PLEASE HELP SAVE SEED
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Due to technicalities and in house departmental council debate, Seed is having problems with licensing and planning which will greatly affect our ability to run our business. Please sign our petition and help us get back on our feet so we can continue contributing to the vibrancy of an area we love so dearly!
Please see below for the whole story.
In 2015 Jamie, formerly of Pomegranate Food and Drink House, asked the licensing department of Hastings Council if it would be ok to evolve our brand into a tapas and cocktail bar. At the time the licensing department advised there was no problem with the change over and Pomegranate was transformed into Seed shortly after.
In 2016, after a routine inspection by the police licensing department, it was noted that the premises license (which allows us to sell alcohol) was still in the name of Pomegranate. This came as a shock as we were under the impression this wasn’t an issue, especially as we thought we had the blessing of the council. Because of the name change, it meant that the premises license had lapsed, and we found ourselves, after 11 long years, in a position where we could no longer legally trade due to a technicality.
Onto the next disaster! As we are situated in George Street, no new licenses are being granted. Unfortunately even despite the fact we had traded there for so long with no complaints, we were treated like a new premises. The next step was to appeal this, so we hired a license consultant, and at the end of September Seed was granted a new Premises license, by 3 HBC councillors, which allowed us to carry on running Seed as previously.
We hoped that would be the end of a nightmare summer but alas there was more! While going through this process, certain relevant authorities also brought it to our attention that the old planning permission from May 2000, stated we could only open to 11 pm and that food must be served at all times with alcohol. The 2nd part of this statement is historically untrue and has only been recently sanctioned by the council as a means of limiting licenses in the area for their own administrative purposes.
From the back end of 2004 to Spring 2005, we had been operating our business to the law laid out on our premises license, which allows us to open later and has never had any conditions regarding food. As the council had brought this to our attention, we still took advice from the planning enforcement department on the best way to move forward, and submitted another application in accordance with this advice. After submitting a lengthy application, we were then advised the very same application would be refused!
It is now over a year since these problems begun all because of a technicality, not because we have ever been a problem.
We have since then put in another application called a certificate of lawfulness (in short if you have been in breach of your permission for more than 10 years then you should be able to carry on) Planning have also refused this, stating insufficient and inconsistent evidence, so we are now in the process of submitting this again, hopefully with more concise information that the planning department will find acceptable and conclusive in our favour.
This whole process has cost thousands in council and consultant fees. It has cost jobs and cast a shadow over the continuation of Seed, a family run business that has created many jobs over the past 12 years.
We would ask if you support us to please sign our petition, so we can jump through this final council hoop, carry on paying the staff and create many more good times in the future. Thank you to our friends and Old Town family that have helped provide statements and support throughout this stressful time.
If you've made it this far thanks for trying to get your head around this dilemma!
A BIG THANK YOU AND MUCH RESPECT Jamie xxx please don't forget to sign ;)
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