To consider the attached application for a new Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003.
The three councillors that presided over this application were Councillors C P Pond (Chairman), M Sartin and J M Whitehouse. The Chairman welcomed to the meeting Mr Sazzad Ullah, the applicant and premises supervisor. Ms A Jones, Stanford Rivers Parish Council Clerk, was present as an objector. Essex Police Licensing Officer, K Dott, was also present. The Chairman introduced the Members and officers present and outlined the procedure that would be followed for the determination of the application.
(a) Application before the Sub-Committee
The application was for a new premises licence at Toot Hill Golf Club, School Road, Ongar CM5 9PU and was for the following licensing activities:
· Provision of Live Music
Monday to Sunday 17.00 – 00.00am
· Provision of Recorded Music
Monday to Sunday 12.00 – 00.00am
· Sale by Retail of Alcohol
Monday to Sunday 12.00 – 00.00am On and Off sales
· Opening Times requested
Monday to Sunday 12.00 – 00.00am
The application was received on 6 July 2022. The Operating Schedule set out conditions that would be attached to the licence if this application was granted. The Responsible Authorities had all received a copy of the application. It was also advertised at the premises and in a local newspaper. The public notice and newspaper advert were attached in the agenda report. All residences and businesses within 150 meters radius of the premises were individually consulted. The previous surrendered licence had also been detailed in the agenda report.
The authority had received one representation of objection from Stanford Rivers Parish Council. The objection related to crime and disorder and the prevention of public nuisance. Also included in the agenda report was a response from Essex Police with recommendations and conditions, which had been agreed with the applicant, and a general letter from Essex Fire and Rescue.
(b) Presentation of the Applicant’s case
Mr S Ullah outlined his application and stated that he had been in business for fifteen years. He considered the application was reasonable as there were no directly adjacent neighbours. He had applied for off sales, so that customers eating there could take home any of their excess wine. However, people would not be allowed to come into the premises just to buy alcohol, only those people dining could purchase alcohol. He wanted to work with everyone and was willing to listen to the police.
(c) Questions for the Applicant from the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee queried if off sales was necessary to permit people to take home unfinished wine? Mr Ullah replied that it was a necessary requirement.
The Sub-Committee sought clarification on where the restaurant would be situated, and would the premises be leased? Mr Ullah answered that the restaurant would be located inside the actual clubhouse, which he would be leasing.
The Sub-Committee asked the applicant if he wanted late night refreshments to be licensed until midnight? The Licensing Compliance Officer, D Houghton, advised that the applicant could have this to 23.00 only. Mr Ullah stated he wanted to have refreshments until 23.00 but the licencing activities to midnight. When asked further by the Sub-Committee about opening to midnight, Mr Ullah explained that diners would be able to finish their drinks by midnight when the premises closed. The Legal Officer, R Ferreira, confirmed with Licensing that the latest time the premises would be allowed to open to was midnight.
(d) Questions for the Applicant from the Objector
The objector had no questions for the applicant.
(e) Presentation of the objector
Ms A Jones, Clerk, commented that Stanford Rivers Parish Council had concerns over the lateness of the hours being applied for given the rural area of the golf club and it was hoped residents would have some protection against any disturbances. Parish councillors had also been uncomfortable with the off sales licensing activity.
(f) Questions for the Objector from the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee asked which residents would be impacted by the application? A Jones replied that as there was an element of activity when customers left the premises, it would be those immediate residents rather than noise from the clubhouse, which was quite out of the way.
(g) Questions for the Objector from the Applicant
Mr Ullah queried the off sales element of the application with the objector and advised that off sales would not be available to anyone, only to customers dining at the restaurant. He stated that the premises had its own car park and there were no direct neighbours but if there were any problems, he would work with those residents.
(h) Closing statement from the Objector
No closing statement was made by the objector.
(i) Closing statement from the Applicant
No closing statement was made by the applicant.
(j) Consideration of the application by the Sub-Committee
The Chairman advised that the Licensing Sub-Committee would go into private deliberations to consider the application.
The Sub-Committee considered that the application satisfied the necessary requirements in order to be considered as it was on the prescribed form, it had been advertised and relevant notifications had been given. The Sub-Committee had taken into account the written and oral representations. It had considered what was appropriate to promote the four licensing objectives, the Council’s Licensing Policy and the Home Office’s guidance. During its deliberations in private session the advisory officers gave members the following advice that the conditions imposed must be appropriate, be capable of being enforceable and must not undermine the licensing objectives and that each case must be determined on its own merits.
(1) That the application for a premises licence in respect of Toot Hill Golf Club, School Road, Ongar CM5 9PU be granted subject to:
· the conditions as submitted by the applicant within his application; and
· the representations which were previously agreed with the applicant and Essex Police on pages 125 and 126 of the agenda in so far as they added to or superseded the applicant’s conditions,
which the Sub-Committee considered were reasonable and proportionate and would not undermine the four licensing objectives, namely, the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.
(2) That the mandatory conditions contained in Sections 19 – 21 of the Licensing Act 2003 be attached.
(3) That in addition, the following conditions the Sub-Committee considered were reasonable and proportionate and would not undermine the licensing objectives.
· For the prevention public nuisance – no live or recorded music outside after 23:00.
The applicant 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 and of the review mechanism under the Licensing Act 2003 because of any matters arising in the future at the Premise in connection with any of the four licensing objectives.
Conditions agreed with Essex Police:
· A Challenge 25 scheme shall be operated, whereby any person who appears to be under the age of 25 years of age is required to produce on request an item which meets the mandatory age verification requirement (photo, name, date of birth and either a holographic mark or ultraviolet feature) and is either a:
a. Proof of age card bearing the PASS Hologram;
b. Photocard driving licence;
c. Passport; or
d. Ministry of Defence Identity Card.
Prevention of Public Nuisance
· Except when being used for entry or egress by a patron, all external windows and doors shall be kept shut after 2100 hours.
Protection of Children from Harm
· A refusals record shall be maintained at the premises that details all refusals to sell alcohol. Each entry shall, as a minimum, record the date and time of the refusal and the name of the staff member refusing the sale.
All entries must be made as soon as possible and in any event within 4 hours of the refusal and the record must be made immediately available to police, trading standards or licensing authority staff upon reasonable request.
The refusals record shall be either electronic or maintained in a bound document and retained for at least 12 months from the date of the last entry.