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 in paragraph 2.2 of the report. The Sub Committee was advised that 1 objection to the variation had been received regarding the prevention of public nuisance and that any decision should be evidence based.
The Sub-Committee Chairman asked why 14 year olds would be allowed on the premises of the Half Moon.
Mr Bell, Licence Holder explained that their other pub in St Albans had been operating without problem for 20 years and that the Licence Holder had worked closely with the Police, Licensing Authority and local residents. He confirmed that plus 14 years olds would only be allowed for certain music events and that it gave them somewhere to go. Mr Bell summarised the security arrangements in place and advised that everyone would be required to wear a wrist band and would be challenged. He detailed what type of music would be play by tribute bands, other artists and background music and how this would impact on opening and closing times and what audiences this may attract. Mr Bell emphasised that in terms of the objection, extra sound proofing had been installed including the use of acoustic and deadening foam to address any noise nuisance. He assured Members that he would continue to work with local residents to address issues.
In response to a query from the Chairman regarding the different types of events and what age groups these might be aimed at, Mr Bell advised that at weekends, Tribute Bands would attract an older audience interested in music from the 60s, 70s and 80s whereas plus 14s would attend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for a different genre of music. He explained that the Half Moon had a capacity of 220 people and that 40-50, 14 year olds might attend at any one time but that they needed to be accompanied by an adult.
Councillor B Deering queried the inclusion of “indoor sport” within the application. Mr Bell confirmed that he would be happy to remove this. Councillor Deering queried point 5 (Essential Reference Paper B) adding that he felt the wording “at all times” was very wide and without pre-empting any decision, suggested that this should be more restrictive. Mr Bell supported the suggestion adding that he was prepared to add the days Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to point 5 (Essential Reference Paper B) of the application.
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 and the objection received. The Sub Committee felt that having carefully considered all relevant representations, having regard to the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and the Guidance issued by the Secretary of State and the further amendments put forward by the applicant to vary their applications, the application for variation of a premises licence be granted, subject to the following amendments proposed by the applicant:
(1) Deletion from the application in relation to indoor sport;
(2) Revision of Point 5 (page 30) of the report such that, events for plus 14 year olds be limited to any given Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday only, no later than midnight.
RESOLVED – that the application for the variation of the premises licence, be approved as amended for the following reasons:
Reason for decision
Having considered the application the Licensing Sub-Committee listened to the report of the Licensing Officer and the applicant and read the interest parties representation. The Members felt that the conditions proposed by the applicant would promote licensing objectives and would address the interest parties concerns.