Agenda and minutes
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 7:00 pm
Venue: Council Chamber - York House. View directions
Contact: Sam Walker, Email: email@example.com, 02088917156
Note: Original meeting date was 6 July 2011
To confirm the procedure for the hearing (attached).
The procedure for the meeting was noted.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members are asked to declare any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
To hear and determine an opposed application for the variation of a premises licence, as detailed in the licence application attached at Appendix A'. The premises are situated within the Richmond town centre Cumulative Impact Zone.
Participating in this item were: Anita Curran – premises manager, Gillian Crew – solicitor on behalf of the applicant, Ian Bruce – local resident, Paul Hannah – local resident and Peter Willan – local resident.
The applicant had agreed to a number of conditions after consultation with the police and environmental health (agenda item 3, paragraph 6.1 – 6.13). By implementing these conditions it was hoped the extended hours would not have a negative impact upon the Cumulative Impact Zone.
In addition, the applicant had offered two extra conditions as part of the licence:
I. Nightly litter collections from the pavement outside Coco’s, and those of both the neighbouring properties. This would be organised by the designated premises supervisor.
II. A maximum of ten patrons to be allowed to smoke outside in the designated smoking area, at any one time, and the wall-mounted ashtray to be used. This would be enforced by the door supervisor.
Anita Curran confirmed she agreed with the suggested additional conditions.
Gillian Crew asked that a statement on behalf of Anita Curran, the applicant, be read by the Sub-Committee members. The interested local residents gave their consent for the document to be used as evidence.
Following questions, Anita Curran and Gillian Crew advised the Sub-Committee that:
A solid oak door and acoustic dampening had been purchased to minimise noise leakage from the premises. Following reports that the entrance door had been left open, causing noise to travel, Anita Curran advised the Sub-Committee that a new air conditioning unit had been installed, which would negate the need for the door to be left open.
Anita Curran, premises manager, advised the Sub-Committee that:
· The bar contained four operational CCTV cameras.
· The maximum capacity of the premises was 90 people. This was closely monitored by door supervisors using mechanical tally counters.
· The applicant did not think it would be reasonable to reduce the bars capacity.
· The premises were operating a Refusals Register.
· Coco’s were willing to agree a condition to restrict re-entry to the premises after 10pm.
In response to questions from the Sub-Committee, the applicant said it would not be necessary to increase the Challenge 21 policy as the bar generally attracted people over the age of thirty.
Live music acts did not use their own amplification equipment - they only used the in-house system. It was more common for acoustic music to be performed without additional amplification.
The Sub-Committee agreed it was not possible for a limit to be set on the decibel level of Coco’s sound system without the Council’s Environmental Health department’s advice.
Paul Hannah, a local resident, made the following representations:
· The pavement outside Coco’s was separated from the road by a safety barrier which he said corralled pedestrians and patrons in a confined area.
· On 3rd July he had counted a group of 25 people outside the premises. He referred the Sub-Committee to the picture included in the supplementary evidence submitted.
Anita Curran was asked to respond and stated that, since the date mentioned, the bar’s policy had changed to ensure the entrance door was kept shut at all times after 10pm.
· He asked that the Sub-Committee consider the local resident’s objections, detailed in the agenda, while making their decision.
Peter Willen, a local resident, made the following representations:
· When local residents had raised objections to excessive noise coming from the bar, the staff who answered Coco’s phone had not been apologetic or cooperative in response.
· He referred the Sub-Committee to the local resident’s complaints in the agenda.
Barry Croft, the Council’s Licensing Team Leader, responded to concerns of recent noise complaints highlighting four recorded incidents on 2 July - 00.52am, 29 May – 00.40am, 05 February – 10.09am and 04 February – 11.35pm.
Ian Bruce, a local resident, made the following representations:
· He had encountered crowds outside the bar between 11pm and 12pm, and said it was difficult to pass them and the patrons were often boisterous.
· Due to limited space on the pavement, the premises frontage easily became overcrowded with as little as 10 patrons outside.
· The noise spillage experienced by neighbouring residential properties made the bar unsuitable for a late licence.
· Flights over Richmond were prohibited between 11:30pm – 4:30am. Extending Coco’s licence further into this period would result in increased noise disturbances for residents.
Paul Hannah, a local resident, made the following representations:
· As patrons dispersed from Coco’s there was a tendency for low level anti-social behaviour including rowdiness, shouting and public urination.
· He felt that granting the variation of a premises licence would encourage other bars in Richmond to apply for extensions.
· The premises had applied to extend its opening hours in 2009, and had been refused.
Peter Willen made representations on behalf of Nigel Rowe, a local resident:
· The Richmond Society requested a full rejection of the variation to the premises licence as the applicant could not clearly demonstrate that the variation would not have an adverse impact upon the Cumulative Impact Zone.
· Ethos’s acoustic report was based on their visit on Wednesday, 4 May. He said a more accurate report could have been made by visiting the premises on a Friday or Saturday night. The report also failed to address the outside noise concerns from residents.
· He expressed concern that Richmond Council’s Environmental Health department and the police had not raised any objections to the licence.
· Low level anti-social behaviour was an ongoing issue for local residents. This was not recorded by the police - which made it difficult to prove.
Gillian Crew made a closing statement emphasising the following points of the applicant’s case:
· The police had not attended the hearing because there had been no crime, disorder, or anti-social behaviour attributed to Coco’s.
· She reminded the Sub-Committee to judge the application separately from the previous application in 2009.
Peter Willen made a closing statement emphasising the following points:
· He asked that Coco’s install an acoustic lobby to limit noise spillage.
· The private events, hosted by Coco’s, had a history of complaints from local residents.
· Patrons’ dispersing from Coco’s caused noise break-out. This would worsen if the bar closed later.
The Sub-Committee retired to consider the points raised during in the meeting.
It was RESOLVED that the opposed application for the variation of a premises licence be Refused for the following reasons:
· The Licensing Sub-Committee considered that the applicant did not demonstrate that there would be no negative cumulative impact on one or more of the licensing objectives.
· The Licensing Sub-Committee considered that the applicant did not identify why an exception should be made in this particular case or present any exceptional circumstances to justify the departure from the cumulative impact policy.
· The Licensing Sub-Committee considered that the grant of the application would undermine the promotion of one or more of the licensing objectives and that the imposition of conditions would be ineffective in preventing cumulative impact problems.
· The rebuttable presumption of refusal could not be overcome, as the Licensing Sub-Committee could not see how the proposed conditions/proposals offered could show how there would be no negative cumulative impact on one or more of the Licensing Objectives.
· The Licensing Sub-Committee were very concerned with regard to compliance with the licensing objectives and especially the prevention of crime and disorder and public nuisance in respect of noise pollution issues.
Please refer to the decision notice (attached) for full details of the decision and reasons.