STATUTORY LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 13th June, 2018.

 

Present:  Councillors Mrs. P. Drake, V.P. Driscoll and J.W. Thomas.

 

Also present: Mr. M. Mulot (Applicant), Licensing Officer (Vale of Glamorgan Council), Environmental Health Officer (Vale of Glamorgan Council), Legal Officer (Vale of Glamorgan Council).

 

The Scrutiny Support Officer explained the procedure to be used for the hearing and advised that copies were included within the agenda. 

 

 

(a)       Appointment of Chairman -

 

Councillor J.W. Thomas was elected Chairman for the duration of the hearing.

 

 

(b)       Declarations of Interest -

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

(c)        Licensing Act 2003 - Application for the Variation of a Premises Licence - St. Fagan’s Castle, 114 Glebe Street, Penarth, CF64 1EB -

 

The Chairman welcomed those present to the Sub-Committee hearing and invited each person to introduce themselves. The Chairman invited the Licensing Officer to present the report, which advised that an application had been made under the Licensing Act 2003 for the variation of the premises licence at St. Fagan’s Castle, Glebe Street, Penarth, CF64 1EB, by Mr. Harry Lonnkvist and Mr. Marcus Mulot. 

 

The Licensing Officer went on to advise that the Local Authority had regard to the Licensing Act 2003 and its four Licensing Objectives.  The objectives were: 

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public Safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm.

The existing Premises Licence was issued on 4th July, 2017.  A copy of the existing licence was attached to the report at Appendix A.  On 18th April, 2018 an application for the variation of the Premises Licence was received by the Licensing Authority.  A copy of the application form was attached at Appendix B to the report. 

 

The nature of the proposed variation as outlined in the application was detailed in paragraph 5 of the report.  The premises benefited from a grandfather right which allowed the premises to open for the sale of alcohol for a continuous period of 36 hours over New Year’s Eve. 

 

For clarification, the Licensing Officer advised that Section 3 of the application form attached at Appendix B to the report requested the removal of conditions 5, 8, 12 and 13 of the licence and the Applicant had confirmed with the Licensing Authority that this request was included in error as part of a previous application. 

 

The Licensing Officer advised that Under the Licensing Act 2003 (Premises and Club Premises Certificates) Regulations 2005 a Responsible Authority or any other person may make relevant representations at any time during the 28 day consultation period.

 

The Authority had received a relevant representation from the Responsible Authority Shared Regulatory Services Environmental Health Team.  The representation was attached to the report at Appendix C. 

 

Two representations were received from other persons during the consultation period.  A copy of the representations was attached to the report at Appendix D.  The Licensing Officer confirmed that there was no indication that the Other Persons who submitted written representations attached to the report at Appendix D would attend the hearing.

 

The Licensing Officer concluded that a Premises Licence, once granted, would generally remain in force indefinitely.  The circumstances in which it will not do so were when: 

  • It was revoked; or
  • The Applicant requested a licence for a limited time only; or
  • It was suspended; or
  • It lapsed due to some incapacity on the part of the licence holder; or
  • It was surrendered.

This matter had been referred to a Sub-Committee for determination as Officers did not have the delegated authority to determine applications where relevant representations had been received and not withdrawn.

 

The Chairman invited the Applicants to present their representations in support of their application.

 

The Applicant, Mr. Mulot, informed the Sub-Committee that the request to extend the operating hours of St. Fagan’s Castle was in response to new venues in the locality that hosted regulated entertainment and stayed open later.  Mr. Mulot was aware of noise complaints made against his premises and was committed to tackling the issue.  For example, his staff were now using decibel measuring applications on their phones and security arrangements had been updated.

 

The Applicant stated that he was trying to do the best he could to run a business in a very tough market by hybridising a traditional pub.  It was not Mr. Mulot’s intention to disturb residents, but to work with the community to rectify any received objections and he was always available to help.

 

With regards to the complaints about antisocial behaviour, the Applicant confirmed that he would be installing CCTV as part of the conditions of the application, and he was Chairman of PubWatch Penarth (and Dinas Powys).  In conclusion, Mr. Mulot stated that he took his position as licence holder very seriously.

 

The Chairman invited the Environmental Health Officer to present her representations. 

 

The Environmental Health Officer commented that the Environmental Health Department had received four noise related complaints since the previous extension to the hours the premises was allowed to remain open.  Two complaints had been received in 2017, followed by an additional two in 2018, and the Committee was informed that one complaint was still ongoing.  The Officer had visited the centre of Penarth on Friday 11th May at 23:20 hours and informed the Sub-Committee that a disco being held at the premises could clearly be heard outside.  It was noted that the property was located in a mixed residential area and the background noise in the centre of Penarth was very low after midnight (27 decibels) and even lower after 01:00 hours (25 decibels).  The Environmental Health Officer stated that the Premises was located in a retail area, however was also very close to residential areas. The Victorian building only had single glazing, which could not be changed due to the premises location in a conservation area, and the front door of the double door entrance was always open.  As such, the Environmental Health Officer concluded that the building was not suitable for the usage requested in the extension to the licence, and it would be difficult to apply mitigating conditions.

 

In the absence of any Other Persons, the Panel considered two written representations attached at Appendix D to the report, and with the permission of the Chairman, the Panel also considered three letters which were produced by Mr. Mulot and tabled at the hearing which were in support of the application, stating that St. Fagan’s Castle did not cause problems to the Other Persons being able to sleep.

 

The Applicant indicated that he knew the Other Persons who had submitted the written representations attached at Appendix D to the report and was aware of the concerns detailed.  In response, Mr. Mulot stated that he had dealt with the referred to anti-social incidents and felt it was unfair to say that the police were frequently called to the premises, informing the Sub-Committee that police were only called every couple of months.

 

The Chairman asked all parties if they had any further questions or anything further to add.

 

The Applicant queried when the Environmental Health readings for the background noise for the centre of Penarth were last taken, as he believed that with a nearby nightclub having opened in the last few weeks the results would be different.  In response, the Environmental Health Officer stated that decibel readings for background noise in Penarth Town Centre were made a while ago, however they had been recently reconfirmed as accurate as part of a Planning matter in the location and detailed for the Sub-Committee the methodology for recording background noise.

 

The Panel sought clarification from the Applicant on the security arrangements for the Premises and was given confirmation that all operators on the door, including the licensee, were SIA trained.  Mr. Mulot also confirmed for the Sub-Committee the St. Fagan’s Castle policy on no drinks being taken off site, and stated that the outer door to the property had to remain open as having both doors shut would be a fire risk.  Finally, the Sub-Committee discussed if any mitigating conditions could be applied to the application to help address any possible concerns with the variation to the licence.

 

The Chairman provided all parties with the opportunity to sum up their representations and was advised that there were no further remarks they would like to make.  Subsequently, the Licensing Sub-Committee retired to consider the application in private.

 

On returning, the Chairman confirmed that the application was for a variation of a Premises Licence at St. Fagan’s Castle, Glebe Street, Penarth, CF64 1EB.  The application was for the variation of a premises licence: 

  • To extend the terminal hour for the sale of alcohol and the playing of recorded music on Friday and Saturdays to 02.00 hours, currently 01.00 hours.
  • To extend the terminal hour for the sale of alcohol and the playing of recorded music on Bank Holiday Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and Christmas Eve to 02.30 hours, currently 01.30 hours.
  • To extend all Opening Hours to 30 minutes after the termination of Licensable Activities.
  • To extend the terminal hour for the playing of recorded music on New Year's Eve to 04.00 hours, currently 03.00 hours.

In delivering the decision of the Committee, the Chairman summarised the representations presented by all parties at the hearing:

 

Licensing Authority

 

The Licensing Authority had no further representations to make other than those already contained within the Officers’ report, with the exception that the request by the Applicant for the removal of conditions 5, 8, 12 and 13 of the licence as detailed in Section 3 of the application form attached at Appendix B to the report, be taken out.

 

Applicant

 

The Applicant advised the Committee that he wished to work with the local community while running a licenced premises that could adapt to the modern market.  The Committee was informed that Mr. Mulot was now personally working on the front door of the premises as an SIA qualified security operative and was able to monitor the noise breakout and deal with it.  The Applicant informed the Licensing Sub-Committee that he was Chairman of PubWatch Penarth (and Dinas Powys) and attended most of the scheme’s meetings.  The Applicant stated that the increase in observed noise could be attributable to the extra hours of neighbouring premises.  Mr. Mulot further stressed to the Licensing Sub-Committee that historical noise measurements quoted by the Environmental Health Officer were in his opinion out of date due to the re-opening of a night club across the road from his premises. 

 

Environmental Health

 

The Environmental Health Officer commented that the Environmental Health Department had received four noise related complaints since the previous extension to the hours the premises was allowed to remain open.  The Sub-Committee was informed that the property was located in a mixed residential area and the background noise in the centre of Penarth was very low after midnight (27 decibels) and even lower after 01:00 hours (25 decibels).  It was the conclusion of the Environmental Health Officer that there were no mitigations that could be put in place to avoid noise breakout due to the nature of the Victorian building in a conservation area, therefore she felt that the extension to the hours and licence should not be granted. 

 

Other Persons

 

Two written representations had been received from Other Persons with the papers, and three written representations from Other Persons were tabled at the meeting with permission of the Chairman.  These written representations were considered by the Licensing Sub-Committee and taken into account.

 

The Chairman advised that following consideration of the application, the representations from Other Persons, the Local Authority’s Environmental Health Department, and having considered the Home Office Guidance along with the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and also taking into account the Licensing Act 2003 (as amended), the Licensing Objectives, the Licensing Sub-Committee

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the application be granted and conditions modified that were consistent with the Operating Schedule in a way that it was considered appropriate for the promotion of the Licensing Objectives.  Those conditions were to include the following: 

  • A CCTV system to be installed to the standard acceptable to South Wales Police.
  • CCTV images to be made available to South Wales Police and Licensing Officers and be kept for 31 days.
  • No opened drinks to be taken outside the premises.
  • All other mandatory conditions as detailed in the Applicant’s Operating Schedule.

Reason for decision

 

Members felt that, although there was evidence of some noise complaints, these were not significant enough to refuse the application.  The Applicant had shown a desire to work with the community to make sure that the premises did not affect the amenity of local residents and Members felt that with effective day to day management, the requested extension of hours would not cause a problem.

 

The Chairman advised the Applicant that if the above was not adhered to, the licence could be reviewed which could lead to a reduction of hours, the addition of conditions, or ultimately the revocation of the licence.

 

The Committee was advised that the Applicant had a right of appeal against the decision of the Committee.  It had to be made in writing within 21 days to the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Magistrates Court.  Should the Applicant be in any doubt as to their legal rights and/or responsibilities they should take independent legal advice.