Late licence approved for restaurant in golf club

A rural golf club near Ongar will become home to a new Indian restaurant with a licence to sell alcohol and host live music until late, despite objections from the local parish council.

Ullah Sazzad applied to Epping Forest District Council for a premises licence for his new restaurant at Toot Hill Golf Club, which was granted by the licensing sub committee on Tueday September 6.

Stanford Rivers Parish Council objected to the application, particularly over the late hours and the permission to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.

The 100-capacity restaurant will be allowed to serve alcohol for consumption on and off the premises, and provide live and recorded music until midnight, seven days a week.

No live and recorded music music will be allowed outside after 11pm, due to a condition on the licence.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Sazzad said customers would have to be seated to purchase alcohol, and the licence for off-premises sales was only to ensure people could take home an opened bottle of wine if they did not finish it during their meal.

He said: “This is going to be a fine dining Indian restaurant, very upmarket. I’m employing a very good chef from Mayfair, a Michelin Star Indian chef.”

Parish council clerk Adriana Jones said the council did not object to having an Indian restaurant in the clubhouse, just the late hours and off-sale of alcohol.

She said: “I appreciate the golf club is out of the way, which it is, however it is an extremely rural setting.”

She later said: “We would feel very uncomfortable with people being able to go up, get lots of alcohol and leave, that’s inappropriate for the rural setting.”

The restaurant’s opening hours will be between midday-midnight, Monday-Sunday. It will also be allowed to sell alcohol for consumption on and off the premises, and provide recorded music indoors during these hours. Live music will be allowed between 5pm-12am, Monday-Sunday.

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Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter