The licensee of a Croydon pub has lost a court battle to prevent his landlord from installing flow-monitoring equipment to check he is complying with his beer tie.
High Court judge Mr Justice Warren today granted an injunction to Unique Pub Properties, allowing it to enter the Broad Green Tavern to install the new i-draught monitoring system.
Licensee Daniel Dempsey, who runs the pub through his company, Broad Green Tavern Ltd (BGTL), had claimed that the i-draught system was not permitted under his lease of the pub because it was "inaccurate". He refused to allow Unique to enter the pub to install the system.
However, effectively ordering him to allow Unique in, the judge ruled: "In my judgment, BGTL and Mr Dempsey have no arguable defence to Unique's claim to be allowed to have access to the property on reasonable notice in order to install the i-draught system.
"I accept that the issues are of a much wider concern than to the parties to this action. But the wider concern does not justify putting Unique to the expense of a trial."
He said that, if there was anything in the allegations concerning the inaccuracy of the system, that dispute could be resolved if and when Unique brought a claim for damages for breach of the beer tie, based on the results from the i-draught.
Describing the i-draught, which is manufactured by Brulines, he said that it was "a device for measuring the flow of liquid through pipes or lines and for measuring the quantity passing" which was essentially a magnetic paddlewheel inserted into every beer, cider and water line.
He added: "The i-draught system is able to detect the type of liquid flowing through the line. It is thus able to detect whether there is a flow of beer or cider or whether the flow is of water during the cleaning process.
"It is also able to send information about the time at which each liquid is flowing; it is therefore able to enable a record to be compiled of when beer is being dispensed and thus to give some indication about whether beer is being served outside the hours for which the relevant public house is licensed to do so.
"But its primary purpose from the point of view of Unique is as part of the process of monitoring the amount of beer dispensed. This enables a comparison to be made with the amount of beer delivered to the relevant premises and thus to see whether the beer tie is being observed."
By Court Reporter
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