A group of residents living near Monty’s in Castle Road called a review of the business’s licence in response to “repeated” noise problems and anti-social behaviour from its customers. Ahead of Thursday’s (August 24) meeting of a Portsmouth City Council licensing sub-committee, they agreed with the owners of the recently-closed restaurant to the conditions, preventing councillors from considering revoking the premises’ licence.
Councillor Jason Fazackarley, the sub-committee’s chairman, said these measures, including the removal of permission for music, the banning of outside drinking and amended hours, were suitable.
“The sub-committee determined it was appropriate to impose conditions as agreed and not take any further – or lesser action – and accepted that the overwhelming weight of evidence before it accepted this as a reasonable and proportionate approach,” he said.
The review application was made by neighbour Amanda O’Reilly who said issues had increased in the last 18 months “with drunk clientèle allowed to shout in the street, excessive noise, and a violent, unprovoked attack on a resident”.
“This is not a one-off party that got out of hand,” she said. “Residents have seen the decline of Monty’s and it has now reached rock bottom. The residents have had enough.”
She was backed by council licensing officers and environmental health officers who had issued warnings to the restaurant’s owners about these issues earlier this year.
No concerns were raised by Hampshire police.
Restaurant owner Karim Sattari confirmed the restaurant was up for sale and argued that this would be complicated had any more significant action, such as revoking its licence, been taken by the council.
“Cutting the hours back would not make the venue financially viable and this makes it very difficult to sell on,” he said. “We must stress strongly that we would suffer a significant financial loss if the license was lost and there would be little, if any value, remaining in the business.”
The restaurant, formerly called Angry Aly’s, Indigo, Truffles, Castle Wine Bar and Restaurant 69, was subject to a similar review in 2010 due to complaints about noise.
Councillors agreed at the time to remove the playing of music from its licence but this was superseded by the 2012 Live Music Act that allowed its return.
Speaking at Thursday’s meeting, Mr Sattari’s solicitor, Jon Wallsgrove, said it was important not to lose another hospitality business in the city and that the conditions would resolve problems.
“There are far too many premises that are closing down given problems from covid and the lack of a real recovery yet so we feel this should be imposed,” he said.
David Dadds, the solicitor for Mrs O’Reilly agreed that these conditions would prove effective.
“We believe it is appropriate to take these steps to promote the licensing objectives, we don’t think it’s appropriate to revoke the licence,” he said. “We hope that going forward any particular purchaser promotes the licensing objectives and these conditions are adhered to.”