01/05/2012 02:30 PM Licensing Panel Sub Committee - Minutes


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LICENSING PANEL SUB-COMMITTEE

5 JANUARY 2012



PRESENT: Councillors Wilson Hendry, Geoff Hill and John Fido

Also Present: Mr Clark on behalf of PPA Taverns (applicant).

Officers: Alan Barwise, Wendi Batteson and Liz Hornby.


PART I

ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

RESOLVED: That Councillor Hendry be elected as Chairman for the duration of the meeting.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

None.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Councillor Rayner – Declared a Personal interest due to being War Councillor for Horton and Wraysbury

CONSIDERATION OF APPLICATION UNDER THE LICENSING ACT 2003 – APPLICATION TO VARY A PREMISES LICENCE (LP 17/11)

The Chairman welcomed all the parties to the meeting, introduced the Sub-Committee Members and explained the procedure, which all indicated they understood.

The Council’s Licensing Team Leader introduced the application for Members to consider. He explained that the application was to vary an existing Premises Licence with regard to the opening hours and hours of licensable activities at the premises known as The George, 29 Windsor Road, Wraysbury.

The Licensing Team Leader went onto explain that the current licence permitted the applicant opening hours of 10:00-23:20 Monday to Saturday and Noon to 22:50 Sunday. These hours were the hours under the old licensing regime and the licence was simply converted with the existing conditions. These conditions were now considered irrelevant and it was requested the Panel removed these. Mr Clark wished to amend the application to request the opening hours be extended to 10:00 to 01:00 Monday to Saturday. To add regulated entertainment and late night refreshment and to remove the old conditions in Annex 2 of the existing licence. On Sundays prior to a Bank Holiday Monday 10:00 to 01:00; Christmas Eve 10:00 to 02:00 Christmas Day and New Years Eve 10:00 to 03:00.

The Licensing Team Leader went onto explain that attached in the agenda were emails and letters from local residents and that the main concerns received were with regard to the prevention of crime and disorder and the prevention of public nuisance. However, the Panel was reminded that they could not take into consideration speculation of what may occur as this issue had been dealt with in a Court of Law.

The Panel noted that music was already being played due to the landlord obtaining Temporary Events licences. The Licensing Team Leader also reminded the Panel that only the Police could object to the application.

The Licensing Team Leader referred to the Secretary of State’s Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.

The Sub-Committee was respectfully reminded that they could only take into account information, which related to the four licensing objectives.

The Licensing Team Leader informed the Sub-Committee that they could today grant the application, add conditions to the licence, or reject all or part of the application.

Members questions to the Licensing Team Leader

The Licensing Team Leader that ‘recorded music’ was any music that was played through amplifiers, for example a disco or playing a CD. He also confirmed that Performance of Dance could be anything from ballet to dancing publicly for a crowd. The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that the landlord currently held ‘Open Mic Nights’ on a Wednesday where singer / songwriters brought their own equipment along to accompany them when singing.

Applicant’s case

Mr Clark, the applicant’s representative, thanked the Licensing Team Leader for his introduction and explained that there was no intention to play music until 01:00 every night. He explained that the ‘Open Mic Night’ was held every Wednesday which had proved very popular. The only time that the extension would be used was if a private function had been booked where a disco was brought in.

Mr Clark explained that at no time since he had taken the licence over had the Police had cause to attend the public house due to trouble as there had been none. Mr Clark also explained that when the application was submitted advice had been sought on what steps should be taken and when. He also explained that, in line with legislation, all windows and doors would be closed at 22:00 when an event was taking place. Mr Clark was not aware of any complaints due as he believed that residents had not had cause to complain.

Mr Clark explained that he was a family man with six children, and took the public house on as a family pub and would endeavour to make the pub better for the local residents. He stated that it was not his intention to turn the public house into a nightclub.

Objector’s case

The Chairman invited the objectors who had registered to speak in advance of the meeting to address the Sub-Committee:

Mr Chris Oblein of Thames Valley Police stated that there were three reports associated with the premises and that the incident dated 13/05/2010 was of concern. However, there was a very limited number of reported incidents as it was believed the neighbours were very tolerant of the pub. Mr Oblein explained that noise could become an issue if the licence was granted due to the longer hours. He also explained the potential for drink/driving offenses although he realised that this was speculation that could not be taken into account.

Sgt. Rachel Jinks of Thames Valley Police explained that there had not been a great number of Anti Social Behaviour issues although she explained that this did not mean that it did hot happen. There was the potential for increased complaints due to the pub being in the middle of a residential area.

Mr Caseley questioned why a licence until 01:00 was necessary. He explained that most people would not object if the hours were extended by one night per week. Mr Caseley accepted that speculation could not be taken into consideration but surely there was a Risk Assessment. Due to the licence being requested for an extension to 6 nights per week Mr Caseley believed that speculation should be taken into consideration. Mr Caseley stated that his main objection was to the increase of hours 6 nights a week as he believed traffic would increase and therefore public safety would be more of an issue as well as an increase in drink / driving. He explained that if a function was being held at the pub, parking could often be a problem, with customers parking their vehicles across residents’ driveways. Mr Caseley stated that he and his neighbours were tolerant to the situation at present and explained that he could have called the police on several occasions.

Pauline Simmons stated that she lived opposite the premises and that, to date, she had been tolerant. However, if the licence was granted to extend to 6 nights a week she believed that the situation would get out of control. She stated that this was not a suitable site for late night drinking.

Andrew Davies stated he was opposed to the increase. He explained that Wraysbury was a quiet village and that the sort of disturbance the village would get would be very unwelcome particularly at 01:00 in the morning. However, he understood that public houses were struggling in this present economic climate but that this increase was not appropriate for the location. He stated that a care home was sited across the road from the pub and that the residents would be disturbed late at night. He accepted Mr Clark’s comments that the pub would not be turned into a night club, but stated that Mr Clark could sell his licence at any time and the new landlord could do so if he wished. Mr Davies commented that the pub should be more family orientated and that there were two and a half thousand residents living within a 20 minute walk of the establishment.

James Regan explained that his property faced the George car park and that he did not object to music being played up until 23:00 but did object to the proposed extended hours. He stated that those customers on leaving the pub, particularly those who were loud and used vile language, he believed the landlord and staff did not monitor and therefore caused disturbance to neighbours.

Harley Buckner explained that he was speaking on behalf of the residents of Harcourt. He stated there were twenty four properties in Harcourt of which twenty one had lodged objections prior to Christmas. They wished to see The George as a family pub as the younger clientele would leave and there would not be the late night transport and taxis arriving and leaving. If the licence was granted until 01:00 they believed that, particularly in the summer months, the noise would be greater especially from people who were outside the pub either smoking or because of a warm evening. Despite assurances that windows would be closed there was no way of stopping people using the doors to enter and exit the pub all the time. Mr Buckner stated that parts of the building were over three hundred years old meaning there was no soundproofing. They believed that turning an old inn to a music venue would not work as there were plenty of other venues offering late night music within the local area.

Councillor Rayner stated that he had been a Councillor since 2005 and had received a lot of correspondence in relation to this application. He explained that there was already a late night culture in Windsor. He believed that because of this, the police were already quite stretched in attending incidents in Windsor and therefore, if called to an incident at the George, they could not attend immediately and could potentially take 20 minutes to arrive. Councillor Rayner stated that he therefore supported the concerns in relation to Health and Safety.

Simon Douglas-Lane stated that he had been resident since 2005 and explained that the George was a good pub. He stated that this was no longer the case as it looked ‘tired’ and was not very welcoming. He believed that it should be a Carvery which would then attract daytime customers. He explained that as the local vicar, he could not recommend it as a venue for wedding, christening or funeral receptions.

John Anderson explained that residents feared of consequences should the licence be granted and believed this was not speculation.

Olivia Flint stated that as she worked long hours and got up early in the morning, the extension of hours 6 days a week was unacceptable.

Questions to the Objectors

In response to questions:

    Ø The Licensing Team Leader stated that there was only one type of licence granted and was no different to those who held licenses in Windsor nightclubs.
    Ø Mr Oblein confirmed that only three incidents had been reported in relation to the premises and advised that in future residents should report any incident as this could give a true indication.
    Ø The Licensing Team Leader explained that a Passive Dog Operation was when sniffer dogs were used for a drugs check and which had been carried out at the George where only two customers were there at the time. The main thrust of the operation however, was in Windsor.

Questions from the Applicant to Objectors

In response to questions:
    Ø In relation to the reported incident in 2010 the Panel stated it showed that young people did frequent the George and that fake ID cards were in circulation.
    Ø That if there was any trouble reported, residents could ask for a further review. However, Mr Clark assured residents he would not be turning the pub into a nightclub.

Members Questions to the Applicant

In response to questions:

    Ø The Manager of the pub would stand at the exit to ensure that customers were aware of the notices requesting them to be quiet as they left the pub and that they adhered to this request.
    Ø Mr Clark stated that CCTV was installed throughout the public areas both inside and outside.
    Ø The reason for requesting 6 nights a week was due to the ad hoc nature of some events. Mr Clark stated that Wednesday nights were the busiest of the week due to the Open Mic Night.
    Ø That a Noise Limiter would be acceptable if conditioned.

Objectors questions to the Applicant

In response to questions:
    Ø A staff member would be placed at the exit doors at closing time. Mr Clark stated that he was a registered SIA but that he would not attend the premises every night.
    Ø That the CCTV recorded on a 3-week cycle and was digital. It did not have audio capability. It was confirmed it covered all car parks and bar areas.

Objectors Summary

Mr Oblein summarised by explaining that some crime had gone unreported and that if the licence was granted, there should be many conditions attached. He stated that his objections still stood. Sgt Jinks summarise stating that her objections still stood as before.
Mr Caseley summarised that he had concerns in relation to public safety and noise levels which he believed could not be controlled.

Mr Davies summarised that the pub was in a residential area and expressed concern in relation to the sheltered housing which was opposite the premises. He believed it was inappropriate for the area.

Mr Buckner summarised by stating the strength of feeling locally due to the high numbers attending the meeting.

Mr Douglas-Lane summarised by stating that if granted without acceptable conditions and Mr Clark sold the premises, the new licensee could potentially turn the pub into a nighclub.

Councillor Rayner summarised that he had concerns in relation to public safety and the potential for a 20 minute delay in police attending any incident that may occur.

Applicants Summary

Mr Clark informed the Sub-Committee that all concerns would be taken into account. He did not agree that in relation to crime and disorder concerns that there would be a rise in people stealing vehicles etc. If granted, and police were called, then the licence could be reviewed again. Mr Clark stated that he would look into the Noise Limiters issue. He also stated that he did not have a younger clientele and that if there were any problems, he would encourage residents to approach him direct. Mr Clark requested that he not be judged on previous incidents prior to him taking over the premises.

Licensing Officer’s Summary

The Licensing Team Leader stated that there had been a full debate and that he would write to everyone once the decision had been taken. He reiterated that the licence could be reviewed at any time and this was not the end of the process.

Decision

The Sub-Committee agreed to vary the licence to permit all licensable activities applied for, namely Live Music, Recorded Music, Performance of Dance, Provision of Facilities for Making Music, Provision of Facilities for Dancing, Supply of Alcohol and opening hours from 10:00 to 23:30 Mondays to Thursdays; 10:00 to 00:00 Fridays and Saturdays and Noon to 10:50 on Sundays. 10:00 to 01:00 on Sundays prior to a Bank Holiday Monday; 10:00 to 02:00 Christmas Eve and 10:00 to 03:00 New Year’s Eve. All these are with the additional following conditions:
    Ø That a Noise Limiter be installed in consultation with the Royal Borough’s Environmental Protection Officer.
    Ø That the following recommendations from the Environmental Protection Officer, RBWM be instigated –
      All windows and doors must remain closed during any regulated entertainment, with the exception of access and egress;
      No regulated entertainment to be played outside;
      Noise arising from any amplified or live music, vocalisation, live or recorded event transmission, film or video display, gaming machine or any other source shall be inaudible at any residential site boundary;
      Speakers should not be placed outside the premises at any time and should be pointed away from residential premises and should not be position close to openings such as doors and windows;
      Regular checks to the outside areas during regulated entertainment to monitor noise from the premises;
      Management will ensure that clear and legible notices are displayed at all exits requesting patrons to respect the peace and quiet of local residents and to leave the premises quietly;
      The disposal of bottles into waste receptacles outside the premises will not be permitted to take place between the hours of 22:00 and 09:00 to minimise disturbance to nearby occupiers.
    Ø CCTV to be installed in accordance with current or amended Home Office Guidelines relating to UK Police Requirements for Digital CCTV Systems. These cameras shall be located both internally and externally in consultation with the police. CCTV images shall be retained for at least 31 days and except for mechanical breakdown beyond the control of the proprietor shall be made available upon request to the police and authorised officers of the council. Any breakdown or system failure will be notified to the police immediately and remedied as soon as practicable. Any request from Thames Valley Police or the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for a recording to be made for evidential purposes must be carried out immediately. CCTV recordings should have audio as well as visual.
    Ø That Annex 2 (old conditions) be removed.
    Ø Challenge 25.

In making their decision, the Sub-Committee took into consideration everything presented to them both in writing and verbally at the hearing, including the representations from local residents. The Sub Committee stated the reason for not granting the requested extension was that The George was situated in a predominantly residential area and that there were police concerns about the impact that the full extension of hours would have on residents, particularly in relation to Crime and Disorder. The Sub-Committee believed that due to the residential proximity to the premises the full extension as requested would likely enhance disturbance. The Sub Committee felt that the conditions as detailed are necessary for the promotion of the licensing objectives ‘prevention of crime and disorder’ and ‘prevention of public nuisance’ as set out in the Licensing Act 2003.

The Sub-Committee considered the written submissions provided by the applicant, Officers of the Council and a number of objectors. The Panel also heard oral evidence provided from the following –

· Mr A Barwise (Licensing Officer at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead)
· Mr Oblein (objector)
· Sgt Jinks (objector)
· Mr Caseley (objector)
· Ms Simmons (objector)
· Mr Davies (objector)
· Mr Regan (objector)
· Mr Buckner (objector)
· Councillor Rayner (objector)
· Mr Douglas-Lane (objector)
· Mr Anderson (objector)
· Ms Flint (objector)
· Mr Clark (applicant)
    In making their decision, the Sub-Committee also had regard to national guidance and the Council’s own Licensing Policy.

    RESOLVED: The Panel agreed to vary the licence to permit all licensable activities applied for, namely Live Music, Recorded Music, Performance of Dance, Provision of Facilities for Making Music, Provision of Facilities for Dancing, Supply of Alcohol and opening hours from 10:00 to 23:30 Mondays to Thursdays; 10:00 to 00:00 Fridays and Saturdays and Noon to 10:50 on Sundays. 10:00 to 01:00 on Sundays prior to a Bank Holiday Monday; 10:00 to 02:00 Christmas Eve and 10:00 to 03:00 New Year’s Eve. All these are with the additional following conditions:
      Ø That a Noise Limiter be installed in consultation with the Royal Borough’s Environmental Protection Officer.
      Ø That the following recommendations from the Environmental Protection Officer, RBWM be instigated –
        All windows and doors must remain closed during any regulated entertainment, with the exception of access and egress;
        No regulated entertainment to be played outside;
        Noise arising from any amplified or live music, vocalisation, live or recorded event transmission, film or video display, gaming machine or any other source shall be inaudible at any residential site boundary;
        Speakers should not be placed outside the premises at any time and should be pointed away from residential premises and should not be position close to openings such as doors and windows;
        Regular checks to the outside areas during regulated entertainment to monitor noise from the premises;
        Management will ensure that clear and legible notices are displayed at all exits requesting patrons to respect the peace and quiet of local residents and to leave the premises quietly;
        The disposal of bottles into waste receptacles outside the premises will not be permitted to take place between the hours of 22:00 and 09:00 to minimise disturbance to nearby occupiers.
      Ø CCTV to be installed in accordance with current or amended Home Office Guidelines relating to UK Police Requirements for Digital CCTV Systems. These cameras shall be located both internally and externally in consultation with the police. CCTV images shall be retained for at least 31 days and except for mechanical breakdown beyond the control of the proprietor shall be made available upon request to the police and authorised officers of the council. Any breakdown or system failure will be notified to the police immediately and remedied as soon as practicable. Any request from Thames Valley Police or the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for a recording to be made for evidential purposes must be carried out immediately. CCTV recordings should have audio as well as visual.
      Ø That Annex 2 (old conditions) be removed.
      Ø Challenge 25.
      MEETING

      The meeting which began at 2.30pm, ended at 5.30pm (deliberations ended at 11.50am).





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