Bexhill restaurant’s alcohol licence revoked

The Chilli Tree restuarant in Bexhill
The Chilli Tree restuarant in Bexhill

An Asian restaurant in Bexhill has had its alcohol licence revoked after it was found to be employing illegal immigrants on two separate occasions, according to Rother District Council.

The Chilli Tree Asian Cuisine, located in King Offa Way, Bexhill, was also found to be employing a child without the relevant permission on one of these visits, the council said.

The restaurant was previously fined £15,000 by the Home Office following an intelligence-led visit by immigration enforcement officers on January 27, 2018, but this was reduced to £10,000 at objection stage and remains outstanding.

Rother District Council’s licensing panel met on May 20 to review the alcohol premises license but had asked for more time to make a decision.

However, on Friday (June 1) the panel decided to revoke the alcohol licence.

The council said restaurant owner Saleh Uddin was issued with a notice giving him time to appeal the decision.

Councillor Sally-Ann Hart, chairman of the Rother District Council licensing panel, said: “The panel carefully considered a considerable amount of evidence on a number of operations carried out at this premises.

“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.

“The panel felt that Mr Uddin failed to put forward any convincing evidence as to how he was intending to ensure such breaches did not happen again in future.

“As a result of careful deliberations, the panel did not have confidence that he would be able to comply with the licensing objectives in the future and therefore felt the most appropriate course of action was to revoke the licence.

“I hope this ruling will send out a message that the council expects licensees to do everything they reasonably can to comply with the law, and that those who choose not to do so can expect to face the consequences.”

Mr Uddin said he intends to appeal the Home Office’s decision.