Seven Cellars – Pre Consultation for New Licence Application - 2021

This Document has been written in support of a prospective licence application by Seven Cellars Ltd for -

Brighton Railway Station

Unit 6 Former Cards Galore

Queens Road Brighton BN1 3XP

Seven Cellars Ltd has been established with a shop in the Seven Dials area in Brighton since 2015.

A picture containing text, store, shop  Description automatically generated

Figure 1. Seven Cellars, 104a Dyke Road, BN1 3JD

A picture containing text, bottle, indoor, wine  Description automatically generated


Figure 2. Seven Cellars, 104a Dyke Road inside shelving

A picture containing text, indoor, shelf, store  Description automatically generated


Figure 3. Seven Cellars, 104a Dyke Road -inside showing refrigerated stock




From the time that the owner of Seven Cellars,Louise Oliver, studied Wine Business at Plumpton College (University of Brighton) and began to plan her business, the aim of Seven Cellars has always been to provide a distinctive and engaging asset to the local community, which showcases the best products that Brighton, Sussex and the wider world can offer, and adds value with informative and friendly service along with every item we sell. We are very pleased to say that the local community has taken us to heart since we opened in 2015 and they appreciate our focus on specialist drinks including vegan, organic, low and no alcohol options, natural products, and a wide range of very local craft beers, wines and spirits from the Brighton and Sussex area. It has been particularly gratifying to work with small local SMEs, sometimes as their very first retail outlet, and watch their businesses and range grow and see our customers enjoy their products.


We feel we reflect a positive change in people’s approach to alcohol purchase and consumption, and want to be a knowledgeable and responsible retailer. Apart from a couple of reports made to the police for shop lifting incidents, we have had no problems with problem drinkers or bad behaviour at our premises in all the time we have been there. We believe our approach and presentation discourages anti-social behaviour and does not appeal to problem drinkers. We are sure that this will be the same for the shop at Brighton station.


We have a fair pricing policy, with a standard mark-up across our range, but we have never tried to compete on price, and don’t sell the same products as supermarkets or pile it high off-licences. We don’t do multi-buy offers, or discount deals, and we don’t sell any products that would have a lower minimum unit price than 50p per unit (that is the MUP in Scotland, in fact we are far higher per unit on average than that). We can notice at Seven Dials that the public have moved away from wanting the high volume discount type of old fashioned drinks retailing, as a number of those sorts of shops have closed their doors permanently since we have opened. This is a positive trend.


Since 2015 we have employed lots of people from the local area, and are very proud of our links to Plumpton College, with the majority of our well informed staff over the years being students or graduates. Some of them have gone on to work in the wine or beer industry, in much bigger businesses and we are always thrilled to see them thriving and doing so well. We look forward to the day, which is not far off, when a former staff member produces a new beer of wine in the Brighton area which we can sell to our customers.

 We have also helped our staff by supporting them to get further specialist training and education in Wine, Beers and Spirits. Louise Oliver, the owner of Seven Cellars has been invited to give lectures to the Wine Business students at Plumpton College, and Seven Cellars has run a number of educational tastings and events for our customers. Sussex continues to grow as one of the UK’s most innovative and successful regions for the production of high quality wine, beers and spirits, with new start ups all the time. As proud Brightonians, who love what our city represents to residents and visitors alike, we believe that Brighton should be the hub for that thriving drinks sector, and we want to play a full role in the long-term in being a leading retailer and showcase for the very best of what the city and region has to offer.

Our aim for the new Seven Cellars at Brighton Train station is to give the same excellent, knowledgeable and friendly service that we are known for, and to provide an immediate opportunity, for those visiting or travelling regularly,  to buy some world class locally produced wines, beers and spirits, plus some really interesting and unique international products. There are some incredible, modern, independent outlets at train stations around the UK, with the Sheffield Tap at Sheffield train station being a particularly fantastic example. We feel that in our own unique way we want to bring an outlet of an equally high standard to Brighton train station, which will enhance people’s experience of a beautiful, early Victorian building and our wonderful city, which we are all so proud of. As a matter of co-incidence, it would appear that our existing shop and the main building at Brighton Station where the proposed shop is, were both built in 1841. So what a great way to keep 180 years of history alive with two shops in old premises designed to meet the needs of today’s customers.




The Property is situated on the main concourse at Brighton Station, Unit 6 which used to be occupied by “Cards Galore” before it went into administration. The property is therefore currently vacant. Full address as follows:

Brighton Railway Station

Unit 6 Former Cards Galore

Queens Road Brighton BN1 3XP


The building is a Grade 1 listed building but the units and retail outlets inside the station do not come under any Grade 1 legal jurisdictions or demands.

Seven Cellars has received the Heads of Terms (HOT’s) for the unit and the Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd (GTR) The GTR representatives, Kevin Lawrence  is so keen for us to take over the site, it has been taken off the market in the hope that we can make a successful licencing application and show our business is an exceptional case for a modern outlet that will enhance the retail offer in the station and the overall positive experience of the facilities in the station for visitors and local people who regularly travel by train. We have their full support in the application for a licence.

Unit 6 is a very small shop, measuring 341 cm x 500 cm and we mean to refurbish to an extremely high standard with a luxury, premium feel. We will be using wooden shelving and employing local businesses to help us to carry out the shop-fit. We envisage that the shop-fit will take 4 weeks to complete and this will be undertaken in times of low foot-fall outside of busy travel times.

A picture containing building, indoor, area  Description automatically generated

Figure 5. Unit 6, left of Superdrug

A picture containing text, floor, indoor  Description automatically generated

Figure 6. Unit 6, Left Hand Door

A picture containing indoor  Description automatically generated

Figure 7. Unit 6, Interior

There are of course some occasions when the station is extremely busy, so we will plan our working patterns with great care when the shop is open so that during the busiest times the shop can be managed safely and appropriately, with a  minimum of impact to the area outside the shop.


I have attached the proposed floorplan to the email.

We intend to use a muted colour scheme in blacks and gold and the signage will reflect the muted tones of our current business. The shop sign will be illuminated but will be on a timer and so will be switched off upon leaving the premises nightly. A modern, clean and stylishly designed unit will be less attractive to those looking for cheap alcohol, and will enhance the station experience overall. Our experience at Seven Dials is that street drinkers feel discouraged by the look and feel of the shop and the products on offer and they never want to come in, so they go elsewhere. We have taken special measures in the design of the unit at the station to make it particularly difficult for shop lifters, which we feel is an essential consideration in an often busy and fast moving environment, and will further discourage anti-social behaviour.

The DPS is Louise Oliver, the owner of the business. Louise Oliver studied at Plumpton College for her second degree as a mature student in Wine Business. She has been involved in the wine industry for more than 15 years. She was recently asked to judge at an international gin tasting competition. She is a wine importer, educator and is a trained teacher with a BA Hons in Education, and is increasingly being seen as an expert in her field.


We are asking you to consider allowing us to open our second retail outlet at Brighton Station. We propose our opening hours will be 10am – 9pm with no special late nights or events at all to be requested in this location.

 Brighton Station is the gateway to Brighton, and we would be showcasing some of our home-made, locally produced products by some of our best and brightest businesses. We will have 10% of the store devoted to low and non-alcoholic drinks such as locally made Kombucha, juices, sodas, seltzers, snacks and chocolates.


We have traded successfully for 5 years at Seven Dials, and in that time we have been described as a responsible retailer at a meeting with the council licensing officers. We have high quality CCTV which is available immediately on request and this records and holds all the data for 31 days. We intend to offer the same high quality CCTV at the station, Unit 6.

We have a website you will be able to access photographs and see a selection of our products. This will demonstrate that we have exceptional products and an exceptional range.

We will promote the four licensing objectives: We intend to have two members of staff working from Midday to close and we will adhere to the Challenge 25 scheme. We will have our own high quality CCTV within the shop and we will make use of a refusals book to record any incidents, staff training and good management will ensure that the business is exemplary in upholding the councils objectives.


No one who is under the age of 18 will be permitted inside the shop. We will have two members of staff at the station from mid-day every day, which will help us to deal with any crime or disorder issues effectively if they occur. We will position the counter so that members of the public  must be served from the counter. The refrigerated stock will be accessible from the shop by customers using sliding doors.  We will not take any cash on the premises and we will display that fact clearly at the counter or somewhere prominently in the shop. This will deter or disincentivize opportunist criminals from trying to take the till which could put the staff in danger. We will not serve anyone who appears to be under the age of 18 - and we will do this by using the very successful "Challenge 25" directive. Our policy has always been to promote sensible drinking. We do not sell, and we will never sell any high-strength beers or ciders that are not classed as "craft" (small breweries). We will not sell any big brand lagers such as Stella, Carling, Heineken. We will not sell any high strength big brand white ciders such as Diamond White, White Lightning or Frosty Jack. This is a high quality shop aiming to sell high quality and specialist craft drinks which proudly promotes the quality products we produce in Sussex and the wider UK as well as from around the world. We will not sell single cans of big brand beer.

We are aware that adults will sometimes engage with children to purchase alcohol on their behalf. We will be vigilant and try to ensure this does not happen but will record and detail and incidents where we feel this could have occurred and have excellent communication with other staff members to make them aware if this has occurred. We will work with the police whenever necessary.



We already operate the challenge 25 scheme in our current premises. We will ensure that the challenge 25 posters are displayed prominently inside the shop or on the door at the entrance, and we will of course question people who appear to be under 25 years old as we do now. The signage will be in muted tones of black and gold as it is now - the lighting will be muted and switched off upon leaving the premises. There will be very low levels of noise inside the shop - using low level radio for the staff and general atmosphere more than anything.

We will be positioned on the concourse of Brighton Station therefore we are confident that no residential premises will be impacted by our presence with regard to lighting or noise.

We will make use of a refusals book to document any incidents that occur.

Clear, illuminated fire escape signage will be displayed very prominently by the single door for escape should it be required.

We will have a full first aid kit in situ. If we spill or have any breakages, we will use clear and bright - appropriate signage and cleaning up will be immediate. Any rubbish will be taken away using a specialist collection company. As now, the rubbish is not toxic - it is predominantly cardboard - we use special bags and make sure they are crushed and separated appropriately



Because we are not selling cheap, high strength alcohol with low unit pricing, we believe we will not be contributing to the cumulative impact that street drinking causes.  We will adopt the successful policy already in place at our other premises in Dyke Road of using a refusals book to list and document any incidents that occur and especially anyone that is inebriated or underage. We will carry out training of staff every 6-8 weeks. We understand that policing the night time economy is a challenge for the police and so we wish to close by 9pm every night and not cause any additional stress on the police needing to go to incidents caused by the over consumption of alcohol. We will have our own high quality CCTV in store and of course we will be supported by other CCTV available within the station concourse - but not rely solely on this, as we will have our own video records too.



No children will be permitted on the premises. We will have full exclusion of minors without exception on the premises. We will carry out training for staff and be alert to members of the public being coerced into buying alcohol for underage people. We don’t think this is going to be a problem for us because we will be selling high value wines, beers and spirits but we will of course be very aware that this could happen and what to look out for if it does. There will be no seating outside and will not allow any consumption on the premises - even as a "special request". We have no interest in providing alcohol for immediate consumption. We will be particularly vigilant when serving adults with responsibility for children. We will not offer any products in open containers. We will not offer the increasingly popular refill stations for wines and beers for takeaway. All our wines, beers and spirits are for off-sales and as such we pledge never to assist with any requests for opening bottles. We will not comply with any requests from the public to do this.


We believe we are offering an exceptional circumstance and so we would like to propose that the request for an alcohol licence be given.

Should you wish to receive any further information about, or in support of this licence application we will be only too pleased to provide this on request. We believe we can play a positive role in the community at Brighton station and will add value to the experience of the station for visitors and residents who are regular train users alike.