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LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 27th February, 2014.

 

Present:  Councillors Mrs. P. Drake, A.G. Powell and J.W. Thomas.

 

Also present: Licensing Officer and Environmental Health Officer.

 

 

(a)       Appointment of Chairman:

 

Councillor A.G. Powell was elected Chairman for the duration of the hearing.

 

 

(b)       Declarations of Interest -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

(c)        Licensing Act 2003 – Application for a Premises Licence – Nell’s Point Events Space, Station Approach Road, Barry Island

 

Also present: Ms. S. Jones, Events Officer (Leisure and Tourism – Vale of Glamorgan Council), Ms. C. Evans – Tourism / Marketing Manager (Leisure and Tourism – Vale of Glamorgan Council) and approximately 20 Interested Parties.

 

The Chairman took the opportunity to remind those present of the procedure for the review hearing as contained within the agenda and following introductions, welcomed those present to the meeting.

 

The Licensing Officer outlined the licence application and stated that on 6th January, 2014 an application had been submitted by the Leisure and Tourism Department of the Vale of Glamorgan Council for a Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003, for the Nell’s Point Events Space.  The application requested permission for Regulated Entertainment (plays, films, live music, recorded music and performance of dance) between the hours of 09.00 to 22.30 seven days a week.  A copy of the application was attached at Appendix A to the report.  During the consultation period a representation had been received from the Environmental Health Department which was attached at Appendix B to the report.  In addition 29 representations had been received from local residents and elected representatives, a copy of the representations were attached at Appendix C to the report. 

 

The Events Officer for the Leisure and Tourism Department of the Vale of Glamorgan Council presented the application advising that the Leisure and Tourism Department had 13 Premises Licences which had been in place since 2006 and covered various locations across the Vale of Glamorgan including Llantwit Major, Cowbridge, Penarth and Barry.  The Officer confirmed that the Premises Licence would not include the sale of alcohol and further explained that the application was a standard application and that all of the Council’s Premises Licences had been applied for in the same way.  The broad terms of the application were in order to enable flexibility and the scheduling of events at short notice.  The Officer informed the hearing that although the application had been requested for 365 days, in reality this would not happen and that most events would be small day time events.  Furthermore, the Officer stated that Health and Safety was taken very seriously by the Department and that all events were referred to the Safety Advisory Group,  the Department also had a good working relationship with the Police and had  in the past paid for additional Police presence at events.  Stewards would be present at all events together with first aid availability and the events were risk assessed prior to being put before the Safety Advisory Group for consideration.  Furthermore, the Leisure and Tourism Department had a good relationship with Barry Island Traders and that there was a lengthy process for third parties to be able to use sites. 

 

The Chairman asked whether the Responsible Authority had any questions for the Applicant and with no questions forthcoming, the Chairman asked the Interested Parties if they had any questions for the Applicant.

 

In response a number of the Interested Parties put the following questions and concerns to the Applicant:

 

Question

Response

With the site being so close to residential areas, would the noise produced by events e.g. music, bass noise, be a breach of one of the licensing objectives? Do you not think that the Application is gratuitous, redundant and too close to residents’ homes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can you ensure that events in the location would not have an adverse effect on the traders?

The Applicant advised that the Council already had a number of licences for sites near residential areas e.g. Central Park and the Waterfront area used for the Tall Ships Festival.  The Authority takes residents’ views very seriously and limit music at these events to 19:00 or 20:00 hours.  There is also no erecting or dismantling of equipment early in the morning or late at night and that this would be the same for the Nell’s Point site.

 

 

The Applicant also referred to the Council’s attempts to spread business from the western side to the eastern side of the Island, as eastern side traders had concerns that many previous events had taken place on the Island’s western side.

 

How would the site link to the eastern side of the Island as it is fenced off and isolated from the eastern side and traders? There are other sites available, why the need for another one?

The Applicant stated that the site would be used for small daytime events.  Organisations were also looking for satellite events on the western side and attendees at the events could walk around with events linking in. This site was a small fenced off area for which access can be controlled; it was also an all-weather site.

 

What is the procedure to follow if events are noisy in the evening e.g. Cinema by the Sea?

The Chairman responded by advising that if an event was creating a statutory public nuisance an individual could make an official complaint to the Environmental Health Department, plus there was also the opportunity of calling for a licence to be reviewed if the licence was in breach of any conditions.

 

How would the sale of alcohol, granted with Temporary Events Notices, be policed?

The Applicant responded by advising that none of the Premises Licences applied for by the Council’s Leisure and Tourism Department include the sale of alcohol, however if there was an issue with a Temporary Events Licence it would be the Police and Council who would deal with issues. 

 

The Chairman advised that if an organisation wanted to have an alcohol licence for an event an application would have to be made to the Licensing Department which could come before the Licensing Sub-Committee if objections are made by the Police or Environmental Health Department.  The application would also be looked at with a view to the four licensing objectives and the Police and the Environmental Health Department would also be consulted.

 

How would issues be dealt with arising from individuals bringing their own alcohol to events?

The Applicant stated that it was a concern for certain events, for example the Cinema by the Sea event, the Leisure and Tourism Department paid for policing for this event and there were no issues.  They also had 20+ Security Industry Authority (SIA) Stewards.  The Nell’s Point site would also be policed in this manner and be an alcohol free zone.

 

Would residents have a right to object to proposed events if they are given information about events in advance?

The Legal Officer responded by advising that anyone could apply for a Temporary Event Notice which would go to the South Wales Police and Environmental Health Team to consider and in the absence of objections, the licence would be granted.  There was a distinct difference between a General Premises Licence and a Temporary Events Notice (TEN).

 

The Applicant responded by advising that prior to previous events, for example, the fireworks on Barry Island, leaflets were distributed to local residents which again could also be done in the future, but this would be up to the event organiser, and would be at the discretion of the Council, if it was their event.

 

 

Following the conclusion of this question and answer session, the Chairman then referred to the representations made by the Responsible Authorities.

 

The Environmental Health Officer presented their representations which were attached to the report at Appendix B.  Firstly, the Environmental Health Officer addressed the query from an Interested Party with regard to noise nuisance at night and advised that the Environmental Health Team did not have the facilities to deal with out of hours issues, however they advised residents that they could use the Police non-emergency number, 101, and that the Team did their best to monitor and police organised events including meeting with sound engineers to test noise levels and to talk with local residents prior to the event.  The Officer informed the hearing that events which were not organised by the Council could be more difficult to monitor and police, and that they could not police every event but they did their best.  The Officer also informed the hearing that the Environmental Health Team had a good relationship with licensed premises in the town but that this was not foolproof. 

 

Environmental Health Officer explained that it was the amplification of noise that caused the problem in relation to noise nuisance, in particular bass noise; and that it would be the properties further away from the site that would be more able to hear the bass noise.  The panel could limit if it so wished the days and hours of the licence but that this would however not be a guarantee that there would be no disturbance from events on the site.  Furthermore, the Officer informed the hearing that previous Temporary Events Licences that had been granted included the sale of alcohol on site and that this had been policed successfully in the past.  If the application was to be granted the Environmental Health Officer, however, recommended a number of conditions be applied which were detailed as an appendix to the report.   

 

Furthermore, the Environmental Health Officer explained to the hearing that the Maximum Noise Limit would set the overall noise limits but that setting limits for bass noise would be more difficult.  With reference to this licence it would fall into the category of an urban and rural venue where the Maximum Noise Limit should not be in excess of 65dB(A) and this would be measured at the boundary of the residential properties.  The Officer further stated that she would not recommend it going beyond 65dB(A) later than 20:15 / 20:30 hours.  The Officer provided information with regard to the Maximum Noise Level which would be 65dB(A) and no more than 15dB(A) above background noise levels, which were quite high on Barry Island but that the music would sound louder as the background noise dropped as people left the site. 

 

The Applicant having been asked by the Chair whether they had any questions for the Environmental Health Officer responded by stating that they always worked closely with the Environmental Health Team in respect of events held and had no questions. 

 

An Interested Party asked the Environmental Health Officer what would be the peak noise level that was acceptable during the daytime and was informed that it would be no more than 10 or 15dB(A) above background noise, with background noise being the noise level for 90% of the time.  Another Interested Party asked the Environmental Health Officer how they could objectively measure sound levels and was informed that this would be done by the sound engineer for the event.  The Environmental Health Team would not expect members of the public to do this, however there were a number of mobile phone applications that could be used to measure noise levels, which were not necessarily accurate but could be calibrated with the Environmental Health Team’s equipment. 

 

During the hearing requests to speak were made by two other interested Parties one of whom had e-mailed the Licensing Officer on the day of the hearing the other who was in attendance at the meeting. The Chairman informed those present that in normal circumstances they would not be allowed to speak at the hearing in particular  the emailed representation had been made after the consultation period had ended. However, after taking legal advice, as the application for the licence had been made by the Council and in the interests of openness and transparency he would allow them to speak at the hearing.  In the absence of objections both parties were permitted to speak. The Interested Party who had made a late email representation advised that he lived on Barry Island and had been involved in sound engineering for a long time, he stated that 'you cannot regulate bass noise, particularly in an enclosed space.' The Environmental Health Officer reiterated her earlier comment with regard to bass noise affecting those people who were further away from a site of an event due to the fact that bass noise travelled further.  The Interested Party informed the hearing that this had been a problem 20 years ago for an indoor event that had been held and therefore how would an outdoor event be regulated. He  subsequently requested that the licence not be granted. The other interested party stated that in their opinion the licence applied for was too open ended and should not be granted or at least should have very strict conditions placed upon it. They also queried who would be responsible if a fatality occurred at the event as to who would be legally liable and in response the sub- committees Legal Officer advised that this was not a matter for consideration by the sub- committee.   

 

Following the above the Chairman then asked the Sub-Committee Members if they had any questions for the representative from the Responsible Authority. 

 

A Member queried that based on the Memorandum, was the Responsible Authority objecting to the application.  The Environmental Health Officer stated that in part they did object to the application and that they would recommend controls on noise and hours if the application was to be granted with the conditions detailed in the report.  

 

Some of the conditions outlined in the Environmental Health Officer’s report were then queried with the responses from the Environmental Health Officer as follows:

  • The Fire Authority would offer advice as opposed to specifying the maximum occupant capacity
  • SIA Stewards could control access to events using clickers to count numbers entering and exiting events
  • Stewards for the event would be DBS checked and there would be a mixture of SIA and non-SIA trained stewards wearing high visibility clothing
  • Safety certificates would be required for the events as listed in the recommended conditions
  • Hot and cold running water may not be necessary for all events but would be required for certain events e.g. food festivals.  A lot of events now provide sani-gel in the toilets
  • Light pollution was now covered as a statutory nuisance and the Environmental Health Team would look to the guidance on this for advice on the issue
  • Although the application would not include the sale of alcohol, soft drinks can come in glass bottles and a Temporary Events Notice at this site could include the sale of alcohol, which could mean the use of glass bottles.

The Chairman requested clarification from the Environmental Health Officer as to whether they objected to the licence application, had no objections or had no objections but would require the licence to be conditioned.  The Environmental Health Officer advised that there were objections to the form in which the licence had been made and that suggestions had been put forward with regard to conditions for the licence which the Committee could consider.  The Chairman advised that the Sub-Committee would take the Officer’s comments into account.

 

The Chairman then invited the Interested Parties who had requested to speak and to put forward their representations with regard to the licence application, which would be considered in conjunction with the written representations. 

 

Several members of the local community, including a local Elected Member, made representations to the Committee which primarily focused on the following issues:

  • Noise levels – Particularly bass music during the day / night time and the setting up and the de-rigging of equipment
  • Overspill from events, creating events outside of events
  • Access issues – For emergency vehicles, access on and off Barry Island and access to the Coastguard Station and cliffs
  • Parking problems – Policing of parking and traffic concerns
  • Extent of the licence – Regulated Entertainment from 09.00 to 22.30 hours seven days per week
  • Number of events per year
  • Alcohol concerns – Anti-social behaviour (urinating, vomiting, abusive language)
  • Proximity to residents’ houses
  • Floodlights
  • Public Safety – No CCTV on the site and security of the site (proximity to cliffs)
  • Appropriateness of site – More appropriate sites in Barry and Barry Island.

 In response to the concerns from and issues raised by the Interested Parties, the Applicant gave the following responses:

  • The events scheduled would predominantly be family events and that they would be happy to accept conditions to the licence, for example limits to the times and noise levels.
  • The application was a standard application, the reason for the extent of the licence applied for was flexibility which would allow the Vale of Glamorgan Council to organise events at short notice.  The Applicant apprised the hearing that the Vale of Glamorgan Council Leisure and Tourism Department did not have the budget or resources to put on a large number of events or indeed large events.  The events would be appropriate, small and fenced off events.
  • The Applicant advised that seating could be erected at the site, that it was a purpose built arena and that at previous events the Leisure and Tourism Department had paid for extra police, implemented road closures and all events would be notified to the Safety Advisory Group prior to the event.
  • Parking permits could be issued for residents, with the possibility of closing off areas and if individuals did not have a valid parking permit they would not be allowed access to that area.
  • At other sites in the Vale of Glamorgan licences had been used 3 / 4 times per year. 
  • The Vale of Glamorgan Council Leisure and Tourism Department took health and safety very seriously, each event would have a management document which would go to the Safety Advisory Group and each event would have separate risk assessments which are kept on file.

The Chairman asked the Applicant whether they would be prepared to take conditions on the licence, specifically finishing earlier in the evening and did they have an offer with regard to this.  The Applicant responded by stating that they would be happy to take conditions on the licence and would consider 20.00 hours finish for all events on the site. 

 

Following the discussion and representations given by all parties, the Licensing Sub-Committee Panel retired to consider the application in private. 

 

On return, the Chairman stated that having considered the application and representations by the Environmental Health Department, Interested Parties and having considered the DCMS Guidance, the objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 and the Council’s Statement of the Licensing Policy, the Sub-Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Application be granted for regulated entertainment from 09:00 hours to 20:00 hours subject to the following conditions:

 

(1)       The conditions as set out in the Applicant’s operating schedule.

 

(2)       The Premises Licence shall not be used for any event without prior notification of said event to the Safety Advisory Group (SAG), and / or equivalent.  Individual Panel members shall be contacted in the event no 'Safety Advisory Group' can be convened. 

 

(3)       All recommendations made and agreed between the Licence Holder and the Safety Advisory Group shall be implemented.  In the event no Safety Advisory Group can be convened all recommendations agreed with the individual Panel members shall be implemented.

 

(4)       All use of temporary structures shall be notified to the SAG and / or equivalent and the Building Control Department at least one month prior to erection.

 

(5)       The event and site shall undergo risk assessment and written copies of the risk assessment shall be provided at the time of presentation to the SAG, and / or equivalent.

 

(6)       The number of persons admitted to any enclosed spaces on the premises on any one occasion shall not exceed the maximum occupant capacity as agreed by the SAG (such number to be inclusive of public, guests, staff and performers working at the premises), and overcrowding in any part of the premises which would interfere with the safety of the public shall not be permitted.

 

(7)       Safety measures taken and capacity figures set should take into account those persons that may move in and out of areas that cannot be the subject of barriers or restricted in terms of numbers so to ensure public safety.

 

(8)       Suitable and sufficient portable fire fighting equipment shall be held on site if required.  A certificate of inspection for portable fire fighting equipment shall be held for inspection by the Licensing and Responsible Authorities.  The inspection shall be carried out annually and a new certificate shall be provided each year unless written confirmation is held for inspection by the Responsible and Licensing Authorities stating that an inspection is required less frequently based on risk factors and / or any relevant British Standard.

 

(9)       All areas including steps, stairways, pathways and handrails in or leading to the Premises and in the accesses and exits are to be adequately lit and maintained in such safe condition as is satisfactory to the Licensing Authority and all Responsible Authorities.

 

(10)     If the use of padlocks or chains or other locking devices for securing exit doors or gates to any area when the area is not open to the public, a responsible person shall be required to remove such devices before members of the public are admitted to the premises.  Such devices shall not be replaced until all members of the public have vacated the premises.

 

(11)     Attendants shall wear high visibility clothing at all times when on duty and shall as far as reasonably practicable be evenly spread throughout all parts of the premises to which the public and guests have access and keep under observation all parts of the premises to which the audience have access.

 

(12)     Applications utilising cylinders or containers of flammable gas, such as Calor gas on mobile catering units, shall not be used on the premises without prior approval of the SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative.

 

(13)     All generators used on site shall be diesel powered and their presence shall be notified to all Responsible Authorities.  They shall not be used on the premises without prior approval of the SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative.

 

(14)     Cylinders for the storage of compressed air, oxygen, or other gases or liquids under pressure shall not be used without prior approval of the SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative.

 

(15)     The safety certificates listed below shall, where appropriate, be held for inspection by the Responsible and Licensing Authorities and SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative:

 

            a.         any emergency lighting battery or system

            b.         any electrical installation

            c.         any mechanical installation, temporary structure, marquees, staging or similar

            d.         any temporarily installed laser

            e.         any temporarily installed strobe lighting

            f.          any temporarily installed smoke machine

            g.         inflatable play equipment safety certificate.

 

(16)     A suitable number of toilets shall be provided and all toilets shall be free and kept in good order and repair and be properly and effectively cleaned, lit, ventilated and supplied with suitable sanitation equipment throughout the event and in the case of female toilets adequate provision shall be made for the disposal of sanitary dressings.

 

(17)     The public shall be advised not to bring glass bottles or drinking glasses into the area covered by the Premises Licence.  If bottles and glasses are found on site they shall be removed periodically during the event and as soon as possible once the event is over.

 

(18)     Any food and refreshments provided for consumption on site shall not be provided in glass containers.

 

(19)     A system of emergency lighting, independent of the normal lighting of the site shall be provided and shall illuminate all escape routes where appropriate and identified in risk assessment where an event takes place in hours of darkness.  The system shall operate automatically on failure of the normal lighting or be on at all times, and shall be maintained in efficient working order and tested satisfaction of the Responsible and Licensing Authorities and SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative with details of tests recorded.

 

(20)     The complete electrical installations in or affecting the Licensed Area at the Premises shall be inspected and tested by a 'Qualified Electrical Engineer' prior to use unless written confirmation is held by the Premises Licence holder stating that an electrical report is required less frequently the period based on risk factors and / or any relevant British Standard.  The Periodic Inspection Report, and any subsequent certificates, shall be held at the premises for inspection by the Responsible and Licensing Authorities in the form which complies with current British Standard and associated guidelines.  All certificates shall also be copied to the SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative.

 

(21)     Temporary electrical installations shall not be provided without prior notification being given to the Licensing and Responsible Authorities, and SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative.

 

(22)     Temporary electrical installations shall comply with recommendations of the relevant British Standards and / or The I.E.E. Wiring Regulations.

 

(23)     Temporary electrical installations shall be inspected and certified by a competent person before they are put into use.  A copy of the certificate shall be held for inspection by the Responsible and Licensing Authorities and be given at the time of presentation to the SAG, and / or equivalent, or at an agreed date and time prior to the event in question being held.

 

(24)     Flashing or bright lights used in connection with any event covered by the Premises Licence shall not cause a nuisance to nearby properties.

 

(25)     Areas shall not be over-lit and beams shall not be aimed at sensitive properties.  The correct setting and use of directional lighting and the physical turning off of lights should assist in the prevention of nuisance.

 

(26)     Noise and vibration shall not be permitted to emanate from the premises so as to cause a public nuisance to the occupiers of nearby properties.

 

(27)     All reasonably practicable steps shall be taken to prevent a nuisance at any neighbouring properties, and the site shall not be used by contractors and employees involved in an event after 21.30 hours or before 08.00 hours.

 

(28)     All reasonably practicable steps shall be taken to prevent a noise nuisance at any neighbouring properties as public and staff leave and use the premises.

 

(29)     Clearly legible notices shall be displayed at all exits from the premises and, if facilities exist, clear audible messages requesting public and staff to respect the needs of local residents and to leave the premises and area quietly shall be sited and made.

 

(30)     There shall be no disposal of glass bottles and or movement of refuse on site between 21.30 hours and 08.00 hours nor any movement of waste, equipment or materials between these hours.

 

(31)     Guidance shall be given to drivers to switch off engines during deliveries, collections and servicing, and to minimise other noise caused by their activities.

 

(32)     Amplification equipment, this is speakers, used in the licensed area shall be sufficient in number and be orientated to point away from residential properties so as to limit impact on residents.

 

(33)     Bottle bins shall be secured so unauthorised access shall not be permitted.  Therefore glass bottles held in areas accessible to the public cannot be accessed and used as weapons.

 

(34)     The Licensed area and immediate vicinity shall be kept clean and free from litter to the satisfaction of the Responsible and Licensing Authorities and SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative.

 

(35)     An adequate number of waste receptacles for use by the public shall be provided in positions agreed with the SAG and it shall be the responsibility of the Premises Licence holder to empty and dispose of the collected refuse at a frequency to be agreed with the SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative.

 

(36).    If food is to be provided in the licensed area or in the close vicinity by vendors/ suppliers either directly employed by the Licence holder or appointed by them, details of such vendors / suppliers shall be provided to the SAG, and / or equivalent, or their nominated representative.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

The Sub-Committee considered carefully the application and the representations made by the Environmental Health Officer and the written and oral representations made by the Interested Parties.

 

The principal objection voiced, it was considered, had been in relation to the anticipated noise nuisance.  The Sub-Committee had taken into account the views of the Environmental Health Officer in conjunction with those of the Interested Parties and had noted the Applicant’s offer of a reduction of the end of licensed hours to 20.00.

 

The Sub-Committee considered that the conditions imposed addressed adequately the objectives of the Licensing Act.  Whilst the Sub-Committee heard the Interested Parties’ concerns in relation to parking, access and egress to Barry Island, the Sub-Committee was unable to have regard to these matters as these did not relate to the area that was the subject of the application.

 

The Sub-Committee also took into account the assurances of the Applicants in relation to the likely number of events to be held on the site and had regard to the proven track record of the Leisure and Tourism Department in connection with organisation of such events to date as noted by the Environmental Health Officer.

 

In conclusion the Chairman advised those present of the procedure for a review of a licence if any of the conditions are breached in the future.

 

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