Bexhill restaurant loses alcohol licence after appeal dismissed

The Chilli Tree, in Bexhill
The Chilli Tree, in Bexhill

A restaurant in Bexhill has been ordered to stop serving alcohol, after an appeal against the revocation of its licence was dismissed, Rother District Council has confirmed.

The Chilli Tree, in King Offa Way, Bexhill, had its premises licence revoked by a panel of Rother District Council’s Licencing and General Purposes Committee on May 29, 2018, after enforcement officers from the Home Office discovered illegal and underage workers at the restaurant on two separate occasions.

The restaurant owner’s decision to appeal the revocation gave him the right to continue to serve alcohol until the appeal had been heard, the council said.

But on Wednesday, September 26, the council made an application at Hastings Magistrates’ Court to have the appeal dismissed, on the grounds that Mr Uddin had ‘failed to comply with court directions’.

The application was upheld by the District Judge, who noted that Mr Uddin appeared to be using the statutory appeal process to enable his restaurant to continue to sell alcohol until the full appeal was heard, the council added.

Councillor Chris Saint, chairman of Rother District Council’s Licensing and General Purposes Committee, said: “We are pleased that, after hearing the evidence presented, the District Judge made the decision to dismiss Mr Uddin’s appeal and ordered him to pay the council’s costs.

“On two separate occasions, the Chilli Tree was found to be employing illegal immigrants and on one of these occasions was also employing a child without the relevant permission.

“Mr Uddin had numerous opportunities, both in front of the General Licensing Panel and again at court hearings, to present his case but he failed to do so.

“This ruling sends out a message that we expect licensees to comply with all aspects of the law relating to their premises, and that the council will deal robustly with any who choose not to do so.”

The Chilli Tree restaurant was inspected by Sussex Police and Home Office Immigration Officers in October 2017 and January 2018.

On both visits illegal workers were found – one individual was working on both occasions, according to the council.

After the inspections, the Chilli Tree was fined £10,000 by the Home Office for employing illegal workers. At the time of print, the fine remained outstanding, according to a Home Office spokesman.

The dismissal of the appeal means the premises license is revoked with immediate effect, banning the restaurant from selling alcohol.

Mr Uddin was also directed to pay Rother District Council’s costs of £6,776.50, the council confirmed.

Related stories:

Bexhill restaurant fined £10,000 after Home Office visit

Bexhill restaurant’s alcohol licence revoked