To consider the attached report.
The three Councillors that presided over this item were Councillors S Neville (Chairman), S Heather and N Bedford.
The Chairman introduced the members and officers present and outlined the procedure that would be followed for the determination of the application. The Chairman welcomed Karl Davison, BP Licensing Manager, Robert Botkai Legal Representative and the Objector David Linnell representing Loughton Residents Association.
a) The Application before the Sub-Committee
The Licensing Compliance Officer, D Houghton introduced the application. The application had been made by BP Oil UK Limited, for a variation to the premises licence at The Broadway, Loughton, IG10 3ST. The proposed variation was to extend the hours for the sale of alcohol to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and to vary the licence conditions by updating the wording in the operating schedule contained in Annex 2 of the report.
The authority had received three representations from a local resident relating to the prevention of public nuisance, crime and disorder, the protection of children from harm and public safety. Responses had also been received from the Police, Essex Fire Services, EFDC Planning Department and EFDC Environmental Health Department who had not objected.
b) Presentation of the Applicant’s Case
The Legal Representative advised that the application was to ensure that the licensing hours reflected the trading hours of the premises. The applicant already had 60 premises with a 24 hour licence and no issues had been reported. The applicant had commenced a further 100 trials, which had resulted in the 24 hour licenses being granted to all of those premises.
The Legal Representative advised that the objections relating to the likely cause of public nuisance could not be taken into account as they were presumptions and if there were any issues the residents and/or Police could request that a review of the licence take place. There had been no negative feedback or proceedings taken against any other BP Marks & Spencers Stores and he did not expect that this would be the case at this store. The premises had a Night Policy, which allowed staff to remotely lock the doors of the premises at 10 pm and only allow customers they wished into the premises after this time, which would be the case if the licence was granted. Furthermore the doors would remain locked if there were less than two members of staff and the night box would be used to service customers. Regarding the drink drivers, there had been no evidence to support this or link petrol stations to drink driving incidents and many motorway services stations now provided the sale of alcohol. Finally he advised that it was important that the premises provided the community with a service and fitted into the residential area. The premises priced alcohol at a higher rate than other establishments and therefore should not cause anti-social behaviour.
c) Questions for the Applicant from the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee asked whether the premises would include the Challenge 25 policy. The Legal Representative advised that the premises would.
The Legal Officer, R Ferreira enquired whether the doors were locked under the current licence. The Legal Representative advised that they were currently locked 10 pm and this would remain the policy.
There were no questions from the objector to the applicant.
d) Consideration of the Objector’s statement
The Objector, D Linnell from the Loughton Resident Association advised that the Broadway area had issues with anti-social behaviour and drugs and this premises would provide alcohol 24 hours, 7 days a week. The premises may also encourage individuals to congregate in and around the service station.
There were no questions from the Sub-Committee.
There were no questions from the applicant.
e) Closing Statement from the Applicant
The Legal Representative advised that BP would work with Loughton Residents Association and welcomed any feedback if problems occurred around the premises, but as there had been no issues so far, he hoped that it would not be required.
f) Consideration of the Application by the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee withdrew from the Council Chamber, whilst considering the application in private. During their deliberations the Sub-Committee received no further advice from the officers present.
(1) That the application to vary the premises licence for BP Oil UK Limited be granted subject to the modification as set out in the application to vary the licence, namely that the replacement of the wording in Annex 2 with the word set out in section 16 in the Licensing Objectives of the application, which the Council considered were reasonable, proportionate and in the public interest for the promotion of the licensing objectives.