Agenda item

Application for a New Premises Licence for Ace of Lanes, Anchor Street, Bishop's Stortford, Herts CM23 3BP

Minutes:

The Chairman outlined the procedure to be followed.  All those present were introduced.  The Senior Licensing and Enforcement Officer summarised the application made under the Licensing Act 2003.  He detailed the Licensable activities being sought by the applicant and the requested hours outlined at paragraph 2.3 of the report submitted.

 

The Sub-Committee was advised that since the application had been submitted, the applicant had amended the requested hours for all activities and closing on Friday and Saturday nights.  On Fridays and Saturdays all licensable activities would cease at 23:45 and the premises would close at midnight.

 

He set out the steps due to be taken to promote and meet the four licensing objectives.  He referred to the proposed conditions including a CCTV system in constant operation during all licensable activities and also ‘Challenge 21’ as an age verification policy.

 

The Sub-Committee was advised that after 10 pm, the following would apply along with the other conditions which had been agreed with Hertfordshire Constabulary as accepted conditions, as detailed on pages 57 and 58 of the report submitted:

 

6.    After 22:00 hours the following applies to the outside terrace area edged blue on the licence plan:

 

a.    Use as a smoking area only

b.    No more than 10 people at any one time

c.     No drinks permitted

d.    Doors onto the terrace to be kept closed other than for access and egress

 

The Sub-Committee was advised that the outstanding representations related to the prevention of public nuisance in respect of noise, litter and the consumption of alcohol and these concerns were set out at pages 59 to 61 of the Agenda.  The Officer advised that Members could grant the application, impose conditions, reject part or all of the application or amend the application.  The decision of the Sub-Committee would have to be evidence based.

 

Councillor G Cutting, on behalf of the residents who had made representations as the affected persons, referred to their concerns as being solely regarding the use of the outside terrace.  The provision of the bowling alley was welcomed.  He referred to the letters of objection and concerns regarding a lack of consultation.  Residents were concerned, in particular, with the proximity of the rear terrace to the Nicholls Lodge apartments, which were 15 metres from the proposed terrace.

 

Councillor Cutting referred to concerns regarding loss of amenity and privacy for residents whose apartments faced the area of the terrace.  He commented on whether the terrace could be relocated to the front of the proposed bowling alley.  He also highlighted the issue of cigarette or vape smoke reaching the apartments and expressed concerns over a lack of engagement with the residents on the part of the applicant.

 

Councillor Cutting concluded by highlighting the suggested conditions relating to the outside terrace and he commented the doors should be closed aside from ingress and egress.  He highlighted the impact this terrace could have on elderly residents who had an expectation of quiet domestic living.

 

The Solicitor for the applicant explained that the applicant also owned and operated Bacchus so was well aware of the 4 licensing objectives.  The applicant therefore had experience of managing premises where noise might be an issue.  The premises being referred to as Aces of Lanes would be a 12 lane bowling alley with a golf simulator, restaurant and bar and also a number of entertainment machines.  The intention was that this would be a facility for the whole community and for families in particular.

 

The Sub-Committee was advised that the applicant had met with the police at the premises and a number of agreed conditions had been included in the Agenda.  There had been no objection from Environmental Health Officers.  The applicant had corresponded with local residents so there had been an attempt at engagement to raise awareness of the proposed conditions.

 

The Solicitor confirmed that Aces of Lanes would not be alcohol led and would predominantly be a multi-use facility aimed at providing an entertainment venue with the primary use being as a 10 pin bowling centre.  CCTV would be in use both internally and externally and those present were shown computer assisted design (CAD) drawings to highlight efforts that would be made to soften the building’s appearance and act as a barrier to noise.  This was evidence of efforts that were being made to consider the local environment and avoid disturbance for residents.

 

The Solicitor concluded that the applicant had shown an ability to manage large licensed premises and the applicant wished to avoid complaints that required action by Environmental Health.  He confirmed to Councillor J Jones that the outdoor terrace would operate as an extension to the restaurant with tables and chairs provided.  Councillor J Jones was also assured that any diners or those with a drink would be asked to move inside by 10 pm.

 

The applicant confirmed to Councillor R Brunton that the entertainment equipment would be muted and Aces of Lanes would be a much calmer operation than other facilities.  The Sub-Committee was advised that the outdoor terrace was an extension to the restaurant and would be well away from the inside bar.

 

The applicant’s solicitor demonstrated the intended location of the exit doors for the terrace and the emergency exits on a computer generated plan of the building.  The applicant confirmed to the Sub-Committee that police had been called to Bacchus on 2 occasions by door staff and where possible, the door staff had dealt with incidents inside to minimise disturbance for local residents.

 

The applicant confirmed to Councillor J Jones that 1 security person would be on duty in Aces of Lanes and the maximum capacity would be 450 based on a fire risk assessment.  The applicant responded to a number of further queries from the Sub-Committee in respect of the tow path, fire exits, outside lighting, CCTV and the proportions and location of the doors for accessing the outside terrace.  At the conclusion of the closing submissions, the Sub-Committee and the Democratic Services Officer withdrew to allow Members to consider the evidence.

 

Following this, Members and the Democratic Services Officer returned and the Chairman announced that the Sub-Committee had listened to the Licensing Officer, the applicant, the local Member speaking on behalf of the interested parties and had read the interested parties submissions.  The Sub-Committee felt that the imposed conditions, along with the conditions agreed with the Police, would serve to ensure the prevention of public nuisance and would address the concerns of the interested parties regarding the Prevention of Public Nuisance.

 

RESOLVED – that for the reasons now detailed, the application for a new premises licence for Aces of Lanes, Anchor Street, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, CM23 3BP be approved, subject to the agreed police conditions and in particular the following condition:

 

6.    After 22:00 hours the following applies to the outside terrace area edged blue on the licence plan:

 

a.    Use as a smoking area only

b.    No more than 10 people at any one time

c.     No drinks permitted

d.    Doors onto the terrace to be kept closed other than for access and egress

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