Indian restaurants lose licences for employing illegal workers

Cottage Tandoori: 25 West St, Storrington, Pulborough RH20 4DZ. Pic Steve Robards SR1723839 SUS-170926-152915001
Cottage Tandoori: 25 West St, Storrington, Pulborough RH20 4DZ. Pic Steve Robards SR1723839 SUS-170926-152915001

Two Indian restaurants’ premises licences have been revoked due to employing illegal workers after an unsuccessful appeal earlier this week, according to Horsham District Council.

Cottage Tandoori in West Street, Storrington and the Indian Cottage, in London Road, Ashington, can still remain open but can no longer sell alcohol, or provide food and refreshments after 11pm.

Indian Cottage: London Rd, Ashington, Pulborough RH20 3JT. Pic Steve Robards SR1723855 SUS-170926-152946001

Indian Cottage: London Rd, Ashington, Pulborough RH20 3JT. Pic Steve Robards SR1723855 SUS-170926-152946001

Back in September the council’s licensing sub-committee heard from Home Office officials how both restaurants had been visited three times each by immigration enforcement teams, with illegal workers found on each visit.

As a result, councillors decided to revoke both location’s premises licences, but this was appealed.

However these decisions were upheld at an appeal hearing at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday February 28, and the revocations will now be enforced by the council with immediate effect.

Full costs were also awarded to HDC.

Commenting on the result of the appeal Jim Sanson, chairman of the council’s Licensing Sub-Committee said: “Having heard from Home Office officials that after several visits to the premises in question, illegal workers were repeatedly found at each site, the Licensing Sub-Committee has no option but to revoke these licenses.

“Information for employers on the correct procedures to be adopted is readily available to businesses so there is really no excuse.”

Back in September barrister Kris Berlevy, speaking on behalf of Kaher Zaman who is the premises licence holder for both restaurants, explained how Mr Zaman had ‘taken his eye off the ball despite an unblemished 30 year history’ due to a mixture of personal circumstances and family matters.

Mr Zaman said: “I make sure anybody who comes into the premises looking for a job and applying for a job has to show their paperwork before they even do a trial period. Before all that did not happen.

“I hold my hands up and accept that responsibility.”