Agenda item

Lock 'N' Load Events Ltd - 2019, Clapham Common Event Site, London (Clapham Common)


Presentation by the Licensing Officer


The Sub-Committee was informed that this was an application for a new time-limited premises licence. The Sub-Committee’s attention was drawn to Chapters 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 and 15 of the Statutory Guidance, and to Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 19 and Appendices 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of the Statement of Licensing Policy, as the ones particularly relevant to this application. The options available to the Sub-Committee were set out in paragraph 5.9 of the report on page 34 of the main agenda.


In response to questions from Members, the Licensing Officer confirmed:

  • This application had been made by Lock ‘N’ Load Events Ltd. for a time-limited premises licence in respect of Clapham Common for the annual musical event known as SW4.  The event was in its 16th year.
  • The application covered a four day period to take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend Friday 23 August to Monday 26 August 2019. 
  • In the main agenda pack, the following supporting documents could be found:
    • the report pages 35-41;
    • application pages 43-56;
    • the plans page 57;
    • five representations from residents, Environmental Health and Licensing against the application, pages 59-86.  A response from resident Mr Alec Davison can be found on pages 53-59 of the first additional agenda; and
    • 148 representations in support of the application, pages 87-245;

·         A joint meeting with the applicant, Events, Environment Health and Licensing teams to discuss the representations and proposed conditions was held.  A copy of the conditions could be found on page 247 of the main agenda papers.  However, conditions 5 and 9 had been deleted and replaced with amended  conditions.  Also, an additional condition (10) had been added, with copies circulated to members.

·         The licence held for this year 2018 could be found on pages 249-275 of the main agenda papers.

·         In the additional agenda papers, the following documents had been provided by the applicant, Lock ‘N’ Load (LNL):

o   business survey, page 1;

o   two maps showing leaflet distribution to local residents, pages 3-5

o   comments by LNL in response to representations against the SW4 application 2019, pages 7-11;

o   wet weather plan, pages 13-20;

o   noise complaints log 2018, page 21;

o   waste management plan, pages 23-34;

o   SW4 response to negative representations 2018, pages 35-43;

o   Vanguardia report for 2018, pages 45-51

Additional Papers – Part 2, agenda pack:

o   noise complaints log 2016, pages 1-3;

o   resident complaint log for 2017 event, page 5;

o   bronze commander MPS email, pages 7-9;

o   Hospice news article, page 11;

o   events allocation of the Park Investment Levy, page 13;

o   Google Maps showing SW4 2019 supporters, page 15;

o   residents Notice 2018, page 17

o   support email from Trinity Hospice,  page 19; and

o   noise report from Three Spires 2018, pages 21-36.

·         Members had been provided with the following documents not published for public view:

o   Security Plan, pages 21-109; and

o   fees and breakdown paid to Lambeth in respect of the SW4 2018 event, pages 125-135.

·         Mr Ali Peyvandi, Lambeth Council’s Noise expert, who attended the 2018 event, was present at the meeting.  Claire Horan, Lambeth Events team was also in attendance to observe but may also be able to assist the Sub-Committee should they have queries about the event permission process.


A map and photographs of the premises were circulated to members.


Presentation by the Applicant


Mr Gareth Hughes, representative for Lock N Load Events, Mr Mattle, Owner and Mr Fiumicelli, Sound Acoustics Expert were in attendance.


The Chair thanked the applicants for providing such an extensive range of documents to the Sub-Committee and for co-operating with Lambeth Council.  He then asked the applicants to focus on the following issues, which appeared to be the main areas of dispute:

1.    Noise issues including any outstanding matters;

2.    Anti-social behaviour concerns;

3.    Why the applicants had applied for four event days this year, instead of three and how the additional day requested would be managed.


Mr Hughes informed the Sub-Committee that:

·         Residents that lived near Clapham Common raised no issues regarding anti-social behaviour pertaining to the event and the map provided supported this view.  Local businesses within the area also supported the event.

·         All responsible authorities within the Council attended the SAG meeting held on 1 November 2018 and no serious issues had been raised.

·         No objections had been received from the Metropolitan Police regarding the event.

·         The email supplied by Inspector McLellan (pages 7-9, additional papers – part 2) regarding an individual that tried to scale the event site fencing last year by using a ladder was quickly dealt with by the police before they managed to climb over.

·         The applicants paid a considerable sum of money to Lambeth Council regarding the event.

·         All conditions with the exception of condition 1 (to pay for additional SIA security personnel) proposed by Community Safety, had been agreed.

·         Vanguardia who acted on behalf of the Council, raised no noise issues regarding last year’s event.

·         Noise teams from Wandsworth Council that attended last year’s event, had not submitted a representation for next year’s event. 

·         Comments to address points raised by Mr Davidson, resident, had been submitted by the Noise Expert.


Mr Fiumicelli, Sound Acoustics Expert, informed the Sub-Committee that:

·         The noise levels for sound was managed and complied with Lambeth’s Events Strategy.

  • If the noise level was exceeded a radio link was used to feed back to the venue and adjustments were rapidly made to control levels.
  • The four monitoring points, in accordance with the noise policy, would be situated at Windmill Drive, Clapham Common West (Wandsworth); Trinity Hospice and Notre Dame Estate. 
  • Complaints made by residents during last year’s event were responded to and visits carried out at individual properties to monitor sound levels. 
  • Mr Davidson alleged that noise from the event in 2018 was regarded as a public nuisance and a breach to noise levels had occurred.  However, during the visit to Mr Davidson’s property the music levels were compliant with the noise guidance and were not higher than the equivalent levels at Trinity Hospice.  Overall, the noise levels were 75 dB(A) and 90 dB(C) measured for any 15 minute period.
  • At Windmill Drive noise levels did go over by 2dBs but this would not have made a difference, as the human ear could not distinguish this increase and the noise level would be considered the same as 75 dB(A) and 90 dB(C).  However, once identified, the matter was quickly resolved and no further complaints had been received.
  • Although Mr Davidson states that a public nuisance occurred near his home on Clapham Common North Side no complaints from other residents had been received.    
  • The measurements used by Mr Davidson in his representation, although correct, does not accord with the noise levels at the monitoring points for the LNL event.


Mr Mattle, Owner, informed the Sub-Committee that:

·         Four days had been requested to host a smaller event (20,000 capacity) on the Friday to accord with Monday’s event.

·         On both days, a children’s area would be available for families.

·         The additional day would bring in revenue for LNL and increase profits.

·         A Park Levy fee was paid to Lambeth Council to provide investment to the Common.

·         The noise impact on Friday 23 August 2018 would be minimal as lower sound levels would be achieved as a result to fewer stages being available. 

·         As fewer complaints were now received regarding the event, the impact was minimal.


In response to questions from Members, Mr Mattle, Mr Hughes and Mr Fiumicelli confirmed:

·         Flyers were posted through some residents’ letter boxes publicising the event.  For next year’s event, Mr Mattle would endeavour to produce pictures which demonstrated that flyers had been placed in residents doors located in particular locations around the Common.

·         75dB(A) was equivalent to people being situated near to a busy road and communicating clearly with each other.

·         The Metropolitan Police raised no issues regarding anti-social behaviour.

·         It was recognised that some people would travel to Clapham Common High Street for its night-time economy following the event but it was expected that most people would depart from Clapham South as opposed to travelling to Clapham High Street or Clapham Junction.  

·         Any anti-social behaviour issues would be dealt with by staff if it occurred within close proximity to the site.

·         On Friday and Monday a maximum capacity of 20,000 was expected to attend on each day.  Only the main stage and two tents would be used.   The second biggest tent would be used as a children’s area.

·         Use nitrous oxide (N2O) and their gas canisters being littered were an issue throughout London.  The event nor the police were allowed to tackle the issue of nitrous being sold outside the perimeter fence, but there was zero tolerance for using gas canisters inside the event perimeter.

·         A number of patrons had been ejected by the event last year for drugs as a result of sniffer dogs.  Posters were clearly displayed around the site forbidding drug use at the event.  Also, a drawing with a canister prohibiting the use of nitrous oxide was displayed.  A cleaning exercise to remove canisters from the Common was also carried out.

·         A leaflet drop advising people of a dedicated hotline to contact in case of issues would be available and information regarding this would be uploaded on the Council’s website. 

·         Lambeth and Wandsworth Councils also had contact numbers for residents to make complaints.

·         Complaints made by residents during last year’s event were responded to and visits carried out at individual properties to monitor noise if they wished.  If a visit was requested, it was usually undertaken within 40 minutes and measurements made.  If the noise level was exceeded adjustments were rapidly made.

·         Wind speed affected the microphones but measurements could be checked and the sound could be measured through the wireless radio link.

·         Complaints of increased noise levels were received from residents beyond Clapham Park West, however they were advised that this had been caused by the wind.


At this stage the Legal Adviser to the Sub-Committee proposed an amendment to Condition 9. Lower noise levels had been agreed for whichever day was “the fourth day” and which was unclear. The proposed amendment would be to require the applicant to inform Lambeth Licensing, Events and Community Safety, not less than seven days before the first day of the event, which day these lower levels were to apply to.


In response, the applicants agreed to the proposed amendment.


Presentation by Interested Parties


Representatives in support


There were no representations in support in attendance at the meeting.


Representatives against


Mr Umeh, Principal Public Protection Officer, addressed the Sub-Committee by making the following points:

·         Public Protection were content with the proposed conditions.

·         Local residents would be impacted on the grounds of anti-social behaviour if the four-day event was agreed. 

·         The music festival hosted by LNL had been held for the past 15 years as a three- day event.

·         The festival would attract additional litter, and damage to the Common, whilst the use of the Common by local residents and visitors not attending the event would be affected and further exacerbated by holding the festival over four days. 

·         Residents would be prohibited from using the park due to large crowds that would cause anti-social behaviour issues over the August Bank Holiday.

·         Following the event a large number of people were likely to visit nearby licensed establishments and loiter in the area.  This may cause anti-social behaviour issues, such as street urination, and have a negative impact on the local area, particularly the Clapham Cumulative Impact Zone.


Miss Patel, Licensing Manager, informed the Sub-Committee that although the conditions had been addressed, she expressed concern regarding the impact to local residents that an additional day would pose in the area, especially with 20,000 visitors, leaving and drinking in the area.


In response to questions, Miss Patel and Mr Umeh confirmed that:

·         Whilst it was appreciated that SW4 was running a business, it was believed that the fourth day was not required.

·         All issues regarding noise had been covered by conditions, including imposing lower noise levels on the fourth day.  However, it was believed that some issues would still result.


Mr Alec Davidson, local resident, said that:

·         His house was situated close to where the event would be taking place.

·         In 2017 the music from the event was judged by Wandsworth Environmental Health Officers to be a statutory noise nuisance.

·         Over the past three years the organisers LNL had failed to comply with Event Lambeth guidance.  In 2016 noise levels were exceeded for 45 minutes and in 2017 by 1 hour and 45 minutes.  In 2018, following his telephone complaint, officers measured the sound level over a subsequent 15 minute period to be some 50% higher (4.5 – 5 dbA) than the authorised level.  This demonstrated that LNL were clearly unable to control their noise levels.

·         The noise levels agreed last year by LNL and Wandsworth Council of 70 dB(A) leq 15 and 85dBL(C) leq 15 should be imposed to prevent discrimination to Lambeth residents.

·         Residents faced a total of 50 days of amplified music annually as a result of events held on Clapham Common.

·         Residents would be faced with 48 hours of public nuisance and exposed to excessive sound in particular high base noise levels throughout the building.

·         Although the local authority had a statutory duty to investigate complaints of sound nuisance, his request was refused by Lambeth.  He was informed by Lambeth that noise would only be monitored against Event Lambeth levels and not against any statutory nuisance level. 

·         The licensing conditions stipulated that inclement weather should be taken into account and noise levels set during the day.  Therefore, if windy or raining, noise levels should be adjusted accordingly.

·         No details had been provided when sound checks would be carried out.  In previous years testing was completed on the Friday before the event.  Therefore, he queried if this could take place on the Thursday which would result in noise being heard for four and a half days.

·         The late submission showed that 58 complaints had been received and not 10 or 11 as indicated.


In response to a question from the Chair, the Licensing Officer confirmed that a total of 11 complaints and not 58, were received for last year’s event, and the higher total included all complaints from 2016. 


In response to questions, Mr Davidson confirmed that:

·         He was forbidden from having an independent assessment for noise levels carried out by Lambeth Council as a result of their procedures which was rather difficult.

·         His preference would be for the reduced sound levels proposed for the additional day to be imposed for the four days.


The Chair invited Mr Hughes, Mr Fiumicelli and Mr Mattle back to answer questions to the Sub-Committee and they made the following points:

  • The event worked together with residents to address noise issues and a radio link and text service was available.  If noise levels were exceeded, adjustments were rapidly made.

·         The measurements for noise carried out at Mr Davidson’s premises last year was less than Trinity Hospice.  If Mr Davidson’s request to have an additional monitoring point outside his property was carried out, the noise level would increase.

·         An additional monitoring point was not required, as only four monitoring points were agreed by Lambeth.

·         The noise levels 70 dB(A) leg 15 and 85dBL(C) leg 15 suggested by Mr Davidson, would not be suitable as this would have an effect on the event and people would not be able to enjoy the music.  The noise levels complied with Lambeth’s policy and was similar to other parks.

·         Sound testing was normally carried out for no longer than 30 minutes the day before the event.  However, it could be possible to carry out sound checks on the Friday.

·         The event ensured that litter was cleared away from the site, including the kids play area and continued along Clapham South.  Lambeth also were also paid by the event to employer cleaning staff.


Adjournment and Decision


At 8.33pm, the Sub-Committee withdrew from the meeting together with the legal advisor and clerk to deliberate in private.


The Sub-Committee had heard and considered representations from Mr Hughes, Mr Mattle, Mr Fiumicelli, Mr Umeh, Miss Patel, and Mr Davidson.

Legal advice was given to the Sub-Committee on the options open to them and the need for any decision to be proportionate. The Sub-Committee decided to grant the new application with additional conditions and amendments.


RESOLVED: To grant the application with additional conditions and amendments for a new licence.


Announcement of Decision


Members returned to the meeting and the Chair informed those present of the decision to grant the application with additional conditions and amendments for a new licence as sought.  The Sub-Committee had considered all the options available to them and ultimately felt that the applicant met the concerns which had been raised. The Chair confirmed that written notification of the decision would be sent in due course.





Supporting documents: