To consider the attached report.
The three Councillors that presided over this item were Councillors R Morgan, S Heather and M Sartin.
The Chairman introduced the members and officers present and outlined the procedures that would be followed for the determination of the application. The Chairman welcomed three of the applicants John Reynolds, Derek Perch and Andy Bacon.
Also in attendance were Brian and Marie Hatch local residents; Sheila Jackman a local resident and the local ward Councillor, Councillor P Keska.
(a) Application before the Sub-Committee
The Licensing Officer introduced the application for the determination of a new Club Premises Certificate for Ongar Community Sports Trust, Jubilee Park Pavilion, Love Lane, Ongar, Essex.
The application was for the following licensing activities,
The Provision of Live Music
Monday to Thursday 10.00 – 23.00pm
Friday to Saturday 10.00 to 00.00
Sunday 10.00 to 22.00pm
The Provision of Recorded Music
Monday to Thursday 10.00 – 23.00pm
Friday to Saturday 10.00 – 00.00am
Sunday 10.00 – 22.00pm
Supply of Alcohol on the premises only
Monday to Thursday 11.00 – 23.00pm
Friday to Saturday 11.00 – 00.00am
Sunday 11.00 to 23.00pm
The responsible authorities had received copies of the application and had no representations to make. Residents and businesses within 150 meters of the premises were individually consulted. The authority had received 8 representations from residents. Objections related to the prevention of crime and disorder, prevention of public nuisance, public safety and the protection of children from harm.
It was noted that there was already a current premises licence at the Jubilee Pavilion in the name of Ongar Town Council.
In consultation with the applicants the opening times of the premises had been modified to reflect when the premises opened to accommodate the sporting activities of the building. The premise opening time will now start from 8am.
The Legal Officer asked the Licensing officer to confirm that as a private club they had at least 25 members and if they had an updated plan of the area to be licensed. The Licensing Officer replied that they did indeed have more than 25 members and that she had a revised plan of the building showing the licensed areas which she distributed to the members and officers present.
(b) Presentation of the Applicant’s Case
The applicant, Mr Reynolds advised that they had taken over the running of the premises from Ongar Town Council. They had made significant changes to the premises and had installed new CCTV and booking system.
They had agreed to keep doors closed during events and near neighbours were to be informed of any upcoming events.
They would keep a close eye on under age drinking and will have a ‘challenge 25’ scheme. They would also liaise with the Police to keep on top of any Anti Social Behaviour in their vicinity and deal with it on a proactive basis.
The Manager and one member of staff would hold a personal licence.
The Legal Officer asked him to clarify that this would be a member’s only sports club. Mr Reynolds said that yes it would be members only.
(c) Questions for the Applicant from the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee enquired about the use of the fire exit as that was raised as a concern by residents. The applicant confirmed that during events the doors would be shut and the bar staff would ensure that it stayed that way.
The Sub-Committee asked how visiting sports teams would be affected by the member only rule at the bar. They were told that the licence would cover any visiting club teams.
The Sub-Committee asked what was the criteria for membership and would they be vetted. They were told that individual applicants would fill in a membership form and agree to abide by the membership rules.
The Sub-Committee noted that the end time for the sale of alcohol was the same as closing time; there was no “drinking up” time, usually a half hour. Would they have any objections bringing this forward by half an hour. The applicants agreed to this revision of the end time for the sale of alcohol.
(d) Questions to the Applicant from the Objectors
Mrs S Jackman asked why it was called a Community Sports Club when you had to be a member. She was told that they had to be a member or a guest to gain entrance, but the users would be the same as previously. It was for users of the sports facilities.
Mrs Jackman then asked why have memberships; Ongar Town Council did not have this system. She was told that that they had now put in place a vetting system. They were not barring people from joining, but the Council had strict financial controls on it, now set up as a charity they had access to apply for grants etc. Before, they had to welcome everyone one who turned up; by bringing in membership they could now govern how it was run and who came in. It allowed the charity to control the building and its facilities. The charity could become self financing and by having members they would have a set amount of money coming in per year.
Mrs Jackman asked them to correct what they said about money available from the Town Council. She was told that the grant availability was minimal for a Town Council, but the premises needed a 6 or 7 figure sum in investment to enable it to expand, which was not available to a Town Council.
Mrs Hatch asked for a clarification on their membership. She was told that everyone had the opportunity to join the club and the charity would be assessing membership fees to make them fair rates.
Mr Hatch postulated that they might have a party booked, would the attendees be given a day membership or be made the responsibility of the organisers. He was told that as part of the licence they did not need to do either.
(e) Statement by Ward Councillor
Councillor P Keska, the ward councillor commented that he was largely supportive of the application and of the conditions put in to protect residents of Love Lane. They were the same for Ongar Town Council. He noted that there were some concerns raised about youths and drug taking in the area but observed that there was now a local beat officer who was being proactive and there was also the additional resource of the three extra police officers funded by the District Council that could be called upon.
(f) Presentation of the Objectors
Mrs Jackman said that considerable concern had been raised by the local residents to this application due to possible noise disturbances and unnecessarily longer opening hours. If the Sub-Committee were minded to grant this could they look to adding some of the suggested conditions put forward by other objectors.
Mr Hatch had raised concerns about noise, especially from persons exiting the premises after midnight and hanging around for some time after. This had always been a problem and granting an alcohol licence until midnight was too much and he would like it curtailed.
(g) Questions for the Objectors from the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee asked Mrs Jackman about the conditions raised by an objector, Mr Fieldsend and his point about having a point of contact between the Club managers and local residents by way of a telephone number. Mrs Jackman said that would be better than nothing. The phone number should be publicised as widely as possible.
(h) Questions to the Objectors from the Applicant
There were no questions to the Objectors.
(i) Closing statement from the Objectors
The Objectors had nothing more to add to their statements.
(j) Closing Statement from the Applicant
The Applicants had nothing more to add to their statements.
(k) Consideration of the Application by the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee requested clarification on the terrace and if the licence would cover this area and if they would be amenable to curtailing it to close earlier than had been asked for.
The Chairman advised that the Sub-Committee would withdraw from the chamber whilst they considered the application in private. During their deliberations the Sub- Committee received no advice from the officers present.
That the application for a new Club Premises certificate for the Ongar Community Sports Trust, Jubilee Park Pavilion, Love Lane, Ongar, Essex CM5 9BL be granted subject to the following conditions were considered reasonable and proportionate for the promotion of the licensing objectives:
1. That the Operating Schedule be modified as follows:
(i) That the provision of Recorded music be amended to the following times:
Monday to Saturday 10.00 to 23.00; and
Sundays 10.00 to 22.00.
(ii) That the provision of alcohol be amended to the following times:
Sunday to Thursday 11.00 to 22.30; and
Friday and Saturday 11.00 to 23.30.
(iii) That the opening time be amended to the following times:
Monday to Sunday from 08.00.
(iv) That the words “and authorised officers of the Council” to be added after “police” with regards to CCTV on pages 96 and 97 of the agenda .
2. The mandatory conditions contained in Section 74 of the Licensing Act 2003 ; and
3. That the additional conditions for the prevention public nuisance included:
(i) No food or alcohol be consumed on the patio area after 22.00;
(ii) All windows to be closed after 22.00 and any time regulated entertainment takes place; and
(iii) A direct contact phone number to be publicised to all residents in the vicinity.