Presentation by the Licensing Officer
The Sub-Committee was informed that this was an application to vary the premises licence. The Sub-Committee’s attention was drawn to chapters 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 and 16 of the Statutory Guidance, and to Sections 1, 3, 4, 8 and 17 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 6 of the report on page 75.
In response to questions from Members, Mr Ola Owojori the Licensing Officer confirmed:
· This was an application to vary the existing licence.
· The applicant was seeking authorisation to alter the layout of the premises.
· The applicant was seeking to extend the opening hours to 08:00, Monday to Sunday.
· The applicant was seeking the hours permitted for the sale of late night refreshment.
· The applicant was seeking to remove condition 4, attached in Annex 2 attached to the licence and amend conditions 1 and 2 in Annex 3, in relation to the noise limiter and closing windows during any function.
· There were 32 representations received against the application from residents, based on the licensing objective of the prevention of public nuisance and two previous representations had been withdrawn.
· The opening hours for licensable activity in the existing licensing were 10:00 to 00:30, Monday to Saturday and 12:00 to 00:30 on Sunday.
· The application had been advertised at the premises, displayed notice in the Newspaper as well as on the Licensing Authority’s website.
Presentation by the Applicant
Solicitor to the applicant, Ms Karen Cochrane, informed the Sub-Committee that:
· The applicant was not applying to change licensable hours, but opening hours to an earlier hour of 08:00 for non-licensable activities.
· It was apparent there has been misinformation of a 03:00 license and many objectors quoted this hour.
· The applicant did not wish to remove the condition about installing a sound limiter but to reword to fit the purpose as the function room was a secondary dining room.
· The Deregulation Act stated that music had to be discontinued by 23:00, but the operator was not planning loud music on the premises.
At this point in proceedings, Legal Advisor, Ms Selina Wiafe clarified that the Deregulation Act meant that live or recorded music were only permitted between 08:00 and 23:00, which meant the noise limiter would only apply after 23:00.
Mr Mark Draper, the operator, Ms Karen Cochrane and Mr Colin Coogan confirmed that:
· Incidents occurred under the prior owner and the applicant took control of the pub in 2018 and had removed the previous operator in 2019 who was unprofessional.
· Operators understood the sensitivities of the neighbourhood, and this meant only background music was to be played and no foreground, or live music and could manage the concerns of residents through direct communication.
· Previous complaints related to Punch Partnerships PCL and the new operator; Heineken UK was professional.
· Mr Draper was leaseholder to the site and had owned, operated and refurbished premises across London and in sensitive areas and highlighted positive relationships with neighbours and providing an asset to the local community.
· A condition existed on the license limiting the use of the outside the area and customers were cleared from the area before the 23:00 closing time.
· Limiting noise by closing windows did not apply to quiet dinners but agreed the windows would be closed if it were a loud function. It was also noted that ventilation was important at that time.
At this point in proceedings, the Chair clarified that The Deregulation Act related to performance of live music and an ancillary condition would be considered in relation to general noise coming from the premises.
Sub-Committee Members expressed concern about replacing a condition with ‘common sense’, as this would open it up to interpretation and a condition would be considered in order to address the issue of noise more generally.
Presentation by Interested Parties
Ms Alice Blacker, representing the local residents said that:
· There was local support for the new venture, which was coupled with concern as there had been ten years of bad dealings with the Cambria Pub.
· It was hoped that by agreeing necessary parameters, they could start on the best footing possible, without vague language on conditions.
· This was a quiet residential area with few businesses. A sound limiter was standard to other premises’ license application, and should apply not just to a function room, but the entire pub.
· In relation to closing windows, it was not just music that carries, but people talking as they leave the premises which had a big impact.
· World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines offered a 23:00 closing, but that did not seem appropriate for children sleeping nearby due to disruptive noise generated and 22:00 close time, as used by the Trinity Arms, seemed more reasonable.
· Concern was raised about the need for measures to limit people and smokers from congregating outside.
Mr Andy Long, a local resident, said that:
· He was a resident living in proximity to the pub and had had conversations with five different landlords over the years.
· The corporate distinction was not helpful.
· Mr Long attended the hearing on the 22 June 2010 and the conditions agreed encompassed the installation of a noise limiter and that the windows would be closed. To allow the closed windows, an air conditioner was to be installed and these conditions were never met.
· The disruptive noise coming from the pub was from people, not necessarily music.
Mr Mark Panton, a local resident, said:
· He agreed with the point raised by Ms Alice Blacker, that the outside area should be closed before 23:00.
· Patrons would be attracted after drinking in Ruskin Park.
· It was important to have conditions written down to agree on, not based on ‘common sense’.
· A standard noise limiter should be installed to monitor background music.
· People tend to stand outside for a while after close and there was a need for a dispersal policy.
In response to questions from Objectors and Members, the applicant confirmed:
· In terms of management of the site, the new operation was at a high level and 55% of sales would be made with food, which meant a new profile of customer who would be often from immediate area.
· Staff would ensure people would be dispersed when leaving the premises and reminded this was a residential area.
· The General Manager would live on the premises.
The applicant agreed that windows could be closed by 21:00 to manage the issues related to general noise and a limit of 22:00 be imposed on the outside area.
Adjournment and Decision
At 22:30, 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 local residents. 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 variation application subject to the two modified conditions that were agreed to by the applicant below:
The Sub-Committee welcomed that the applicant agreed to the conditions in view of concerns of the residents.
The Sub-Committee acknowledged the applicant was a distinct break from the issues of the past, but the problem with the past was a potential confusion with the rules and felt that the small provisions were in line with the local area and promoted the Licensing Objectives.
RESOLVED: To grant the variation application subject to the conditions as outlined above.
Announcement of Decision
Members returned to the meeting and the Chair informed those present of the decision to grant the variation to the license and provided reasons for the decision as outlined above. The Sub-Committee had considered all the options available to them and ultimately felt that the conditions met the concerns which had been raised. The Chair confirmed that written notification of the decision would be sent in due course.