Restaurant closed following legal action to protect prospective diners

Published Tuesday, 29 September 2020

A restaurant in Orpington continues to be closed this week following legal action which was taken to protect prospective diners and the wider community from the potential transmission of Covid-19.

An application for a closure order of the Greek Meze restaurant in Orpington High Street at Bromley Magistrates Court has been adjourned pending a full hearing in October. The action, with the support of the Director of Public Health, follows repeated breeches of covid guidance, premises licence conditions and warnings from the council’s public protection and licensing team, which resulted in the issuing of a Community Protection Notice.

Councillor Kate Lymer, Executive Councillor for Public Protection and Enforcement said, “We are working tirelessly with businesses across the borough to help advise them what measures they need to take to protect members of the public and staff, comply with legislation and be covid secure.  We are doing what we can to prevent local outbreaks and we all need to do the same and I do want to thank businesses for the work they are doing.  In addition to our normal licensing and inspection work, we continue to proactively work to ensure that Bromley’s businesses are complying with the covid related legislation as appropriate.  

Councillor Lymer continued, “Closing a business is not what we want to see but it is absolutely vital that we all get this right.  Taking this enforcement action was the last resort and we continue to seek to work with this business to ensure they comply with the regulations.  Businesses and residents should be in no doubt that we cannot and will not take risks where there are public health and safety concerns.”  

The action follows a number of separate visits by the council’s public protection team, including at points with the police, to the premises and contact with the management of the restaurant.  The action also follows a number of reports from restaurant customers who expressed concerns about the lack of social distancing measures in place.  Despite providing full advice and guidance, the management of the restaurant failed to comply, and subsequently breached a Community Protection Notice. 

The breaches of the COVID guidance loud music being played, people dancing, a lack of social distancing both inside and outside the venue and with staff and security making no attempts to control or rectify the situation.

The activities which lead to the closure order application included:

  • Loud amplified music from the premises (against coronavirus guidance)
  • Dancing (against coronavirus guidance)
  • Lack of social distancing (against coronavirus guidance)
  • Use of the premises beyond its licensable hours under the Licensing Act 2003
  • Failure to comply with conditions stated within the premises licence issued under the Licensing Act 2003

Editor’s notes:

A Community Protection Notice was initially issued by the council using powers contained in the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, with a closure order then following.

The Greek Meze closed on Wednesday 23 September, with Bromley Magistrates Court extending the closure notice until Friday 9 October when there will be a full hearing relating to the initial 3 month closure order, which could also be extended for an additional three months.

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