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Appointment of Chair
Councillor Udy was elected as chair for this meeting. She welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting of the Licensing Sub-Committee necessitated by the COVID-19 restrictions and explained how the meeting would work and the procedure that would be 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 the report by the Licensing Manager is for the committee to consider an application for the grant of a new premises licence pursuant to section 18 of the Licensing Act 2003 ("the Act").
The matter has been referred to the committee for determination following receipt of relevant representations from four local residents.
The committee is requested to determine the application.
Derek Stone, Principal Licensing Officer, introduced his report and explained that the previous owner had become insolvent on 10 March 2020, shortly after which, all bars, clubs and restaurants had to close because of Covid-19. Although a licence automatically lapses when the licence holder becomes insolvent, if action is taken within 28 days the licence can be reinstated under Section 50 of the Licensing Act. The lapse, in this case, was only discovered when pubs re-opened on 4 July and the premises had a new owner, otherwise the existing licence would have transferred without any changes. In the meantime the premises has been relying on TENs (Temporary Event Notices). The application has come before the Sub-Committee as there have been four valid representations from neighbouring residents.
Mr Stone pointed out that there had been issues in the past, including a noise abatement notice served in 2010. The previous Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) left in January 2019. There are ongoing discussions between Environmental Health and the applicant which aim to address concerns raised in representations, in particular that the garden is closed between 10 pm and 9 am and that noise from equipment should not exceed 50db LAeq (5 Min). Mr Stone reminded members that they must have regard to the four licensing objectives.
There were no questions for the Principal Licensing Officer from members or the applicant.
In response to a question from Mr Owens, the Principal Licensing Officer explained the conditions that have been agreed with the police (a responsible authority) around CCTV, staff training, maintaining a refusal log, Challenge 25 and checking ID. The other representatives did not have questions.
Mr Wallsgrove asked the committee to consider the following points:
· It is a difficult balancing act between the needs of trade with residents' peaceful enjoyment of their properties. He acknowledged residents had experienced problems in the past; however, there is a new owner and the premises will be managed professionally. Issues occurring before July 2020 cannot be commented on when considering the current application.
· The Wellington is a small pub with about 50 seats with a good food offer and mix of customers; it is not a vertical drinking establishment. The applicant (Tommy Ware) and his Operations Manager Mr Hudson are very experienced in the licensed trade. The applicant requests the same activities and hours as the previous licence but it will be better regulated. Some conditions in the previous licence may be unenforceable.
· Neither the police nor the representations have raised concerns over crime and disorder. The police had no concerns with the TENs licences in July and August.
· The applicant has agreed to manage the garden in line with the noise abatement notice issued in 2010. The proposed closure between 10 pm and 9 am is a reasonable balance between the needs of residents and those of the Wellington.
· Members should attach weight to the view of the police, who are responsible authorities and experts in the field.
· Food odours are not relevant ... view the full minutes text for item 16.