Venue: The Executive Meeting Room - Third Floor, The Guildhall. View directions
Contact: Democratic Services Email: Democratic@Portsmouthcc.gov.uk
Appointment of Chair
Councillor Scott Payter-Harris was elected as chair for this meeting. He made the introductory remarks and explained the procedure being followed (for hearings where representations are from "other persons" i.e. residents). Introductions were made by those present.
Declarations of Members' Interests
There were no declarations of members' interests.
The purpose of the Licensing Manager's report is for the committee to consider an application for the variation of a premises licence pursuant to section 35 of the Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act").
The matter has been referred to the committee for determination following receipt of relevant representations from other person's namely local residents.
The committee is requested to determine the variation application.
Decision of the Sub Committee
The decision as read out by Ben Attrill, the Legal Adviser to the Sub Committee:
"The Sub Committee has carefully considered the application for variation of a premises licence at ASDA Wallmart Superstore, Bridge Shopping Centre, Somers Road North, Portsmouth.
The Sub Committee has had due regard to the Licensing Act 2003, statutory guidance, the Licensing Objectives, the evidence of all the parties, both written and given orally today, Human Rights legislation and the public sector equality duty.
In light of all the above the Sub Committee has determined that the application shall be granted.
The Sub Committee has listened carefully to concerns expressed by residents raising issues relating to an increase in anti-social behaviour and drunkenness in a residential area including noise nuisance late at night. The Sub Committee accepted legal advice that parking, planning, traffic, commercial need, the potential for precedent (which is not created in licensing cases) are not relevant considerations. The Sub Committee focussed its mind upon the licensing objectives.
Consideration was given to imposing a condition regarding the gate leading to Garnier Street, however, legal issue was raised that this was not in the ownership or control of the premises licence holder. Further, an express assurance was provided to the Sub Committee that there shall be no change to the times the gate is opened or closed.
The Sub Committee had to consider the potential impact of alcohol sales and not the operation of the premises generally and, on balance, was not able to restrict the application at this time. Police support for the application, subject to the conditions agreed, and the lack of objection from Responsible Authorities otherwise, supports this position. It should be stressed, however, that there is a right for residents to bring a review of the premises license where evidence shows that issues arise as a result of the variation. Also, no precedent is set by this decision - each case is considered on its merits.
The Sub Committee is disappointed with an apparent lack of consultation or engagement with residents. It strongly recommends that consideration be given to blocking off use of parking spaces adjacent/behind Garnier Street after 23.00 hours (in line with gate closure times) as a gesture of goodwill if the store is to open for 24 hours or if there is an extension in opening hours.
It must be stressed that in light of the representation from the Planning Department it appears that other consents will be required before this is permissible generally - this decision does not negate that need.
There is a statutory right of appeal to the Magistrates' Court.
Formal notification of the decision will set out that right in full."
Derek Stone, Licensing Officer, presented the Licensing Manager's report; the application for variation needed to come to the sub committee hearing due to representations from residents ("other persons") objecting to the proposed 24 hour sale of alcohol by the store. The application had been advertised as required and the representations from residents were set out in Appendix B (mainly citing noise and anti-social behaviour concerns) and Appendix C set out existing planning conditions.
Ben Attrill, the committee's legal adviser, asked Councillor Corkery to clarify his role in attending as he had not made a written representation. Councillor Corkery announced that he was appearing as a ward councillor to represent Mr T Morgan, who had made representation but who could not attend himself due to illness. The Chair consented to his participation on this basis and he was reminded that new evidence should not be introduced.
Councillor Madden questioned whether the published representations should all include names and addresses to be valid, as it was clear that these had been asked for. Ben Attrill would look into the legal requirements for future reports.
It was reported that there had been no objections from "Responsible Authorities" but the police had agreed conditions with the applicant.
During questions from members it was asked if a planning application had been submitted. Mr Stone was not aware, with planning being dealt with separately (but the panel would be able to ask the applicant) and there would need to be planning consent in place for the same hours of opening. Members also asked about other 24 hour sales of alcohol in the close vicinity; it was reported that the Goldsmith Avenue petrol station had 24 hour permission and a store in Fratton Road could sell alcohol until 2am.
There were no questions to the Licensing Officer from the applicant. Ms Godley asked if the large Fratton Tesco opened 24 hours; Mr Stone did not think it did.
The applicant's case was presented by Clare Johnson (Legal representative for ASDA Wallmart) accompanied by Dean Glasspool, the ASDA Store Manager at the Bridge Centre. Ms Johnson reported that she had made enquiries of ADSA Head Office regarding planning consent for a variation to 24 hours; she had seen an email about this but did not have a copy in writing. She also reported that the premises licence currently permitted 24 hour opening (for groceries) irrespective of alcohol. The hearing was therefore to look at extension of hours for the sale of alcohol on the basis of the licensing objectives. Ms Johnson reiterated that the police were not objecting and they were the lead for crime and disorder matters, and discussions had been held with them to agreed standard conditions of regulation. There had been no representations from Environmental Health regarding public nuisance or from Public Health or the Children's Safeguarding Board.
Ms Johnson stressed the need for the panel's consideration to be evidence based and she felt that ASDA would address the majority of the ... view the full minutes text for item 3.