Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Licensing Sub Committee (ceased to operate 10/04/2017) Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 23rd July, 2013
Time:
10.00 a.m.
Place:
Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1AJ
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr Paul Kirton and Cllr Bill Woodhead.
Officers:
J Nertney (LD); P Edwards, C Snowdon (DNS).
In Attendance:
Elm Tree Social Club (represented by Mr Ross, Solicitor) also in attendance were Mr Gray (Club Chairman) and Mr Moore (Club Secretary), Councillor Cherrett (Ward Councillor), local residents.
Apologies for absence:
None.
Item Description Decision
Public
LSC
16/13
APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR
RESOLVED that Councillor Kirton be appointed Chair for this meeting only.
LSC
17/13
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no interests declared.
LSC
18/13
LICENSING ACT 2003
APPLICATION FOR VARIATION OF LICENCE
ELM TREE SOCIAL CLUB

RESOLVED that the application for the variation to the club premises certificate be approved subject to the following:-

• A plan shall be provided which continues the green line from the external area covered in the existing licence. The plan should identify that any tables and chairs shall not be placed any closer to the boundary with Marley Close.

• Condition 4 of the licence shall detail that the use of the external area for the consumption of alcohol shall cease on or before 19:00 hours (no recorded music shall be played in the external drinking area but live music is permitted in order to accommodate the annual family fun day and other similar events held by the premise).
10.00 a.m.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
LSC
18/13
Members gave consideration to the report, the application and the representations which had been received.

Mr Ross (Solicitor representing the Elm Tree Social Club) stated that the existing external licensed area was proposed to be extended to encompass the existing bowling green and quoits pitch which was going to be moved next to the bowling green. Mr Ross stated that no consumption of alcohol would take place on the actual bowling green or quoits pitch areas. If granted the application would permit club members to consume alcohol in the external area where they may wish to sit on a bench or table and chairs to the side of the pitches. The same conditions would apply to the external area covered by the variation and the same terminal hour would apply so consumption of alcohol in the external area will cease at 19:00 hours.

Mr Ross stated that the Club believed they were a good neighbour and they had been shocked by the tone of the representations as they had not received any recent complaints from local residents. Mr Ross reiterated the offer made in the decision letter from the previous Committee when residents who had made a representation were invited to contact them so that the Club could do their best to address them. If the Club was not made aware of residents concerns or issues then they were unable to take any action to address them.

Mr Ross stated that the existing licence conditions would also be applied to the external area covered in the variation. Mr Ross stated that if granted the variation for the external area gave a greater degree of control on the external area as it would be within the scope of the premises licence.

Mr Ross stated that since the previous variation application over 7 months ago the Club had not received complaints from local residents and the Club was therefore surprised at the objections which were received. Mr Ross noted that the representations were in the most general terms and did not relate to single incidents at the premise.

Mr Ross stated that the Club had strict rules which apply to their members and they would police the area and could take action if residents had cause to complain about the activities of their members.

Councillor Cherrett spoke on behalf of the residents who were in attendance at the meeting and confirmed that she represented residents from 13 properties in Marley and Biddick Close. The residents were concerned that the Club had come back for a further variation from the one initially granted in December 2012. Councillor Cherrett stated that it had only been the recent good weather that had led to the external area being used and therefore she felt that there had not been sufficient time to assess the impact of the use of the external area. The area backed directly onto peoples homes and they did experience some nuisance from children climbing trees and kicking footballs against their fences. The external area had led to residents complaining that there was shouting and swearing when club members were using the external area. Councillor Cherrett referred to two recent incidents which had been brought to her attention as on 13 July at 23:20 hours there was loud music coming from the Club and the windows were open. On 17 July Councillor Cherrett herself had gone to visit a resident of Marley Close and she observed club members shouting and waving in her direction and at approximately 19:20 hours she observed that they remained in the outside area. Councillor Cherrett stated that in her view that was two breaches of the licence conditions.

Mr Ross asked questions of Councillor Cherrett.

Members asked for clarification on the plans which had been provided. Mr Ross was able to provide a plan from the previous application which provided a better context for the proposed variation location. It was noted that the plan provided by Mr Ross had a green line which indicated the boundary for the placing of tables and chairs. This had been agreed previously in order to provide a buffer zone between the boundary fence with Marley Close and the tables and chairs in the external area. Mr Ross indicated that a clearer plan would be provided and the green line would be extended into the variation application area and that the applicant confirmed that no tables and chairs would be located any closer to the boundary with Marley Close than those which were in the external licensed area.

Members noted that the application before them was for a variation to the Club premises certificate to authorise an extension of the external area. Members were mindful that they had to consider the application that was before them. This was not a review application and as such some of the issues raised by those who had made a representation were not wholly relevant to the application. Members were mindful that from the evidence presented there was no history of complaints connected with the external area. In December 2012 local residents who had made a representation were advised that they should raise any complaints with the responsible authorities. Members had no evidence before them that residents had made complaints other than two recent incidents referred to by Councillor Cherrett. There was also little or no evidence that complaints had been made by residents to the Club itself or to the responsible authorities.

Members noted that none of the responsible authorities had made a representation about the application. It was noted that the same conditions as applied to the existing Club Premises Certificate would apply to the variation application. In addition it was noted that consumption of alcohol in the external area would cease at 19:00 hours.

Members had no evidence before them that demonstrated the licensing objectives would be undermined if the licence was issued. Some of the representations had expressed their fears but there was no evidence. It was noted that the representations submitted by objectors did include some irrelevant considerations which the Committee was required to disregard. The Licensing Sub Committee were legally obliged to consider the application in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 and irrelevant issues could not form part of their decision making and had to be disregarded.

After giving consideration to all of the evidence and representations made both in writing and orally Members were satisfied that the licensing objectives would not be undermined and
The Committee wished to remind persons who had made a representation that should there be any crime and disorder, noise related nuisance or other relevant issues in the future then these should be raised firstly with the premise and also with the responsible authorities such as Cleveland Police, the Council's Environmental Health Section or Licensing Section. The Licensing Act 2003 provides legal routes for persons to ask for a review of the premises licence should the premise cause problems linked to the four licensing objectives. Applications for a review would have to be supported by evidence and it is therefore in the best interests of residents to report any matters of concern linked to this premise to the appropriate authorities.

The Club Secretary confirmed to Mr Snowdon that he was happy to give local residents his telephone number in order for him to be advised directly of any complaints relating to the Club. The Committee wished to remind residents that the Club have a condition requiring them to conduct periodic assessments of noise coming from the premise when regulated entertainment is taking place and is required to keep a log of these checks and detail any action taken. If residents wish to check their complaint has been recorded/actioned then they are invited to call the Councils Environmental Health section on 01642 526575 on the next working day and officers will check whether the complaint has been logged by the Club and what action was taken. Any contact from residents will also be logged by Environmental Health and could be relied on if required for future reference. If residents are unable to get a response from the Club Secretary or it is a serious breach then they can phone the Noise Patrol or Enforcement service on the night on 01642 528034. The Noise Patrol or Enforcement Service will endeavour to attend and will as a minimum log the complaint and refer to Environmental Health for subsequent investigation.

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