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Pub loses licence following complaints

Birmingham | Crime | Published:

A “very poorly managed” pub has lost its licence following a stabbing, a suspected “petrol bomb” being thrown and complaints about anti-social behaviour.

Google Street View image of the Observatory pub in Barker Street, Lozells. Credit: Google

A Birmingham City Council licensing sub-committee today ruled the licence of the Observatory pub in Barker Street will be revoked following an online meeting on May 6.

The committee has also ruled that Sophia Lawrence must be removed as the designated premises supervisor (DPS).

A review was held into the pub’s licence following an application from South Road Housing Co-operative earlier this year, after it received a number of complaints from residents.

West Midlands Police supported the application for a review, and the city council’s Licensing Enforcement recommended the committee considered revoking the licence.

It was reported on September 2, 2018 that a 41-year-old man had been stabbed outside the pub and was in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The hearing heard in October last year police investigated “a lit object (possibly a petrol bomb)” thrown through a window.

A report to the committee from the council’s Licensing Enforcement team states the first complaint received was in July 2008, which alleged music was being played until 1.55am.

Ms Lawrence had remained the DPS of the pub since this time, while the current licence holder, Jewellery Quarter-based firm Clarendon Homes, took over in 2012.

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The hearing heard Clarendon Homes failed to notify the council of a change of registered office address and were six months late in paying a £180 annual fee this year.

In its decision statement, the sub-committee said it considered the options of keeping the licence with modified conditions, or suspending the licence for a certain time but “was not remotely satisfied”.

The sub-committee stated: “An unsuitable individual had been appointed, was running the premises, and not keeping the licence holder informed; equally the company did not take sufficient interest, and definitely did not demonstrate the level of responsibility expected of any licence holder.

“All in all, it was a very poorly managed operation.

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“Yet when asked whether the company had confidence in the designated premises supervisor to uphold the company’s proposed conditions, the employee agreed that the designated premises supervisor would be able to do so.

“This was completely unpersuasive.

“All in all, the sub-committee had no confidence that either the licence holder or the designated premises supervisor were capable of proper operation.”

The sub-committee was chaired by Councillor Mike Leddy and also included Councillor Bob Beauchamp and Councillor Martin Straker Welds.

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