Meeting documents

Statutory Licensing Sub-Committee
Wednesday, 17th December, 2014 2.00 pm

Date: Wednesday 17th December 2014 Time: 2.00 p.m. Place: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Ebbw Vale

Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

PresentAndWithAlsoReport toReport of
Item/Resolution Status Action
Report (22K/bytes)
Appendix 1 (48K/bytes)
Appendix 2 (625K/bytes)

The Chair welcomed Residents, Members and Officers to the meeting, which had been convened in order to discuss an application for variation of a premises license issued in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 made by Mrs Virpal Kaur in respect of RAI Convenience Store, 1 Cwm Cottage Road, Abertillery, Gwent.

The Team Manager outlined the report and purpose of the meeting. He explained that the meeting had been convened following objections from residents living in the vicinity of the premises, in respect of the application to extend the licensing hours for the sale of alcohol and extend the opening hours of the premises. The Sub-Committee was, therefore required to determine this application.

No representations were received from Gwent Police, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Environmental Health Department, Trading Standards, Licensing Enforcement, Planning, Social Services Departments, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, and Aneurin Bevan Health Board.

Representations were received from four 'Other Persons', including one County Borough Councillor and these were submitted with the report. Two 'Other Persons' and the Borough Councillor addressed the Committee outlining the concerns in respect of the application for variation of hours.

At the invitation of the Chair, the objectors outlined the following issues :-

  • Traffic problems - the shop was located on the corner of a busy street and in the vicinity of a school. There were issues regarding vehicles being dangerously parked in the vicinity either on the pavement or on double yellow lines. These issues caused obstructions with flow of traffic and members of the public were also sometimes forced to walk on the highway. Also, the applicant would pull up outside the shop and reverse up a one way street which would impede the view of drivers in the street.
  • Shutters - residents nearby were being woken early due to the noise the shutters made when opened.
  • Underage drinking- There had been problems in the past, with underage drinking and it was felt that extending the Licensing and opening hours would make this venue more of a "honey pot" for this to occur again.
  • The area had been subjected to large numbers of youths who have congregated in the area on the mountainside near Cwm Cottage Road drinking alcohol. The area had also seen other incidents of anti social behaviour and had become a 'Hot Spot' for alcohol abuse by children aged from 12 to 15 years old. Obscene language was used by the young people and litter was deposited in the area.
  • There had been lots of noise and vandalism in the area

The Ward Member added that he also voiced the concerns of the residents and explained that an extension of the hours would be totally unacceptable and would not benefit the community. An additional 4 hours of alcohol sales would in his view increase public nuisance, crime and disorder in the area and would also affect children travelling to and from school, who would be put at risk. Residents had attempted to be "good neighbours" however it was astonishing that alcohol should need to be sold there, when it was no great distance from a major store in the area. He expressed concern at the level of complaints that he had received since alcohol had been on sale in the premises.

The Applicant's solicitor expressed his sympathy with residents however he explained that :-

  • The control of traffic outside the shop was a police matter. However extending the licence may alleviate the build up of traffic at the busy time.
  • The applicant was required to park adjacent to the shop during loading and unloading stock.
  • In respect of the noise from the shutters, this had been checked by the Council's Environmental Health Department who had no issue with noise levels.
  • Newspaper deliveries were at 6.00 a.m. in line with other newsagents in town.

He added that the traffic problems were not part of the licensing objectives and should not be considered by the Committee as steps had already been effected to mitigate the noise nuisance emanating from the property. He concluded by stating that the applicants had considerable business experience and there had been no complaints from the police or any other Responsible Authorities in relation to the property during the tenure of the Licence holders and an extension of the hours would make commercial sense.

The Sub-Committee adjourned to consider the report and all representations made.

Upon reconvening, the County Solicitor outlined the Sub-Committee's decision as follows:

In reaching the decision consideration was given to.

  • The Licensing Act 2003.
  • Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.
  • Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council's Licensing Policy dated 7th January 2011.

Having considered the application for the variation of this Premises Licence and having taken full regard to the representations made to the Sub Committee on behalf of the Applicant and the 'Other Persons', and the Borough Councillor, and having taken such steps as were felt appropriate, the decision reflected the promotion of the licensing objectives being:-

(a) The prevention of crime and disorder.
(b) Public safety.
(c) The prevention of public nuisance.
(d) The protection of children from harm.

The Sub Committee were aware that they could either:

(a) Modify the conditions on the Licence or
(b) Reject the application.

Having heard the representations made from the other persons and the County Borough Councillorwho felt that if the variation were to be granted it could result in the undermining of the four licensing objectives.

The Sub-Committee having listened carefully to the arguments put forward on behalf of the Applicant and the 'Other Persons' and the County Borough Councillor who objected to the variation on the Licence, but found that the problems outlined by the 'Other Persons' could not be attributed to the premises and were satisfied that a variation would not infringe principles under the licensing objectives.

The Committee having concerns over noise emanating from the premises and it was noted that the Licensee had taken steps to mitigate this problem. The Committee requested that the Licensee be mindful of disturbance when opening and closing shutters in the future, and granted a variation of opening hours for the premises
to be open Monday to Saturday 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. and Sunday 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.

The Sub Committee also having some concerns in relation to public safety and therefore granted a variation of licensing hours for the supply of alcohol from 10.00 a.m. until 9.00 p.m. Monday to Sunday.

The 'Other Persons' and the Applicant were informed that if they wished to appeal against the decision of the Sub-Committee they must appeal to the Clerk to the Justices of Gwent House, Cwmbran within 21 days of receiving the decision in writing.

The Chair thanked everyone for attending and declared the meeting closed.