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Appointment of Chair
Councillor Ashmore was elected as chair for this meeting. He welcomed everyone to the first virtual meeting of the Licensing Sub Committee necessitated by the COVID-19 restrictions and explained how the meeting would work 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 interest
There were no declarations of members' interests.
The purpose of this 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"). This follows two adjournment meetings due to Covid 19 restrictions.
The matter has been referred to the committee for determination following receipt of relevant representations from a responsible authority namely the Chief Officer of Police, Hampshire Constabulary together with three representations from local residents. Further detail about the representations received is shown within the report.
The committee is requested to determine the application.
All parties shall receive written confirmation of the decision and reasons. In the first instance this will be emailed today.
The Sub Committee has considered very carefully the application for variation of a premises licence at the Keppels Head Hotel. It gave due regard to the Licensing Act 2003, the Licensing Objectives, statutory guidance and the adopted statement of licensing policy.
The Sub Committee considered the relevant representations, both written and given at the hearing, by all parties. Human Rights legislation has been borne in mind whilst making the decision.
The Sub Committee noted that there had been a representation from the police and three representations from residents leading to the hearing. A residential representation had been withdrawn following negotiation - meaning that two were considered today. The police had proposed conditions, which were confirmed as agreed by the applicant during the course of the hearing. The application had sought to introduce a new, additional, bar at the premises for private functions with an extension of hours until 2.00am. The proposed operating schedule was amended before the hearing to reduce the terminal hour for all licensable activities at the new bar area to 11.00pm on any day.
After having heard all of the above evidence the Sub Committee determined to grant the proposed variation, subject to conditions proposed by the police and amended as follows and as discussed during the course of the hearing.
Condition 2 of the proposed conditions put forward by the police shall have the following wording added as a final paragraph:
Documentation showing the material to be used in the above training, including any testing, and the recording procedures to be adopted for such shall be presented to and approved by the police and trading standards before the proposed area is used for any licensable activity.
Residents' objections were focussed upon late night noise and the combined impact of existing premises. Whilst it was noted that the proposed hours were reduced concerns remained in particular with regards to anti-social behaviour and use of smoking areas - being close to residential properties and upon a pavement already affected by a bus stop close-by.
Concerns were raised by the police regarding an underage sale and the Sub-Committee heard that despite having indicated that measures were in place it was later found that they hadn't in fact been adopted as would be expected. Also, poor detail as to the extent of training and steps implemented remained an issue.
Underage sales are a serious concern and a failure to promptly implement positive steps to fully address such issues is a concern. However, on balance this was not felt to be sufficient reason to refuse the application at this stage. Issues regarding training could be addressed by way of condition.
In reaching this decision the following factors were taken into account:
- The proposed additional bar shall be used for private events only - where those attending may also be staying at the hotel.
- The additional bar will ... view the full decision text for item 10.
Derek Stone, Licensing Officer, advised that this application had originally been scheduled to come to a meeting on 23 April however had been adjourned twice due to the restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The application for variation needed to come to the sub committee hearing due to representations received from the Chief of Police, Hampshire Constabulary and three local residents ("other persons") objecting to the proposal. He advised the committee that the applicant had now withdrawn the extension to its opening hours as applied for in the original application. The new bar, to be known as the Nut Bar, would be for private functions and operate with the existing opening hours as detailed in the existing premises licence. The Licensing Officer had been advised by the applicant that the maximum capacity for the basement bar is 60 people. Following this change to the application, the representation from Mr Greenberg had been withdrawn as he was now happy with the new proposed hours.
There were no questions from any of the parties present on the Licensing Officer's report.
Mr Lim explained the reason for the variation was to add a bar downstairs for private functions which would minimise noise in the hotel bar upstairs. He handed over to Jeanette Warren, the Licence holder.
Ms Warren explained that the applicant would like to move all events that previously took place in the upstairs bar, which they presumed were the cause of the noise complaints, to the new bar in the basement. The new bar is fully soundproofed and would only be used for private functions. The upstairs bar would be for guests of the hotel only and would therefore be much quieter. All staff will be fully trained and will operate the Challenge 25 policy. The hotel already has one CIA accredited doorman working for them who would be in attendance for all private events being held. Ms Warren explained she already works for the applicant at the Lady Hamilton pub, which has an accredited licence. She has good rapport with the client base there and she was not aware of any noise complaints.
Ms Warren said that it was anticipated that the private events would be restricted to those over the age of 25, which they feel is responsible and is in line with the Challenge 25 policy. The premises will not be operating any deals on alcohol as the applicant wants this to be a successful private event functionality for the purpose of weddings and charity events for example that add to the local community. The premises will no longer use the Nelson's Bar for live music or events. They feel 11pm close for the bar be much more respectful to the local community.
In response to a question from Councillor Swann, Ms Warren said that the licensing policy states that any staff working behind a bar must be suitably trained to understand legal responsibilities for underage drinking.
In response to a question ... view the full minutes text for item 10.