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LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE

 

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 30th July, 2014.

 

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

 

Also present:  Licensing Team Leader and officers from the Licensing Department, Environmental Health and South Wales Police.

 

 

(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 Temporary Event Notice – Eclipse Night Club, 18 Windsor Road, Penarth

 

The papers for consideration at the meeting contained a copy of the procedure to be followed at Licensing Sub-Committee hearings and those present were advised of this by the Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer. Further copies of the agenda were also made available for those in attendance.

 

Also present: Mr. J.L. Bourne (Applicant) and Mr. M. Harries (Night Club Manager).

 

The Chairman welcomed those present to the meeting and, following introductions all round, requested that the Licensing Team Leader outline the application to the Sub-Committee hearing.  Eclipse was a Night Club that had a Premises Licence for the provision of regulated entertainment in the form of Recorded Music, late Night refreshment and the Sale of Alcohol between the hours of 08:00 and 02:00 hours Monday to Saturday and 08:00 to 22:30 on Sunday.  A copy of the Premises Licence was attached at Appendix A to the report. 

 

On 24th June 2014 a Temporary Event Notice was submitted to the Licensing Department by Mr. Bourne for an event to be held at the club on 18 Windsor Road, Penarth.  The Temporary Event Notice (TEN) described the event as a '31st Birthday Party' to take place on Saturday 9th August 2014 between the hours of 02:00 and 03:00 hours.  Objections had been received from the Environmental Health Department in respect of the application in relation to the undermining of the Licensing Objectives and as a result the Licensing Authority had to hold a hearing for Members to consider the Temporary Event and the Objection Notice.

 

Following the presentation of the report on the application the Chairman then invited the Applicant to present their case. Mr. Bourne referred in the first instance to the issue of noise, advising that all windows would be shut and regular checks would be undertaken.  The main part of the party would be held on the top floor of the premises where measures to reduce noise would be in place.  He stated that two extra supervisors had been appointed, he had a good relationship with the Police and an air conditioning system existed on the top floor . Further measures would also be looked into.  However, following a query from the Environmental Health Officer in referring to a meeting that had been held on 2nd July 2014 where the need for further sound equipment had been discussed, Mr. Bourne confirmed that to date no action had yet been taken.  They had however installed high powered fans and had moved the entertainment in the form of a DJ to the upper floor as this was by far the better option.  In response to a query from a Member as to why the party was requesting an extra hour extension, Mr. Bourne advised that the family had asked if an extension would be possible which he had considered to be a fair request.

 

In referring to security for the premises he advised that a number of security checks take place in and around the building on a regular basis and security remained on the premises until the end of the evening.  In response to a query regarding parking and parking arrangements for the event Mr Bourne advised that up to 80% of their customers were local and either walked, used taxis or public transport, the club on occasions also offered the use of its own transport for people coming in from nearby areas. He further pointed out that after 18:00 hours there was also no parking restrictions in the Penarth area, although in his view people did not tend to stay on the premises all night if they were driving.

 

Following the Applicant’s presentation the Chairman asked the Environmental Health Officer to put forward their representations.   The Environmental Health Officer commenced by stating that it was the first time the department had made an objection to Committee in relation to a TEN application and advised as it was their view that a TEN notice for the premises would undermine the Licensing Objectives.  Reference was made to a number of complaints that had been received in respect of the premises and also in relation to the application.  Following such complaints in April 2014 the Department had written to the Applicant but no response had been received to date.  Pictures of an event that had been held at the premises taken from Facebook and had been sent to the Department showing that the windows in the premises had remained open. A copy of the information was shown to all present at the meeting with the officer advising that the Department had written to the applicant but had received no response.  In response to a further query the Environmental Health Officer advised that the photograph showed a performance taking place on the date specified but no time was recorded.  The Environmental Health Officer also referred to an incident on 24th June that the Police had been involved in which related to two aggressive females who had been arrested by the Police.   Mr. Bourne was afforded the opportunity to explain about the incident which related to two females where one had been seen on CCTV taking the property of the other female and subsequently one of the women had become aggressive and the Police had been called. 

 

In referring to noise the Environmental Health Officer advised that although sound equipment had been considered no work had yet been undertaken at the premises as discussed. 

 

The Applicant advised that they had considered placing locks on windows but for health and safety reasons had decided against that provision in view of the fact that, should a fire break out at the premises, windows would be opened and there was the opportunity to stand on the outside veranda, thereby assisting people if a fire took place.  It would also be possible for some people to climb down or jump from the veranda to the floor with little harm to themselves. He had considered the risks but had concluded that locking the windows would not be an appropriate measure. 

 

Mr. Harris, the Night Club Manager, asked the Environmental Health Officer to confirm the number of complaints that had been received, the proximity to the premises of the persons home and whether the complainants were regular complainants and or the same person. 

 

The first complaint had been received in 2008 from an Assembly Member, four complaints in 2008 by an individual, one in 2009, three in 2013, with all being forwarded to the Licensing Department except for one.  In presenting the information the Chairman queried whether the complaints had been received from one individual with the response being that the majority of the complaints were from the same individual who lived approximately 100m from the premises.  There had been no complaints from any person living closer to the premises than the complainant referred to. 

 

The Applicant clarified for the sub- committee that the premises was open at 21:00 hours with most visitors being on the premises between the hours of 24:00 and 24:30.  Following a query from Members in relation to noise monitoring the Environmental Health Officer confirmed that other than incidents referred to above  noise monitoring had taken place in the premises of the complainant but had not been considerable at the time.  However, subsequently having been afforded the opportunity to make her closing statement the Environmental Health Officer advised that in her opinion although there may potentially be a reduction in noise breakout as only the first floor was to be used for the function it was evident that people would leave the function when going home and when smoking outside the premises which would cause noise issues.  It was therefore her view that the premises should not be open until 03:00 hours as the premises was located in a residential area. 

 

Mr. Bourne was then afforded the opportunity to make his closing statement and in referring to the event that had taken place in April advised that that particular type of event would no longer be held at the premises.  They had put some measures in place in their view to address noise issues as outlined above and would undertake checks and monitor the windows as they currently did to ensure that all windows remained shut.  The main entertainment for the event had also been referred to the upstairs and he reiterated for the Committee the clubs good relations with the Police and local taxi firms. It was his view that people remaining in and around the vicinity on an evening were not necessarily punters from the Club and that security officers were always advised to be proactive and ensure that people vacated the premises and were moved on swiftly and in an appropriate manner.

 

There being no further questions from any parties, the Licensing Sub-Committee Members retired to deliberate the application in private. 

 

On return the Chairman advised that following consideration of the Application, the representations from the Applicant and the Environmental Health Department and having considered the DCMS Guidance, the Objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 and the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy, the Sub-Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the application be granted as applied for and that the conditions on the current Premises Licence be added to the Temporary Event Notice.

 

Reason for decision

 

There being a relatively low number of noise complaints, taking into account the number of years the Club had been operating, the complaints had also by and large been from one complainant who was not in the closest residential premises to the property, there was no evidence of a statutory noise nuisance and noise could not be directly attributed to the premises in question.  The Sub-Committee also made the following suggestions to the applicants: 

  • that SIA personnel remain on the premises after hours to ensure patrons move away from the premises quietly
  • that the Applicant considers developing a written log of all window checks that are conducted and that the log is available for inspection
  • that the Applicant considers that any future correspondence received from any Responsible Authorities is responded to as quickly as possible and in full. 

 

(d)           Licensing Act 2003 – Application for the Variation of a Premises Licence – Gordon Bennetts, 13-14 Broad Street, Barry  –

 

Also present: Mr. R. Hopkins (Director); Mr. R. Keeble, Mr. R. Griffiths (Applicants);  Responsible Authority, South Wales Police and Environmental Health Officer.

 

Interested Parties: Mr. R. Buckeridge and  Mr. A. Buckeridge.

 

In presenting the report the Licensing Team Leader advised that an application for a variation of the Premises Licence had been received as follows:

 

Regulated Entertainment - Live Music –

                        Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 03:15 hours

                        Sunday 10:00 to 02:30 hours

 

Regulated Entertainment – recorded music, performance of dance and anything of a similar description  -

                        Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 03:15 hours

                        Sunday 10:00 to 02:30 hours.

 

Sundays preceding a Bank Holiday Monday, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve to be

10:00 to 03:15 hours.

 

 

Late Night Refreshment –

                        Thursday to Sunday 10:00 to 03:15 hours

                                   

Supply of Alcohol – On Sales –

                        Thursday to Sunday 10:00 – 03:00 hours

                        Sunday 10:00 – 02.30 hours

 

Sundays preceding a Bank Holiday Monday, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve 10:00

– 03:00 hours.

                       

Opening Hours –

                        Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 03:30 hours

                        Sunday 10:00 to 02:30 hours.

 

A full copy of the application was attached at Appendix B to the report.

 

Representations had been received from four interested parties, the Environmental Health Department and South Wales Police.

 

Mr. Hopkins, the Applicant, in presenting the application advised that Rumurs had taken over the premises in March 2014 and that although they were requesting an extension to the opening hours, they had no intention of causing problems for local businesses and local residents.  The premises were also only open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  He stated that he had a responsible team and that he was fully aware of the complaints in relation to noise and he would do everything he could to alleviate the problem.  Although the premises was located within a small radius next to other similar premises there was no evidence that all the noise was coming from Gordon Bennetts. 

 

In response to concerns from a local resident about the noise that emanated from the building, the resident advised that his property backed on to the back of the premises and he referred to the smoking area at the back of the property.  Mr. Hopkins informed the hearing that an automatic closing system had been installed on the doors to the smoking area and it was proposed that that area of the premises would be closed at 02:00 hours with all smokers being asked to go to the front of the building.  Mr. Hopkins also advised that door supervisors were employed on the premises and a wind down period of 15 minutes existed in order for all the people to be able to leave in an orderly manner.  He advised Members of the regular discussions that had taken place between South Wales Police, Environmental Health and officers from Gordon Bennett’s and that he had voluntarily complied with the conditions that had been requested by of South Wales Police and the Environmental Health Officer.  Although the Environmental Health Officer was actually advising that it would be their recommendation not to extend the hours on the premises in view of the proximity to local residents.  Mr. Hopkins referred to a previous licence which he said had been agreed in principle with Environmental Health and South Wales Police and a previous Applicant’ and queried why there appeared to be issues with his current application.  The Sub-Committee was advised that at the time South Wales Police and Environmental Health had made representations and concerns in relation to a previous application in relation to the smoking areas but the application had not  been pursued.   The officer representing South Wales Police then referred to his representations which were detailed at Appendix E.  A copy of the conditions that had been accepted by Mr Hopkins were detailed at Appendix F to the report.

  

Following the representations made by the Responsible Authorities and the Applicant, the Interested Parties were then afforded the opportunity to present to the Sub-Committee. 

 

Mr. R. Buckeridge , a local landlord,  advised the Committee that the address on the Application for the premises should read 13-14 Broad Street not 12-14 as he was the owner of no 12.  Mr Buckeridge also informed the hearing that he had  no initial complaints about the use of the premises, his objection was in relation to the extension of the hours being applied for.  He stated that he did not wish to 'stop anyone from trading' but that he was a local landlord and he was concerned about the effect the extension of hours would have on his tenants.  In particular Mr Buckeridge referred to a tenant who had lived in one of his properties for a considerable number of years but who had recently decided in light of the proposed application to move house as they were concerned about the extension of hours and the problems that they may encounter in the future if the application was successful.

 

Mr. A. Buckeridge, a local resident, also stated that on many occasions the premises currently caused him significant sleep problems as he worked shifts and the premises was open until late in the evening.  His bedroom was directly opposite the back of the premises and an extension to the hours would most certainly cause him more discomfort as the noise would be heard in the early hours. Reference was also made to the fact that the beer garden had not been part of the original application however, the Licensing Team Leader clarified the position by advising that the beer garden was not part of the premises licence and although the sale of alcohol was a licensable activity, the consumption of alcohol was not. 

 

The Environmental Health Officer stated that in her opinion the hours for the premises should not be extended as the premises was too close to residents’ properties. She also advised that having made enquiries with officers in other Environmental Health Departments throughout Wales in respect of premises in their areas, smokers were asked to vacate the areas specified by 23:00 hours. 

 

In response to a question as to whether if the door to the beer garden was closed this would be more acceptable Mr. Buckeridge informed the sub – committee that if someone was trying to get to sleep this would still not be acceptable as the noise could still be heard whether the windows were shut or open. 

 

A number of conditions had been made by South Wales Police, which included that from 20:00 no drinks or refreshments would be permitted in the rear outside area.  The Environmental Health Officer advised that the department could not support an extension to the opening hours of the premises and would recommend that the beer garden was closed at 23:00 hours and that patrons be requested to move to the front of the premises. 

 

The Interested Party sought clarification as to whether the licence would be granted for life or could be a temporary licence.  The Chairman of the Sub-Committee confirmed that the licence if agreed would be long term but could be subject to review; if any of the conditions were breached. 

 

The Applicant also advised that he was fully aware that the premises could be  subject to a review and that the owners had no intention to be a nuisance to local residents and would do their utmost to ensure good relations with local residents. 

 

In conclusion, the Chairman asked all present, whether there were any further questions or issues they wished to put forward to the Licensing Sub-Committee and there being no further questions the Sub – Committee Members then retired to deliberate the application in private. 

 

On return the Chairman advised that following consideration of the Application, the representations from South Wales Police, the Environmental Health Department and the Interested Parties, and having considered the DCMS Guidance, the Objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 and the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy, the Sub-Committee

 

RESOLVED –

 

(1)     T H A T the Application be granted as applied for as detailed below:

 

Regulated Entertainment - Live Music –

            Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 03:15 hours

            Sunday 10:00 to 02:30 hours

 

Regulated Entertainment – recorded music, performance of dance and anything of a similar description  -

            Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 03:15 hours

            Sunday 10:00 to 02:30 hours.

 

Sundays preceding a Bank Holiday Monday, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve to be 10:00 to 03:15 hours.

 

Late Night Refreshment –

            Thursday to Sunday 10:00 to 03:15 hours

                                   

Supply of Alcohol – On Sales –

            Thursday to Sunday 10:00 – 03:00 hours

            Sunday 10:00 – 02.30 hours

 

Sundays preceding a Bank Holiday Monday, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve 10:00 to 03:00 hours.

                       

Opening Hours –

            Thursday to Saturday 10:00 to 03:30 hours

            Sunday 10:00 to 02:30 hours.

 

 

(2)     T H A T the application be subject to the mandatory conditions and the   following conditions:

 

(i).       The premises shall install and maintain a comprehensive CCTV system as per the minimum requirements of a Metropolitan Police Crime Prevention Officer.  All entry and exit points will be covered enabling frontal identification of every person entering in any light condition.  The CCTV system shall continually record whilst the premises is open for licensable activities and during all times when customers remain on the premises.  All recordings shall be stored for a minimum period of 31 days with date and time stamping.  Recordings shall be made available immediately upon the request of Police or authorised officer throughout the preceding 21 day period.  The CCTV system should be updated and maintained according to police recommendations.

 

(ii).      A staff member from the premises who is conversant with the operation of the CCTV system shall be on the premises at all times when the premises is open to the public.  This staff member must be able to show a Police or authorised Council officer recent data or footage with the absolute minimum of delay when requested.

 

(iii).     No drinks shall be served in glass containers after 22:00 hours.

 

(iv).     A minimum of (2) SIA licensed door supervisors shall be on duty at the premises from 20:00 hours whilst it is open for business, at least one of whom shall be a female.

 

(v).      At least (2) SIA licensed door supervisors shall be on duty from 21:00 hours at the entrance of the premises whilst it is open for business and on a ratio of 1 to 75 thereafter.

 

(vi).     All staff engaged outside the entrance of the premises, or supervising or controlling queues, shall wear high visibility jackets or vests.

 

(vii).    There shall be no admittance or re-admittance to the premises after 01:30 hours.

 

(viii).   There shall be no sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises.

 

(ix).     A proof of age scheme, such as Challenge (21/25), shall be operated at the premises where the only acceptable forms of identification are (recognised photographic identification cards, such as a driving licence or passport / Holographically marked PASS scheme identification cards).

 

(x).      An incident log shall be kept at the premises, and made available upon request to an authorised officer of the Council or the Police, which will record the following:

 

            a.         all crimes reported to the venue

            b.         all ejections of patrons

            c.         any complaints received

            d.         any incidents of disorder

            e.         all seizures of drugs or offensive weapons

            f.          any faults in the CCTV system or searching equipment or scanning equipment

            g.         any refusal of the sale of alcohol

            h.         any visit by a relevant authority or emergency service

 

            whilst the premises is open.  The log shall be available for inspection at the premises by the police or an authorised officer of the Local Authority at all times.

 

(xi).     Patrons permitted to temporarily leave and then re-enter the premises e.g. to smoke, shall not be permitted to take drinks, refreshment with them.

 

(xii).    From 21:00 hours no drinks, food or refreshments will be permitted to be in the rear outside area.  From 21:00 hours SIA door staff supervisors shall be on duty at the rear exit to prevent persons taking drinks, refreshment or food into the smoking area and assist with monitoring noise pollution.  The beer garden shall be closed from 24:00 (i.e. midnight).

 

Reasons for decision

 

Taking into account the representations received at the hearing. The Chairman also took the opportunity to advise those present of their right of an appeal against the decision of the Committee and that should any of the conditions be breached the licence could be reviewed.

 

 

(e)       Licensing Act 2003 – Application for the Variation of a Premises Licence – Four Cross Service Station, St. Athan

 

Also present: Mr. V. Hardy,  (Applicant) and Ms. S. Cader (Applicant’s Solicitor).

 

The Licensing Team Leader outlined the Application advising  that the Applicant requested the variation of the hours when the sale of alcohol was permitted from 08:00 to 23:00 hours Monday to Saturday and 10:00 to 22:30 hours Sundays to now be 24 hours daily and Late Night Refreshment from 23:00 to 05:00 hours seven days a week.

 

The current opening times were reported as

 

            Monday to Saturday           08:00 to 23:00 hours

            Sunday                               10:00 to 22:30 hours

            Christmas Day                    12:00 to 15:00 hours / 19:00 to 22:30 hours

            Good Friday                        08:00 to 22:30 hours

 

The Applicant’s Solicitor, in presenting the Application, advised that the nearest village to the premises was approximately 10 – 15 minutes away.  One of the intentions was to serve the shift workers at the local power station and to accommodate their requests.  All late night purchases would be assisted through the night hatch which would include coffee, alcohol and sundries if the licence was agreed.

 

In response to the representations from Interested Parties that had been received and which were contained within the agenda, the Solicitor advised that there was no evidence to state that the premises attracted more problems to the village.  They currently had a very small alcohol section and the alcohol was behind the counter.  Members of the public had stated that they were concerned about youths purchasing alcohol but there was no evidence that suggested any problems were associated with alcohol being purchased  from the Four Cross Station.  The solicitor stated that the company Rontec Watford Ltd. was a responsible firm, they adopted a 25 Challenge policy, their training programme was rigorous and all staff were trained with records being kept on the premises and training refreshed every six months.  A refusals register existed together with an incidents book.  The company currently operated a comprehensive operating schedule and the Applicant did not wish to alienate anyone in the locality.  She assured the Sub-Committee that if there were to be any problems in the future that the DPS could be contacted on site and the area manager could also be contacted to discuss any issues.  The firm were also fully aware of the power of review should there be a breach of conditions. 

 

There being no representations from Responsible Authorities and no Interested Parties present, Members then retired to deliberate the Application in private.

 

On return the Chairman advised that, having considered the Application and the representations by the Applicant and the Interested Parties contained within the agenda and having considered the DCMS Guidance, the Objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 and the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy, the Sub-Committee

 

RESOLVED – T H A T the Application be granted as applied for subject to the conditions set out in the Applicant’s operating schedule and the mandatory conditions.

 

Reason for decision

 

It was the view of the Sub-Committee that no evidence had been presented to support the representations that had been received and the Committee had been reassured by the comments made by the Applicant at the meeting that a rigorous training programme was provided, records were maintained, they were available for inspection and a Challenge 25 Policy was being applied.

 

 

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