|Date: Thursday 31st July 2014 Time: 10.00 a.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale|
|Present||And||With||Report to||Report of|
|COUNCILLOR D. ROWBERRY (CHAIR)|
LICENSING ACT 2003 - VARIATION OF A PREMISES LICENCE - THE INN PLACE, 33 MARKET STREET, TREDEGAR
Appendix 1 (61K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (316K/bytes)
The Chair welcomed Members and Officers to the meeting, which had been convened in order to discuss an Application for Variation of a Premises Licence in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 in respect of The Inn Place, 33 Market Street, Tredegar.
Supply of Alcohol and Regulated Entertainment
Monday to Thursday 11.00 a.m. to 11.30 p.m.
Late Night Refreshment
Monday to Sunday 11.00 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.
The opening hours of the premises are currently:-
Monday to Thursday 11.00 a.m. to 12.00 Midnight
Supply of Alcohol
Monday to Saturday 11.00 a.m. to 12.00 midnight
Hours premises are open to the public
Monday to Saturday 11.00 a.m. to 12.30 a.m.
Supply to Alcohol and Regulated Entertainment
Monday to Thursday 11.00 a.m. to 12.30 a.m.
Late Night Refreshment
Sunday to Thursday 11.00 a.m. to 12.30 a.m.
It is proposed that the opening times of the premises are as follows:-
Monday to Thursday 11.00 a.m. to 1.00 a.m.
The applicant had included the following steps to promote the licensing objectives as specified in the operating schedule to the application:-
- The Licensee should ensure that no noise should emanate from the licensed premises or vibration be transmitted through the structure of licensed premises which gives rise to a nuisance to the occupiers of premises in the vicinity of the licensed premises.
- The premises was a member of Pubwatch.
- CCTV equipment would be in operation when the premises were open.
- Proof of age scheme would be implemented.
- Clearly legible notices should be displayed at all exits from the premise requesting public and staff to respect the needs of local residents and to leave the premise and area quietly.
- 'Happy Hours' would not be made available to customers
The relevant statutory bodies had been notified in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 as part of the consultation process:-
- Gwent Police
In addition, Notice of the Application was displayed at the premises for a period of 28 days and an advert was placed in the local newspaper.
During consultation, no representations had been received from the South Wales Fire Service, Trading Standards, Planning and Social Services departments and Aneurin Bevan Health Board.
Representations have been received from Gwent Police and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Environmental Health.
Representations were also received from 8 'Other Persons'. Copies of the representations were attached within the report.
However, following discussions with Gwent Police and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Environmental Health Department the applicant agreed to amend the application to include the following conditions:-
- CCTV equipment would be in operation whilst the premises was open, must be of evidential quality and made available for up to 31 days to police and authorised officers upon request. Equipment would be maintained in good working order. In the event of failure of the CCTV equipment, the Premises supervisor must inform the police and/or Designated Premises Supervisor must inform the police and/or the Local Authority Licensing Department immediately. All relevant staff would be trained in the use of the CCTV system.
- At times when regulated entertainment was provided and/or provision for entertainment facilities was made within the licensed premises all external openings to the licensed premised must be kept closed, save for the purposes of entering and existing the premises.
- No form of loudspeaker or sound amplification equipment should be sited in or near any foyer, doorway, window or any external opening of the licensed premises.
The Senior Licensing Officer explained that as a result of the amendment, Gwent Police and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Environmental Health Department decided to withdraw their representations. However, the 'other persons' had not withdrawn their representations and still wished to object to the application.
The Senior Licensing Officer concluded that the application for variation of the premises licence complies with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 and the Sub-Committee must therefore determine the application in accordance with the Act, as appropriate. It was recommended that the Sub Committee considered the application for variation of the premises licence and in doing so, had regard to the representations made, the evidence heard and take such steps it considered appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives.
a) The prevention of crime and disorder
The Senior Licensing Officer informed the Committee that the steps stipulated in the Licensing Act 2003 for consideration were:-
a) To modify the conditions on the licence or
At the invitation of the Chair, the appointed speaker on behalf of the Objectors addressed the Committee. He stated that the residents had all experienced problems such as customers from the premises urinating on vehicles parked in the street and defecating in the street. He pointed out that there was also shattered glass and bottles in the area and that the danger to the public was obvious and informed Members that residents had asked for the doors of the premises to be closed, due to noise emanating from the building. He added that residents had experienced vandalism and anti-social behaviour, such as shouting and fighting and that all these incidents had been reported to the police and that in his opinion the street lights in the area should be turned on. He added that residents had put up with enough and explained that no one would want to purchase a house in Market Street or the surrounding area.
It was also noted that a resident was once followed home by a customer who had frequented the premises.
At the invitation of the Chair, the Applicant addressed the Committee, he informed the Committee that he had read the representations, which he found disturbing and always cooperated with relevant parties. He said that the D.P.S. and himself had been in constant contact with the Licensing Section and the Police who had expressed satisfaction of how the premises were run and stated that there was always going to be some instances and that the police had only visited the premises on one occasion in eighteen months. He added that the music always stopped on time and explained that a letter had been forwarded to the police regarding noise and that a letter had been received from the officer dealing with the matter. He also pointed out that it had been confirmed by the Licensing Department that the noise had emanated from the premises.
The D.P.S. informed Members that the glass had not come from the premises and that although he believed the residents, he said that there would was going to be instances such as this. Mr. Richards added that the D.P.S and himself had been in contact with the Police.
The Solicitor drew the applicant's attention to the conditions which had been imposed. The Applicant stated said that with regards to the C.C.T.V the recording had been wiped but that log books should be kept and doors and windows should be kept shut when music played with no loudspeakers adjacent to the doors.
The Senior Licensing Officer explained that the first two and last two conditions had been imposed by Environmental Health.
A Member asked the appointed speaker what responses had been forwarded to the police, the speaker responded that every incident had been logged and added that incidents occurred nearly every weekend. In answer to a question raised by a Member he explained that the situation had not improved and that he was informed that a diary should be kept by the residents.
The Senior Licensing Officer informed the Committee that the last complaint received had been in August 2013. The appointed speaker stated that the Licensing Department should have received the letter regarding noise from Environmental Health. The Senior Licensing Officer explained that with regards to the noise issue a condition had been imposed.
A Member asked why the Licensing Authority had been contacted and was informed by the appointed speaker that they had liaised with the police who he had thought would liaise with them.
At the invitation of the Chair, the D.P.S. added that the Inn Place was being blamed as the glass bottles which had been found in the vicinity were from other establishments. The Solicitor asked if the D.P.S. had spoken with the residents with regards to the anti-social behaviour. He pointed out that he emptied the bin in the morning in order to take the residents into consideration.
A Member asked where the bin for the premises was located the D.P.S. replied that the bin was situated behind the public house. In answer to a question raised with regards to the windows of the premises, he explained that the windows remained closed, even in the hot weather.
The appointed speaker stated that any extension to hours was going to aggravate the situation and that it was not right for the community. He asked the Committee if they would refuse the application.
The Applicant concluded that the premises opened three nights a week and that the application was for functions etc. He pointed out that the premises closed one hour before anywhere else and that they believed that it may help the situation, as customers to the establishments in the Tredegar area would not be leaving at the same time.
At this juncture, the Chair invited the Applicant and the appropriate Officers and residents to leave the meeting whilst the Sub Committee considered the application.
The Committee made a decision, whereupon the applicant and Officers rejoined the meeting. The Solicitor thereupon outlined the reasons for decision at the request of the Chair, as follows:-
The Sub-Committee have carefully considered the written representations in relation to the application contained in the Officer's report, together with the oral representations given at the hearing on behalf of the Applicant and the other persons. The Sub-Committee were made aware by the spokesperson for the other persons' of the letters of objection to the licence variation contained in Appendix 1, of the Officer's report and he also drew Members attention to the fact that there were serious problems seen in the area concerning persons using the licenced premises subject to the Licence variation. Individuals using the premises had urinated in the street and on one occasion a person was seen to urinate in a letterbox. The spokesperson had also witnessed persons seen leaving the premises and urinating on the street and then returning to the licensed premises that were the subject of the licence variation. People using the premises were seen fighting in the street; glasses were also left both outside the premises and in the street. Music emanated from the premises in a load repetitive manner.
Persons using the premises had also committed vandalism and vehicles in the street had been damaged with wing mirrors being ripped from cars and deliberate damage had been undertaken to drainage pipes on buildings in the street. Persons were known to shout, swear and act in a rowdy manner when leaving the premises after closing time. The Police had frequently been called to the premises due to incidents of crime and public disorder.
The spokesperson for the other persons also voiced concern that the street lighting was turned off at 1.00 a.m., which would mean that people would be leaving the premises in the dark if the licensing hours were increased.
The applicant addressed the meeting and stated that he was surprised over the number of incidents, which involved the applicant's premises. Under his manager, matters had improved at the premises and that he had liaised with the police and felt the conditions imposed by them and the Council's Environmental Health Department would address the neighbours' concerns.
Members were drawn to their attention in the report to the conditions imposed within the Officer's report. Upon questioning of one Member of the Sub-Committee the spokesperson for the other persons stated that the police had only been called to the premises the previous week and that the Police were called to the premises on a regular basis.
The Sub-Committee note that many of the representations made to them today relates to the licensing activities at the premises and were matters that should be considered as part of this variation application.
The Sub-Committee considered that the conditions set out within the report were not sufficient to meet the licensing objectives under the Licensing Act 2003 and remain unconvinced that these conditions would address the Committee's concerns over matters relating to Public Nuisance, Crime and Disorder and Public Safety, for these reasons the Committee refuses the application.
In reaching its decision today to REFUSE the application, the Sub-Committee has considered the relevant provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 (in particular section 4) and the guidance issued under Section 182 of the act and the Licensing Policy of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
All parties have the right to appeal to the Magistrate's Court within 21 days of receipt of this decision. Any responsible authority or other person has the right to request a review of the licence.