To consider the attached report for a new premises licence.
The three Councillors that presided over this item were Councillors M Sartin (Chairman), S Heather and J M Whitehouse. The Chairman introduced the Members and Officers present. The Chairman welcomed the participants to the Sub-Committee. In attendance for the application was the applicant, Mr J Drage. Mr P Barnes was present as an objector.
a) The application before the Committee
The Licensing Compliance Officer, D Houghton, informed the Sub-Committee that an application had been made by Churchgate Farm Foods Ltd, Unit 5, Mayfields Farm, Sheering Road, Harlow, Essex CM17 0JP, for a new premises licence at Unit 5, Mayfields Farm, Sheering Road, Harlow, Essex CM17 0JP.
The application was for the following licensing activities:
Sale by Retail of Alcohol
Monday to Saturday 09.00 – 23.00, Sunday 10.00 – 14.00 on and off sales.
Provision of Recorded Music
Saturday 10.00 – 16.00, Sunday 10.00 – 14.00 indoors only
Opening times of the premises
Monday to Saturday 09.00 – 23.00, Sunday 10.00 – 14.00
The application was received by the Licensing Authority on the 5 October 2020. The premises licence application and the operating schedule setting out conditions, which would be attached to the licence if this application was granted, were published in the agenda. The application had been properly advertised at the premises, in a local newspaper and the public notice was attached to the agenda. All residences and businesses within a 150-metre radius of the premises had been individually consulted.
The authority had received three representations from businesses and residents. The objections related to the prevention of crime and disorder, prevention of public nuisance, public safety and the protection of children from harm. The applicant had agreed recommended conditions with Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue had also responded, as detailed in the agenda.
b) Presentation of the Applicant’s Case
Mr J Drage advised that he ran a retail shop and wanted the ability to sell alcohol on and off the premises. A local beer producer, Redchurch Brewery, would be supplying the beer and he would also offer meal kits. He would be able to organise barbecues at the weekend and offer on sales at the same time.
c) Questions for the Applicant from the Sub-Committee
Councillor J M Whitehouse asked about the purpose of the outside area and the new hours. Mr Drage replied that he would be doing barbecues for people outside and would sell alcohol to people attending. He had not been allowed to split on and off sales on the application and had applied for as much as possible.
The off-sale hours would be:
· Monday – closed
· Tuesday and Wednesday – 09.00–16.00
· Thursday – 09.00–18.00
· Friday and Saturday – 09.00–20.00
The on-sale hours would be:
· Monday – Thursday – none
· Friday and Saturday – 10.00–23.00
· Sunday 10.00–14.00
Councillor J M Whitehouse remarked about the Police objecting to alcohol being delivered from the premises and did not know how this affected the meal kits or were they picked up by customers? Mr Drage replied that 90 per cent were collected so he would be happy not to deliver alcohol in that situation.
Councillor J M Whitehouse asked what noise measures the applicant had in place to avoid noise nuisance to residents in the vicinity? Mr Drage replied that the entire time he would be operating outside he would be the main DPS, but another full-time employee was also a DPS to provide cover when he was not there. He saw this as their main role and therefore, he covered the four objectives. He did not want to cause a noise nuisance and would be horrified to fall out with neighbours as his business had been there for ten years and he wanted to maintain and upkeep relationships with neighbours/customers.
Councillor C P Pond said that Councillor J M Whitehouse had asked all the questions she would have raised.
Councillor M Sartin said that in the application the opening times being applied for were Monday to Saturday 09.00 to 23.00, but the shop was not open on Mondays and had limited times on the other days. Mr Drage confirmed that he was not open on Mondays, but the new times he had suggested, he would be open. Councillor M Sartin replied that the applicant would not be unhappy then if the Committee decided to change the licensing hours, to which Mr Drage agreed he would be happy to do.
In respect of licensing of recorded music, Councillor M Sartin asked if the music was for indoors only, to which Mr Drage replied, he wanted to apply for recorded music indoors and outdoors. The music was only being played through a small speaker so he was confident that any music would not be heard outside by neighbours. Councillor M Sartin asked officers what was the position of recorded music and the law? M Richardson, Senior Environmental Enforcement Officer, replied his section would deal with noise nuisance and music outdoors could be brought into the licence. There had never been any issues with loud music here. He knew the premises and the shops provided a noise barrier and they were not near any residents.
d) Questions for the Applicant from the Objectors
Mr P Barnes said that he lived close by in Sheering Road opposite Mayfield Farm. He queried the times applied for on sales on Friday and Saturday from 10am to 11pm and what did this mean? Mr P Drage said he could not split the times on the application form but there would be no on sales Mondays to Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10.00 to 23.00 and Sundays 10.00 to 14.00. When there was a barbecue with people outside this could continue until 23.00 on Fridays and Saturdays possibly not that late but he wanted that option. There were no seats inside so people would always be sitting outside.
e) Presentation of the Objectors
Mr P Barnes explained that once the new link road had been built, access to the farm would be more restricted as there would be a noise barrier in Sheering Road at this location, which would mean people crossing the road by the bus stop and then walking up a narrow path to the shop. There might be a health and safety issue with people walking along the narrow path slightly inebriated. However, his main concern was noise nuisance and incidences of anti-social behaviour as there was a large housing estate nearby and there would be a new housing area behind the farm. There would be no noise nuisance/effects from the barbecue but off sales to 20.00 would lessen this. Mr Barnes asked if the restricted hours would be the ones on the licence, but Councillor M Sartin replied that the Panel members would be discussing this when the Licensing Sub-Committee went into private session.
f) Questions for the Objectors from the Sub-Committee
Councillor M Sartin asked if different hours for on and off sales could be put into a licence? The Licensing Compliance Officer, D Houghton, replied that whatever the decision of the Sub-Committee was today, this could be implemented on the licence.
g) Questions for the Objectors from the Applicant
Mr J Drage understood Mr Barnes concerns about noise nuisance, but he had a duty to uphold the licensing objectives. Mr Barnes was welcome to call into the shop if there was an issue, but he would be horrified if this was the case. The type of clientele to his shop were of a nature that would be very unlikely to commit public nuisance, but asked residents to contact him as he wanted to work with them.
h) Closing Statement from the Objectors
Mr P Barnes said that he was in favour of local businesses and wanted them to succeed but did not want his way of life affected by a local business. He was more confident that this would not be the case now in light of what Mr Drage had said at this meeting and that residents could contact him if there was a particular problem.
i) Closing Statement from the Applicant
The applicant had nothing further to add.
j) Consideration of the Application by the Sub-Committee
The Chairman advised that the Sub-Committee would now proceed into private deliberations to consider the application. Therefore, the webcast was stopped and would resume when the private session was completed.
During their deliberations in private session the Sub-Committee received the following advice from the Legal Officers:
1. That the Authority was entitled to award different times of operation for on sales and off sales; and
2. That the sale of “meal boxes” including alcohol for delivery may be included in the license.
The Legal Officers also gave the Sub-Committee advice that conditions imposed must be appropriate, be capable of being enforceable and must not undermine the licensing objectives and also that each case must be determined on its own merits.
The Sub-Committee noted all of the oral and written representations. Given the agreement between the applicant and the police as to additional conditions, the principal issue for the committee to consider was the risk of noise nuisance from the premises. The committee concluded that this issue could be addressed with a condition (as set out below).
The Sub-Committee noted the applicant’s undertaking to ensure the licensing objectives were upheld and to make himself available to local residents to deal with any issues.
The Sub-Committee noted that a further objection was raised orally and in writing concerning the acceptability of the proposed licence in the context of proposed or planned changes to the nearby road layout. The Sub- Committee determined that this was likely to have no or minimal impact on the licensing objectives and was, in any case, not sufficiently proximate or evidenced to be relevant to the Sub-Committee’s consideration.
That the application for a premises licence in respect of Unit 5, Mayfields Farm, Sheering Road, Harlow, Essex CM17 0JP, be granted, subject to:
(1A) the conditions as submitted by the applicant on 5 October 2020 save that, in Condition 14, the word “police” should be substituted for the phrase “police and authorised persons”;
(1B) and the conditions which have previously been agreed between the applicant and Essex Police as set out on page 50 of the agenda relating to the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm, as detailed below:
Agreed conditions with Essex Police
· During the hours of business CCTV system operator would be available and who was able to replay and export recordings; and
· Staff training register would be maintained at the premises and made available for inspection
(1C) The following restriction on the times at which alcohol can be sold: “The times in which the premises is licensed to sell alcohol shall be:
Monday to Thursday: 09:00 - 18:00
Friday and Saturday: 09:00 - 20:00
Sunday: 10:00 - 14:00
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 - 22:30
Sunday: 10:00 - 14:00
(1D) Any recorded music played at the premises must not be audible at the nearest noise sensitive premises; and
which the Sub-Committee considered were reasonable and proportionate and would not undermine the licensing objectives; and
(2) the mandatory conditions contained in Sections 19 -21 of the Licensing Act 2003.
The applicants and the objectors were reminded of their right of appeal to the Magistrates Court within 21 days of date of the written notification of this decision.