To consider the attached report.
The three Councillors that presided over this item were Councillors R Morgan (Chairman), L Hughes and J M Whitehouse.
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 L W Charalambides, Barrister for Shell UK Oil Products Ltd, M Brown, the Agent from P.P.Lockett & Co and an objector P Scammell.
a) Application before the Sub-Committee
The Licensing Compliance Officer, D Houghton introduced the application. The application had been made by Shell UK Oil Products Ltd, for a new premises licence at 24 – 36 High Street, Epping, Essex, CM16 4AE. The application was for the following;
The Supply of Alcohol
Monday – Sunday 07.00 -23.00
All responsible authorities had been notified and it had been advertised at the premises and in a local newspaper. The Licensing Authority had received a representation from the Essex Police relating to the premises being an “excluded premises” under Section 176 of the Licensing Act 2003 and asked that a “footfall” analysis for the sales of petrol ratio to other commodities be submitted. There were also three resident objections, which related to the Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Prevention of Public Nuisance and Public Safety; and the Protection of Children from Harm.
The Chairman asked whether Essex Police would be present. The Licensing Compliance Officer advised that the applicant had supplied the information requested regarding the footfall analysis, therefore satisfying their requirements. Furthermore their objections had been removed and they would not be attending.
b) Presentation of the Applicant’s Case
The barrister for Shell Oil UK Ltd advised that they had spoken to the objector before the meeting, to establish her main concerns. It appeared that the problems were about an area of land and thicket that she believed to be in the ownership of the petrol station, which gathered rubbish and attracted vermin. The barrister advised that the agent and objector would be visiting the site after the meeting to look at the issues and if the thicket was in the ownership of the premises, various solutions would be considered. The barrister advised that the applicant would be happy to include a condition in the licence to keep the site clear of litter and ensure that two litter picks per day were continued. He also advised that the applicant would undertake investigation into the ownership of the thicket and create an action plan within a six month period, if it was under their control.
The barrister advised that there was no evidence, nor could any weight be placed on the objectors representations as none of the responsible authorities had raised any concerns. The Licensing Act enabled residents or the Council to request a review of the license, if any issues were to be raised.
c) Questions for the Applicant from the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee asked who would be the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS). The barrister advised that the site manager would become the DPS. Further questions were asked about the footfall methodology and how the information was produced. The barrister advised that the information was based on data gathered through till receipts, which separated purchases into fuel, the convenience store and both. The barrister advised that Case Law had determined that there was no correct way of compiling the data, although the sales from the convenience store and the cash machine added to the viability of the fuel station. Finally the Sub-Committee enquired why the fuel station needed to sell alcohol as there were many other premises within the vicinity and why alcohol in particular. The barrister advised that other premises selling alcohol could not be taken into consideration and that the convenience store was exactly that; they were there to provide a range of products to meet their customers’ needs and alcohol formed part of that.
d) Questions for the Applicant from the Objector
The Objector had no questions for the applicant’s representatives.
e) Presentation from the Objector
The objector advised that following the conversation with the applicants’ representatives before the meeting, they had discussed the main concerns of the residents, which included the litter in the thicket and the associated vermin. If the particular area was changed into a hardstanding area this would prevent this issues experience by the neighbourhoods and potential stop any anti-social behaviour or gatherings in this area. The barrister advised that they would investigate the issues that had been raised by the objectors at the site today, to establish a better understanding.
f) Questions from the Sub-Committee
The Sub-Committee had no further questions for the objector.
g) Questions from the Applicant
The applicant had no questions for the objector.
h) Closing Statement
The Barrister had nothing further to add.
i) 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.
That the application for a new premises licence in respect of the Shell Half Moon, 24 – 36 High Street, Epping, Essex, CM16 4AE be granted subject to the following conditions, which the Council considered were reasonable, proportionate and in the public interest for the promotion of the licensing objectives;
(1) To include the conditions set out within the Operating Schedule;
(2) To include the mandatory conditions contained in Sections 19-21 of the Licensing Act 2003;
(3) That the applicant would engage in two litter picks per day; and
(4) That the entire area and curtilage of the site was kept clear of litter.
It was noted that the applicant would undertake an investigation into the ownership of the thicket and clearing of the detritus within six months of this decision.