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Review of restaurant licence for flouting lockdown rules Published Date: 14/07/2020

India Cottage, a restaurant based in Ringwood, Hampshire has had its licence reviewed for not complying with lock down restrictions.

The restaurant’s licence review was brough by Hampshire Police and heard by New Forest District Council’s sub-committee.  The sub-committee resolved to issue the restaurant with a formal warning.

According to reports, Mr Mannan, a spokesman for the venue, said staff were “extremely relieved” and wanted to “express their gratitude” to the district council’s sub-licensing committee.

“Mr Mannan acknowledges he made a serious mistake but has heeded the warnings that he has been given and can give a categorical assurance nothing of a similar nature will happen again.

“He would also like to thank all of the customers who supported him throughout what has been an extremely stressful and difficult period, and now that the restaurant has been able to reopen –albeit with restricted numbers and other precautions in place – looks forward to welcoming them back when they will after all, be able to enjoy a drink with their meals.”

Officers stopped at the premises on the 25th after driving past, and found two men drinking beer while they waited for their takeaway meals to be cooked.

Noting the area was covered by CCTV cameras, the officers watched footage and saw an incident two nights earlier, when four men drank beer while eating a takeaway in the same spot over a period of about two hours.

Local news reported that in their decision, the sub-committee said it had given “serious consideration” to a temporary and permanent ban of the alcohol licence but was also “mindful” of its previous good history and that no breaches took place after it was served the prohibition notice.

“On this occasion, and taking into consideration all the evidence and circumstances, it was concluded that the proportionate and appropriate step for the promotion of the licensing objectives was to take no formal action,” it said.

“The sub-committee hereby formally warns the premises’ licence holder that there should not be any further breach of the conditions of the licence, the Act, or any other applicable legislation.

“If there is such a breach, this decision and warning is likely to carry significant weight in any subsequent enforcement action and the consideration of whether further steps are appropriate.”

The venue was represented by Philip Day, Partner at Laceys Solicitors.