Leaseholder barred from entry to Bijoux, Haywards Heath

Bijoux Bar and Lounge in Haywards Heath. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140318-120905001
Bijoux Bar and Lounge in Haywards Heath. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140318-120905001

The leaseholder and former manager of a bar in the Broadway, Haywards Heath, has been banned from entering the premises under the terms of its new license.

Bijoux was granted a new license, permitting it to open from 9am to 2am seven days a week, on Monday by the district council’s Liquor Licensing Panel, despite objections lodged by Sussex Police and nearby residents concerned about noise.

Members were advised that: “Sussex Police object to the grant of the licence under the crime and disorder objective due to the ongoing involvement of Dean Austin as the leaseholder of the premises.”

Last year, while Austin was the premises’ licence holder and designated premises supervisor, the premises had its licence revoked.

“Mr Austin has since been convicted for Conspiracy to Produce Controlled Drugs and is currently on remand awaiting sentencing,” stated the police in its written objection.

Austin, 30 of Mackenzie Road, Beckenham was charged with conspiracy to produce cannabis in December 2012, pleaded guilty in August 2013 and was due to appear at Lewes Crown Court on March 21.

However, a new licence was granted which permits live and recorded music, dancing and supply of alcohol every day until 1am, with closure by 2am.

The new licence-holder Sarah Palser of Haywards Heath Leisure Ltd. agreed to a number of conditions which included: “Notwithstanding any legal obligations under the existing lease, the current leaseholder Dean Austin, shall not be permitted entry to the premises at any time and shall have no further involvement in the running of, or in any other aspect of the management.”

Mrs Palser said she was delighted the licence had been granted and that it heralded a new beginning for the small bar which under its new management would be very different from its more recent incarnations.

In May 2013, then called Q Ba, the premises had its licence revoked due to ‘unacceptably high levels of drunkenness, disorder and violent crime’, according to Sussex Police.

Mrs Palser said: “I won’t stand for the things that seemed to go on before.

“We want to throw ourselves into the environment and work with the community, not against them.”

Chairman of the Mid Sussex District Council Licensing Committee, Cllr Peter Reed said: “The new premises licence will be subject to a raft of tight conditions, which were put forward by Sussex Police, the Council’s Environmental Health Team and a local Residents’ Association representing the residents of The Broadway.

“We believe compliance with these stringent conditions, which the new management accepted prior to the Licensing Hearing, will help ensure the bar will be run in a responsible way and alleviate the concerns the previous management of the bar created.”