STATUTORY LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 2nd July, 2018.

 

Present:  Councillors R. Crowley, V.P. Driscoll and Mrs. J.M. Norman.

 

Also present:  Licensing Officer and Environmental Health Officer.

 

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer referred to the procedure to be used for the hearing and advised that copies had been included within the agenda, however further copies were available at the meeting if required.

 

 

(a)       Appointment of Chairman -

 

Councillor V.P. Driscoll 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 - Holm House, Marine Parade, Penarth, CF64 3GB -

 

Also present: Mr. M. Phipps (Applicant’s Solicitor), Mr. R. Williams (Director), Mr. M. Hebditch (DPS), Members of the public who had made written representations - Mrs. J. Zehetmayr, Mr. N. Williams, Mr. A. Gray, Mrs. M Morgan and Miss. H. Mitchell.

 

The Chairman welcomed those present to the Sub-Committee hearing and established the identity of each party.

 

In presenting the report the Licensing Officer advised that the Licensing Act 2003 centred around four Licensing Objectives, the Objectives being: 

  • Prevention of Crime and Disorder
  • Public Safety
  • Prevention of Public Nuisance
  • Protection of Children from Harm. 

The officer also advised that the current premises licence had been issued in September 2003 and a copy of that licence was attached to the report at Appendix A.  On 11th May, 2018 an application for the variation of the premises licence had been received by the Licensing Authority and a copy of the relevant part of the application form was attached at Appendix B to the report.

 

The nature of the proposed variation was outlined in the application as:

 

  • “A change of the layout of the premises, in accordance with a submitted plan, to include the garden and an external bar to the licensed area.
  • Proposed amendment of the Operating Schedule to add conditions in relation to the use of the outside area.” 

The Licensing Team Manager informed the Committee that a representation had been received from the Responsible Authority - Shared Regulatory Services Environmental Health Team which was attached at Appendix C to the report and seven representations had been received from Other Persons during the consultation period.  A copy of the representations were attached at Appendix D to the report.

 

During the presentation by the Licensing officer, Committee was informed that the Applicant wished to submit further evidence for the Committees consideration.  This included a Noise Control Action Plan which was dated June 2018 and a Noise Control Policy together with copies of a brochure of the premises. 

 

At the same time Mr. Gray, a member of the public who had made written representations, also requested that photographs he had taken be submitted for the Committee’s consideration. Following agreement by all parties and a short adjournment the documentation was subsequently submitted for consideration.

 

On return and following the conclusion of the presentation by the Licensing Team Manager, the Chairman then invited the Applicant to make their representations in support of their application.

 

Mr. Phipps, (solicitor representing the Applicant) commenced by advising that, in referring to the block plan attached to the application, the application for variation to permit an external bar referred to the red lined section of the plan.  Having regard to the application at Appendix B, Mr. Phipps made reference to a number of conditions that had been proposed in the application as detailed below:

 

1.         “When in use, the external bar will be supervised at all times.

2.         No alcohol will be stored overnight in the external bar.

3.         No licensable activities are permitted outdoors after 00:00 hours.

4.         No regulated entertainment is permitted outdoors.

5.         With the exception of cigarette bins, no bin receptacles will be placed in the garden.  Signage will be displayed asking customers to take any rubbish indoors.

6.         When the external bar is in use, at least one glass collector will be on duty to collect glasses and bottles outdoors.

7.         Signs shall be prominently displayed at the premises requesting that patrons respect local residents and leave the premises quietly.

 

Please be advised that the existing licensed building will remain unaltered.

 

All other conditions, hours and licensable activities authorised by the premises licence are to remain unaltered.

 

Any part of the variation application that changes the plan/layout at the premises to be of no effect until the work has been completed.

 

Locations of any fire safety and other safety equipment subject to change in accordance with the requirements of the responsible authorities or following a risk assessment.

 

Any detail shown on the plan that is not required by the licensing plan regulations is indicative only and subject to change.”

 

Mr. Phipps referred to the fact that the hotel was a small, boutique type of hotel and that he had been involved in the original application some time ago when similar objections had also been expressed from residents at that time.  He stated that the premises were an asset to the community and the representations that had been received referred to the changes proposed. The establishment of a bar in the garden area would he advised make it more convenient and attractive for guests and other patrons.  In his view change and development were inevitable as long as the property did not cause public nuisance.  Mr Phipps further advised that the occupiers had no wish to manage the property as a public nuisance and stated that even in some of the written representations that had been received positive comments had been made such as “ lovely premises in the neighbourhood it sits in”.  In referring to the copy of the brochure that had been circulated he drew to the attention of those present photos of the food, the restaurant, the bar and the function facilities’ advising that this was a very elegant, sophisticated premises and an asset to the community.  Under no circumstances was the property going to be a seafront pub as some of the objectors were inferring referring to the application being a modest, delicate application.  In noting that Marine Parade was in a main residential area, some of the concerns he stated regarding parking problems could not be attributed to the hotel.  Multi-storey car parks had closed within the vicinity and therefore the parking issue was not fairly attributed to the premises.  Mr Phipps provided statistics of the number of weddings that had taken place in the previous year as being 16 with the hotel being an exclusive wedding venue catering for up to 100 people with the weddings usually being finished by midnight of an evening.  Mr Phipps took the opportunity to remind the Committee that parking issues had to be legitimate and lawful and in his view they could not be attributed to being a public nuisance. 

 

The existing hours of operation were set out within the report as 09:00 to 24:00, 7 days a week.  Mr Phipps in referring to the Environmental Health Officer’s report which recommended that due to the proximity of residential premises the hours of supply of alcohol not be beyond 23:00 hours and the bar not be open for use before 10.00 a.m. advised that he would have no issue with the start time of 10.00 a.m.  Mr Phipps also offered a further condition in that he would be happy for a condition  that no draft beer at all from the outside bar would be sold.  In referring to members of the publics’ concern with regard to noise, he stated that the occupiers had developed a Noise Control Policy and an action plan which had been tabled at the hearing and made reference to the fact that the hotel had changed its rubbish collection and delivery timetable. The hotel would advise any delivery vehicles to not park inappropriately. 

 

In referring specifically to the written representations he stated that guests leaving the premises laughing and joking and talking at night could not be deemed to be a public nuisance.

 

With regard to the representation of children roaming and trampling flowers in the flower beds, Mr. Phipps stated that if it was from children of guests of the hotel he would apologise but it was not a licensing objective.  Non-residents were also welcome at the premise which was another reason for opening up the garden.  Following a query from a Panel Member as to the use of the bar area, Mr. Phipps informed the Committee that the bar area inside the building was pretty small and the aim was to use the garden by developing a bar area for customers to use if they wanted to sit out of an evening and purchase alcohol from a bar in that area.  The Chairman queried whether the applicants had considered this aspect as an opportunity to increase trade. Mr. Phipps, in response stated yes although in the main the hotel would be looking not only to provide drinks but provide food.

 

Reference was made to the possibility of a marquee being erected in the garden with Mr. Phipps advising that these could be obtained via Temporary Event Notices. 

 

In conclusion Mr Phipps stated that with the conditions as detailed in the application he felt that the company had tended to a number of issues which had been raised by the objectors.  In recognising the recommendations of Environmental Health Mr. Phipps advised that for Monday to Thursday he would be agreeable for 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. but Friday and Saturday to be later as this was to accommodate customers on the premises.  Mr. Phipps also referred to the fact that there had been no enforcement activity or history of complaints or problems at the premises to date.  However the applicant would also be happy to close the rear gate entrance to the garden at 10.00pm.

The Environmental Health Officer queried why the decision not to supply alcohol beyond 23:00 hours was considered to be unsuitable.  Mr. Phipps, in response stated that if it was listed as a condition they did not wish to do anything that was illegal for people to have an extra drink.  However, in his view the application was sound and the Noise Control Action Plan had been put in place.

 

Following a query from Ms. H. Mitchell as to how long the current manager had been in post and the fact that there had been a number of different managers on the site, Mr. Phipps, in response stated that in his experience that was part of the hotel and hospitality business. 


In referring to his representations Mr. Gray stated that for him the issue of car parking was also a major concern and he did not see how the hotel could actually address that. 

 

Following a query from a Committee Member as to what difference the bar would make to the hours at present, Mr. Phipps stated that there was no facility to purchase alcohol outside in the garden at present.

 

Other Persons present were then invited to make their representations and ask questions with Mr. Gray referring to one of the photographs which showed a waitress serving and queried why this would not be more appropriate to continue. He stated that in his view, the provision of a bar would be prudent for non-residents and to attract different clientele.  Mr Gray felt that gate to the garden would be left open, and with the lane nearby being unlit further nuisance issues would be exacerbated. and therefore considered that the gate should be closed at all times. 

 

Mr. Williams stated that he was concerned about people congregating in the lane and also queried the number of agency staff that had been employed on the premises as this lacked continuity. 

 

Mrs. Zehetmayr stated that she was in full agreement with the representations that had been made and referred to herself as the lady who had seen the children trampling flowers. 

 

There being no further questions or comments from either party the Chairman asked the licensing authority whether they had any further comments to make.

 

The Chairman then asked the Applicant’s representative to sum up.  Mr. Phipps commenced by asking the Committee to consider the legitimacy of the concerns that had been raised at the meeting and in the representations received having regard to the Licensing Objectives.  In referring to the issue raised regarding the closing of the gate he was of the view that closing the gate at 10.00 p.m. would be acceptable and that in his view the application before the hearing could not be considered to be unreasonable.  In referring to the possibility of anything ever going wrong, he stated that this could be happen as there was always the possibility of something happening but there was also the possibility of members of the public undertaking a review of the licence.

 

In referring to the issue of public nuisance, in the Applicant’s view there was no evidence for such.  Illuminating the lane was not an issue for the hotel or reasonable for the hotel to do and asked the Committee to consider a sense of proportion when deliberating and considering what was actually fair.  Mr. Phipps also advised that with regard to the Noise Action Plan he would be happy for a condition that the plan be amended with the consent of the Environmental Health Officer. In conclusion Mr Phipps urged the Committee to have a little sense of proportionality in their deliberations.

 

Following the summing up and there being no further questions, the Licensing Sub-Committee retired to consider the application in private. 

 

On return, the Chairman advised that the application was for the variation of a premises licence at Holm House, Marine Parade, Penarth, CF64 3GB, the application being for a change to the layout of the premises in accordance with the submitted plan to include the garden and external bar to the licenced area.

 

In delivering its decision the Chairman summarised the application and the representations presented by all parties at the hearing as below: 

  • The hours requested in respect of the aforementioned licensable activities were for the sale of alcohol 09:00 to 24:00 hours. 

The hearing had been attended by the Applicant’s representatives Mr. Phipps, Mr. Williams and Mr. Hebditch, the Licensing Authority, Environmental Health Officer and members of the public who had made representations, Mr. Gray, Mr. Williams, Miss. H. Mitchell, Mrs Morgan and Mrs. Zehetmayr.  The evidence presented by the Licensing Authority was as outlined in the report and from the Environmental Health Department as per the objection made on 7th June, 2018.

 

The objections raised by Other Persons in the written representations attached to the report and those made at the meeting could be summarised as follows: 

  • anti-social behaviour
  • public nuisance
  • noise. 

Other concerns related to other neighbouring properties, the increase in the likely number of patrons in the street and the garden with the open gate to the property Concern was also raised over the high turnover of staff and car parking and increased traffic in the area. 

 

The Applicant’s case was summarised as follows;-

 

The premise was an asset to the community.  The bar in the garden was to make it more convenient for guests and other patrons.  The intended use of the bar in the garden to be in keeping with the hotel and its intended ethos.  There was no evidence of public nuisance.  The Applicant also advised at the hearing that they had no objections to a 10.00 a.m. start to the day or that if the Committee felt it appropriate for the bar to be closed at 10.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

 

The Applicant provided additional documents at the hearing a Noise Control Policy, and an Action Plan and a copy of the brochure for the premises.  The Applicant also offered to close the rear entrance gate to the garden at 10.00 p.m.  Mr Phipps although having stated that the applicant would be happy to consider some aspects as outlined above wished for their application to remain as applied for and for the Committee to determine. 

 

In reaching its decision the Chairman advised that the written representations of all parties had been taken into account together with the documentation presented by Mr. Gray and the Applicant at the meeting and

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the application and the conditions contained therein be granted with the following additions

  •      the hours of the outside bar to be as follows:
  • Sunday to Thursday - 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday - 10.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.

 

That the premises to ensure that it had in place a Noise Control Policy and Action Plan which covered the garden area and for any proposed changes to such documents to be undertaken in consultation with the Environmental Health Department.

 

Reasons for decision

 

The Licensing Sub-Committee having considered the concerns of residents and the proximity of residential homes and the neighbourhood as a whole felt that the reduction in the hours of the sale of alcohol at the outside bar would promote the Licensing Objective - Reducing the Risk of Public Nuisance and ensuring public safety.

 

The Committee also noted the Applicant’s suggestion of closing the garden gate to the rear of the property at 10.00 p.m. and would welcome that addition.