Neighbour opposes restaurant licence over impact on owl noises

A restaurant opposed by one resident because they would not be able to hear owls will not lead to people urinating in the street, a meeting heard.

A Google Street View of the current site where Melt restaurant is planned.
A Google Street View of the current site where Melt restaurant is planned.

Birmingham City Council's licensing sub-committee heard an application from Melt cheeserie restaurant to sell alcohol from a premises at Billesley Lane in Moseley on Tuesday.

The applicants had – before the meeting – changed its opening hours from 9am to 11pm Monday to Sunday to 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 7pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Hours proposed for the sale of alcohol run to 7.30pm Monday to Saturday and 6.30pm on Sundays and bank holidays. But a group of residents have continued their opposition to the venue and spoke at the meeting.

One resident had previously said there would be a “potentially catastrophic” impact in the area where it is currently possible to hear owls and wildlife.

Mike Nixon, a licensing consultant speaking on behalf of the applicants, said: “126 Billesley Lane can operate perfectly legally as a restaurant with or without a licence – it has planning permission to do so.

“What we are considering today is whether that restaurant should be allowed to sell alcohol under the terms of a premises licence – or should customers simply be invited to bring their own alcohol?

“This is about someone being able to have a glass of wine or small beer with their meal. Haven’t we all done that at some point?

“Did we then urinate in the street, threaten children, smash bottles, drop litter or fight? Of course we didn’t. Lisa [owner] takes her responsibilities very seriously.”

The restaurant has put forward more than 50 suggested conditions to attach to the licence.

Lisa Dingley, director of Moseley Food and Drink Ltd, said: “The concept of Melt is based around melted cheese and our focus is on quality not quantity.

“I have lived in Kings Heath and Moseley my whole life and live two streets away from the premises.

“I can completely understand some of the concerns around brining a licensed premises to the area which is why the self-imposed licence conditions go beyond what is legally required.

“I hope to bring together the wonderful and vibrant community in which we live through good food and great company and yes that means a bottle of wine too.”

Objectors have argued it will lead to people drinking outside and causing noise in the area.

Fiona Adams, an objector speaking on behalf of the Moseley Society at the meeting, said: “We have always regarded 124 and 126 Billesley Lane as unsuitable locations for anything other than residential use.

“If the applicant really wishes to go ahead and open an unlicensed food business trading until 8pm, then she can do this but if I were her I would be looking at one of the many empty premises in Moseley and Kings Heath to start her business.”

Objector Anita Moore said: “My concerns are really the same as the other neighbours. I have no objection to a café – that would be really very nice and we would use it but I do have concerns that having a licensed restaurant in this area could lead to it becoming a bar.”

The sub-committee is due to give a decision within five working days.

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