A 'façade' licence application has been withdrawn at a Reading curry house which lost its booze licence after five illegal workers were found on the premises.

Miah’s Garden of Gulab, on Wokingham Road, is one of a trio of Berkshire restaurants under the same owner that had their booze licences revoked last year after 12 illegal workers were found by Home Office enforcement.

Berkshire Restaurant Ltd (BRL), a company created in late December 2018, applied for a new licence at the three restaurants, in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire.

Jamshed Miah, the owner of three restaurants, said the applications were withdrawn because Berkshire Restaurant Ltd director James Southern was no longer able to take over the business.

The licensing meeting for Miah’s Garden of Gulab was due to take place at 5pm today at Reading Borough Council (RBC).

The premises licence application for Miah’s Garden of Gulabwas slammed by police as a ‘façade’.

Mr Miah now wants to apply for new licences  at the three restaurants under his own name.

He said he has made significant changes to Miah’s policies and procedures over the last few months to ensure it fully complies with licencing and employment regulations in the future.

He added: “There is little point in wasting the council’s time and money with a licence application when we do not have a suitable person in place for the role.

“We also see very little benefit in creating a new company solely to manage the licenced aspect of our businesses, which are, first and foremost, restaurant and take away operations.

“The serving of drinks is essentially for the benefit of our customers to enhance their dining experience.

“We hope to demonstrate to Wokingham and Reading Councils that we have taken on board our previous errors and failings and taken every step possible to ensure that these will not happen again.

“We have not yet submitted these applications but will be looking for the councils to provide guidance and assistance to ensure compliance in all matters.”

In the report for the cancelled meeting, TVP officer Simon Wheeler said the application had been made by someone with ‘direct links to the Miah family and its associates and business partners’ to get around the revoked alcohol licence.

He added that the force is worried about a continuation of ‘poor practice’ after Miah’s restaurants were found to have committed ‘serious immigration offences’ last year.

RBC licensing officer Peter Narancic said the applicant would likely have no day-to-day control of the business and is ‘in effect’ applying on behalf of Mr Miah.

He added: “Mr Jamshed has made previous attempts to retain this premises at all costs.”

The three licence revocations were appealed by Mr Miah to the Magistrates’ Court which means the licences are currently in force.

Further applications to transfer the licences to his son were also refused last year, which Mr Miah has subsequently appealed.