.
A letter to the licensing panel from Cath Arkle, West Yorkshire Police’s licensing officer for Leeds, says: “Extra police resources have to be deployed to this area on Friday and Saturday evenings, and over Bank Holiday weekends, in an attempt to help reduce the crime and disorder associated with people frequenting the large amount of licensed premises in the immediate area.
“These crimes/incidents range from thefts and robberies to public order offences, assaults, serious disorder and also sexual offences.
“The saturation of the area is such that determining which venues may bear some responsibility for the issues is practically impossible,
“A strong Cumulative Impact Policy is therefore imperative to prevent already existing venues extending their licensable hours, and to prevent further premises licences being granted in that area.”