STATUTORY LICENSING-SUB COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 16th July, 2018.

 

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

 

Also present: P.C. J. Young (South Wales Police), Licensing Officer (Vale of Glamorgan Council), Environmental Health Officer (Vale of Glamorgan Council) and Legal Officer (Vale of Glamorgan Council).

 

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

 

 

(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 - PizzaHot4U, 5 Broad Street, Barry

 

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, who advised that an application had been made under the Licensing Act 2003 for the variation of a Premises Licence at PizzaHot4U, 5 Broad Street, Barry, submitted by Mr Dariosh Fazeli the premises licence holder. The officer advised the Committee that 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did not have the delegated authority to determine applications where relevant representations had been received and not withdrawn.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 nature of the proposed variation was outlined in the application as:

 

A variation of the permitted hours of the licence for the licensable activity of late night refreshment:

 

Friday and Saturday from 23:00 - 02:00 hours, to 23:00 - 04:00 hours and add unspecified Bank Holidays from 23:00 - 04:00 hours.

 

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’s Shared Regulatory Services Environmental Health Team. This representation was attached at Appendix C to the report. South Wales Police had also submitted representations which were attached at Appendix D to the report.

 

For clarity’s sake, the Licensing Officer read out page 6 of the application, which detailed the additional steps the applicant intended to take to promote the four licensing objectives as a result of the proposed variation. These were:

 

“ b)      The prevention of crime and disorder

  • Premises has CCTV inside of the premises and outside which may help Local Authorities with their Duties.
  • Public will be gathered indoors rather than crowding outside of the clubs etc. which is when most fight occur.

c)         Public Safety

  • Having the Premises open for longer will mean that people which come out of clubs later may decide to cause public disturbance if there is no other premises for them to go to.

d)         The prevention of public nuisance

  • Me and my staff will be trying our best to help the public get home/hotel after their late night food and/or      refreshment. The in turn will help out local authorities making their work slightly easier.

e)         The protection of children from harm

  • Not much need as the times we are changing our licence to there is not any children out in the public without a guardian.”

 

The Chairman invited the South Wales Police Officer to present his representations. 

 

P.C. J. Young informed the Committee that during the start of February 2017, complaints were received by South Wales Police Licensing Department that the takeaway venues around the Broad Street / High Street area of Barry were in breach of their licence condition opening times. Checks revealed that 7 venues in this area were supposed to be closed by 2am with one closing by 1:30am, however that had all historically been open to 4am and beyond. The result of this was a high demand on Police resources policing the Barry night time economy predominantly after the last night club venues closed at 3am. The reason for this being persons were gathering and hanging around the takeaways until between 4am and 5am causing regular disorder problems and committing crime.

 

The Committee was advised that from the start of February 2017, warning letters were sent to all the takeaway venues concerned, outline with immediate effect that closure times would be as per their individual licence conditions. As a result, P.C. Young stated that crime and disorder problems had dropped significantly, as well as the demand on Police resources, making the night time economy area a much safer place for the public as persons now leaving the clubs at 3am vacated the area almost immediately, lessening the demand on Police resources and noise nuisance to persons living in the area.

 

By way of example, P.C. Young stated that over the three month period from the 2am closing time being enforced, the number of incidents being recorded by South Wales Police dropped from 82 to 23 in the High Street area, and 90 to 74 in the Broad Street area. It was also noted that on Saturday there had been an incident involving a fight in the premises. He therefore believed that if the applied for variation was granted, the requested later opening times would not reduce incidents of crime and disorder, instead it would have a negative effect on the Barry night time economy and make the streets more unsafe. The committee was asked that the closure of the premises should not exceed the existing licence condition closure times by up to 2:30am at the latest.

 

The committee then discussed the cause historic licence breaches in the area, the difficulty of policing and regulating crime and disorder once persons moved from the premises to the street, the process for reviewing and revoking licenses, and whether there was a crowd dispersal effect as a result of clubs having later opening hours. With regards to the last point, P.C. Young stated he believed that this was not the case.

 

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

 

The Environmental Health Officer confirmed the situation as described by South Wales Police. As part of her monitoring duties, she had visited the area at 03:30am before the licensing hours enforcement action, and informed the committee she had seen lots of disturbance and a significant police presence had been required. The Environmental Health department had also received lots of noise complaints originating from the area, even as far as Queen Street. Since the nearby premises been warned about closing within their licensing hours, the Environmental Health officer informed the committee she observed far fewer people hanging around the vicinity. She also noted that there were planning restrictions on the opening/trading hours of 5 Broad Street, and that once patrons left the premises and were on the pavement, they were beyond the jurisdiction of any premise operator so noise on the street could not be controlled by either licensing or planning conditions.

 

The Chairman provided all parties with the opportunity to sum up or add to their representations. There being no further discussions, 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 Pizza Hot 4 U, 5 Broad Street, Barry. The application sought a variation of the Premises Licence for Late Night Refreshment for the hours to be amended as follows:

 

Friday and Saturday from 23:00 - 02:00 hours, to 23:00 - 04:00 hours and add unspecified Bank Holidays from 23:00 - 04:00 hours.

 

In delivering the decision of the Sub-Committee the Chairman summarised the representations received by all parties at the hearing:

 

Licensing Authority -

 

The Licensing Authority had no further representations to make other than those already contained within the officer’s report.

 

Applicant -

 

The Applicant’s case was as detailed in the report.

 

South Wales Police -

 

As detailed in Appendix D attached to the report, during February 2017, complaints were received that a number of premises were operating outside their licences. Following an investigation, it emerged that 7 premises in total were operating later than their licensing hours specified. This led to persons hanging around the area from up to 4.00am and 5.00am.  The premises were warned by letter about opening outside their hours and following compliance with the licensing hours, people now vacated the area earlier and incidents of crime and noise related issues were reduced. After the warning and subsequent compliance with licensing hours, the incidents recorded in the High Street area dropped from 82 to 23, and in the Broad Street area from 90 to 74. Therefore, since premises started shutting at 2.00am, incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour had dropped significantly. This Saturday there was an incident involving a fight in the premises.

 

Environmental Health -

 

The Environmental Health Officer confirmed the representations made by the South Wales Police Authority. The officer had witnessed the problems when the clubs closed for the night and patrons left, resulting in noise related complaints coming from as far away as Queen’s street. Once patrons were out on the street, incidents of anti-social behaviour were difficult to control. She informed the Committee that last Saturday there was an incident with a couple fighting on Broad Street and she had witnessed 6 to 8 Police Officers monitoring the area. Since the nearby premises had been warned about closing within their licensing hours, the officer had observed far fewer people hanging around the vicinity.

 

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

 

RESOLVED - T H A T application be rejected.

 

Reason for decision

 

As outlined above. The Licensing Sub-Committee, in granting the application, had considered the application along with all written and oral submissions.  The Licensing Sub-Committee had taken into account the Licensing Act 2003 (as amended), in particular the licensing objectives and the Home Office Guidance along with the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy.

 

The Licensing Sub-Committee advised that the Applicant had a right of appeal against the decision of the Sub-Committee.  This 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 social responsibilities they should take independent legal advice.