i Due Barili Billericay- Credit: Google

Article by Hannah Brown: A new Lebanese restaurant is planned to open in Billericay, after councillors approved its licence application following objections over noise concerns.

Finest Lebanese Ltd is planning on opening a new restaurant, called Layalina, on the High Street in Billericay, Essex, in the building previously occupied by I Due Barili.

The restaurant is planned to have 40 covers, 15 to 20 of which would be situated in an outside garden area.

The restaurant’s licence application was considered by Basildon Borough Council’s Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee after objections were received from neighbours living to the rear of the restaurant.

The two objectors raised concerns over possible noise nuisance created from music and late night provision of alcohol, with one of the two objectors asking for the hours when music can be played and alcohol served to be restricted.

At the meeting on February 12, Gary Pons, speaking on behalf of the applicant highlighted the previous experience of the proposed premises supervisor, Fadi Saliba. Mr Pons said:

"[Mr Saliba] has held the premises licence to the Piccadilly branch since 2002 and then he has been the designated premises supervisor in relation to the Knightsbridge restaurant since 2009. In simple terms, he is experienced in the licensing regime and he can deal with any issues that may arise. He’s used to dealing with local residents and perhaps his key feature to this particular application, he understands that by opening a restaurant in Billericay his core client base will be the local residents, and so it is essential to developing that core client base that he develops a relationship with them where he understands, listens to their concerns and deals with them in a way that they understand and means that their concerns have been understood and listened to.”

Mr Pons also explained that an agreement to additional conditions had been reached with environmental health to mitigate any potential noise nuisance in the outdoor area of the restaurant. He said:

“Firstly, between Sunday and Thursday that outdoor area will not be used after 10pm and on Friday’s and Saturday’s, and any Sunday preceding a bank holiday, it will not be used after 11pm. That’s the first important thing because that is the area that is most likely to cause noise nuisance to the particular residents that have raised objections in this case. Furthermore, in terms of music, no music is going to be played outside there at all, so what you’re looking at in terms of use of the garden is it’s only going to be used for people sitting and consuming food at a table and the noise that you are dealing with is going to be conversation. Any noise greater than that, that has the ability to cause a nuisance to the neighbours, well of course the staff are going to be monitoring that, because that will be a condition of the licensing in any event.”

 My Pons added that following the agreement of the conditions, environmental health no longer objected to the application.

He also said that Dadds Solicitors, acting on behalf of the applicant, wrote to the two objectors explaining the conditions included in the agreement with environmental health, and added that they had also invited the two objectors to meet with Mr Saliba to discuss any concerns they have and to visit the restaurant itself o see the layout.

Before retiring to make a decision on the application, Councillor Elaine McDonald said: “We welcome this kind of endeavour in Billericay.

“It is a very sound application and you have actually during your presentation alleviated some of my concerns. Looking at the maps, it does look as though those residential buildings are kind of overlooking that outside area, but I think now you have explained how that layout is, I’m pretty convinced that Mr Saliba is experienced enough to be able to manage the set up.”

Article by Hannah Brown, InYourArea