Hemel Hempsted pub closed by police as a hotspot for anti-social behaviour will keep its licence to sell alcohol

The former tenant of The Tudor Rose in Long Chaulden hadn't paid rent and the pub was 'a shambles'

By Matthew Smith, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 25th March 2022, 3:39 pm
Updated Friday, 25th March 2022, 3:40 pm
The Tudor Rose

A Hemel Hempstead pub which was closed down by police for becoming a “hotspot for chronic anti-social behaviour” is allowed to keep its licence to sell alcohol.

The Tudor Rose, in Long Chaulden, was closed by Hertfordshire Police last month, but Dacorum Borough Council said it was satisfied the past manager is no longer involved with the business. It added it won’t need to reapply for a licence once a new manager is in place.

The decision was made after a borough council’s licencing sub-committee earlier this month, which was published this week.

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According to a report following the meeting, councillors heard when the police visited the pub on January 21, “it was a shambles, there was nobody in charge, customers were helping themselves behind the bar, although one person said he was serving.”

Police contacted the licence holder on the Monday morning before an area manager for Stonegate Brewery, the pub’s owner and premises licence holder, confirmed the tenant had been given notice to quit the premises on February 25.

According to the report, the tenant – who isn’t named by the council – was buying beer from other suppliers and hadn’t paid any rent, with the pub company doing “everything they could” to get him out of the premises.

The individual was not on the pub’s licence as the designated premises supervisor (DPS), but on February 1, the pub’s operators applied to the council to remove the named DPS from the licence, which meant alcohol could not legally be sold in the pub.

However, on February 1 there was a further incident despite the ban on serving alcohol and on February 4 a closure order was granted with the pub boarded up and forced to close.

According to the report, the tenant wouldn’t speak with the borough council’s licensing department and therefore they were unable to get any details from him, but it appeared he was walking away from the business.

The licensing sub-committee was legally required to consider the pub’s licence following the closure order, but no responsible authorities including the police and council had called for the pub to be stripped of its ability to serve alcohol after being satisfied this was a “bad apple”.

In their written decision, the sub-committee said it had decided against making any changes to the licence and would allow the pub’s operators to find a new tenant.

It reads: “The Sub-Committee notes that whilst the closure order confirms that there was crime and/or disorder at the Premises, this was done so under the occupation and control of the Tenant who has now vacated the Premises. The Sub-Committee further notes that there were no representations from responsible authorities.

“The Sub-Committee is satisfied that the premises licence holder had co-operated with the police and the Licencing Authority to promote the licensing objective of preventing crime and disorder. The premises licence holder had terminated the lease with the Tenant, removed the Designated Premises Supervisor from the premises licence to prevent the sale of alcohol at the Premises and supported the closure order.

“The Tenant had also not paid any rent under the lease to the premises licence holder and breached further covenants including purchasing obligations with the Stonegate Group.”

The pub’s operator has said it will liaise with the police to ensure the new tenant is suitable for the pub, and it will also carry out a refurbishment of the premises before re-opening.