Southsea Brunch Klub changes partially approved following concerns about antisocial behaviour

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A restaurant and bar in Southsea has been forced to scale back its ambitions after city councillors only partially-approved a request to change its licence in the face of opposition from its neighbours.

Twelve people objected to the application from Southsea Brunch Klub (SBK) to vary its licence, warning its opening has led to increased issues of anti-social behaviour that they said was making life there intolerable. The business’s owner, Steve Hudson, said the changes, including a basement bar and a reduction in the number of seats, would give it more flexibility and allow the business to succeed.

His application included the installation of a lobby door, allowing the continued use of the basement bar, a reduction from 110 to 70 seats, the removal of a limit on the number of people allowed at the bars and the requirement for food to be served with alcohol.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Southsea Brunch Klub in Elm Grove. 
Picture: FarFly MediaSouthsea Brunch Klub in Elm Grove. 
Picture: FarFly Media
Southsea Brunch Klub in Elm Grove. Picture: FarFly Media

At its Monday (October 9) meeting, the city council’s licensing sub-committee approved most of the measures but only allowed a reduction in seats to 85 – a figure given by Mr Hudson for its current capacity – in a bid to ensure it is more restaurant-focussed while also forcing a condition that staff members supervise customers leaving the building.

“The sub-committee heard repeated reassurance from the premises that its intention was to operate as a restaurant but to allow flexibility for tables to be flipped and for patrons to remain after having eaten,” its chairman, councillor Stuart Brown, said.

“First-hand evidence was heard from residents that the premises had significantly increased anti-social behaviour and the issues generally since it operated under its current management.

“It is unusual that such a large number of residents should express these concerns. It is unfortunate and disappointing that the application is as a result of complaints and non-compliance with conditions, meaning it is a retrospective attempt to regularise the business already in place.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The sub-committee is keen to support and endorse a successful restaurant but recognises the residents concerns.”

Objectors described the business as having “an awful negative effect to the quality of life” for people living in the area.

“There has been a restaurant there for many years and we’ve never had a problem with it and having a healthy, vibrant high street is important for the area,” Laura Cook told councillors. “But since SBK has been open, there has been a marked change in the character and behaviours around the street and as far as I can see there is a causal link.”

Solicitor Jon Wallsgrove, representing Mr Hudson, said the business had acknowledged their concerns but said issues in the area were not solely due to its customers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The premises is not going to change in character. It’s primary focus is on food,” he said.” What it’s [the variation application] trying to achieve is a degree of flexibility within that because the way people enjoy their nights out has changed in recent years.

“We are aware of concerns that have been raised by local residents. Mr Hudson wants to reassure them that he wants to work with people to ensure solutions are found to issues they raise.

“But not everything that happens in the vicinity of those premises is directly as a result of SBK customers. There have been some issues but they are very few and far between. They are sporadic.”

Related topics: