A takeaway boss’s plans to increase his opening hours late into the night backfired last week - when he was told his original hours were to be slashed.
Hadi Nazari wanted to open Petra’s Pizza’s, on Preston Road, Farington, until 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, instead of 1am.
But when South Ribble Council’s licensing committee found he had been breaching the terms of his licence, and staying open until around 3am on occasion, they slapped him with a notice to cut his trading hours.
Mr Nazari had argued that the people he was serving after closing time were friends and family who were helping him clean up, who he wasn’t charging for food, but the council disputed this.
Licensing enforcement officer Niky Barrett read out evidence from when she monitored activity at the premise in the early hours of August 4.
She said: “I arrived at 1am and saw a group of five outside the shop. They were obviously in drink, and they were eating what I presume to be food from the shop.
“They were being noisy, and nobody from the shop asked them to be quiet or to move on.
“Shortly afterwards the neon ‘open’ sign was switched off, but the door was still open and the ‘Petra’s’ sign was still illuminated.
“At 1.10am, people came from the direction of the Railway pub, and I observed them placing an order in the shop. They left with pizza boxes.”
She added that more people were served at 1.40am, and that the shop only closed at 1.50am.
Seven letters objecting to the proposals had been submitted to the council from angry residents, who also spoke out at the meeting.
They told of problems with people being loud and abusive outside the shop, as well as litter issues.
One woman said: “We used to have retail shops here which closed at 5pm. They’re all gone now and we’ve got takeaways.
“They originally closed at 11pm, then it went to 1am, and now they’re asking to open until 2.30am.”
In a letter put forward by Mr Nazari’s solicitor, which ‘strenuously defends any breaches of the licensing hours’, it was suggested that staff asked patrons to leave the takeaway quietly.
But Coun David Howarth, who sits on the committee, said: “Our officer has observed intoxicated patrons entering your premise for refreshment.”
Mr Nazari replied: “My friend was waiting for a taxi. I know he was drunk. I didn’t charge him for food.”
Gillian Strike, the council’s senior environmental health officer, then asked: “Our officer witnessed drunken and abusive behaviour. If these were your friends, why did you not ask them to calm down?”
Mr Nazari did not answer.
The panel decided that the premise’s licence operating times should be changed to ensure that on Fridays and Saturdays, the takeaway can only provide food until 12.45am, with the doors closing at 1am.
The shop will close by 11pm from Sunday to Thursday, as outlined in the original licence.
The committee also stated that a notice should be displayed asking customers to avoid causing noise nuisance or disturbance to local residents.