Decision Maker: Dorset Council - Licensing Sub-Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Licensing Officer set out the application for a new premises licence made by Cove Café Ltd for on and off sales of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment.
The Licensing Officer advised that the applicant had withdrawn some parts of the application in his letter dated 9 July 2020 and this information had been circulated to all parties. The application was now for:-
The supply of alcohol (on sales only) between 1100hrs and 2330hrs daily, with an additional hour on New Year’s Eve and all national bank holidays.
Regulated entertainment indoor only (live and recorded music) between 2300 and 2330hours with an additional hour on New Year’s Eve and all national bank holidays, and
Late night refreshment between 2300 and midnight with an additional hour on New Year’s Eve and all national bank holidays.
The Licensing Officer continued that whilst it might look odd to see live and recorded music for only the half an hour on the application. This was down to the Live Music Act which simply meant that any premises with alcohol licences did not need music on their licence in order to have music on their licence in order to have music playing between 8am and 11pm.
The Licensing Act 2003 (Descriptions of Entertainment) (Amendment) Order 2013 meant that indoor sporting events and performance of dance were also not considered to be licensable activities if they occurred between the hours of 0800 hrs and 2300hrs (subject to certain audience size limitations). There was no similar provision for films.
The Licensing Officer continued that one of the objectors had shared his submission that he intended to give prior to the hearing and this had been circulated to all parties. The Licensing Officer took this opportunity to remind the sub-committee about the relevance of representations. All of the representations had been included in the committee papers in their entirety for the purposes of transparency. However only those elements that related to the licensing four objectives should be taken into account.
There were no questions of the Licensing Officer at this stage.
The applicant’s solictor, Mr Elford on behalf of Seals Cove Ltd advised the sub-committee that the premises was sited on a trading estate within Bridport. He thanked the Licensing Officer for listing the changes made and indicated that the rest of the application remained as originally stated. The premise was aimed at families not just with young children, but for all age groups of the family and the application sought flexibility in order to cater for the demand from customers.
Mr Elford acknowledged that there was some objections from local residents, but pointed out that there had been no representations received from the responsible authorities.
Mr Elford also proposed a number of additional conditions to address some of the concerns raised by representations received. These were set out as:-
(i) To provide a smoking area for customers of the premises
(ii) To monitor the smoking area to ensure that customer behaviour is not a nuisance to business or residents
(iii) Notices to be displayed in the smoking area reminding them to respect local residents.
(iv) No noise that the premise will give rise to a nuisance to local residents
(v) That the premises licence holder shall install a noise limiter set at a level where no nuisance is caused to local residents
(vi) A noise test to be carried out before opening to the public.
By setting these conditions the applicant aimed not to upset any local business or resident. Mr Elford also indicated that the premises licence holder would provide the duty manager contact number to local residents in the unlikely event that there were concerns at an event.
He advised members that the premises would not be operating as a nightclub and would offer the following condition (vii) that the premises will not operated as a late night drinking venue. Plus (viii) that licencing activities shall be ancillary to the use of the premises for a family leisure complex. It was hoped that this would give local residents assurance.
He continued that there had been concerns raised about the booking arrangements and he suggested that the premises licence holder would incorporate the conditions of the licence within the hire agreement of its customers. The premises licence holder would appoint sufficient employees to run the business and at the moment they were looking to hire a minimum of 10 full- time and 10 part-time staff to the business. But that number was likely to increase as the business grows.
Mr Elford also offered a condition relating to training (ix) That staff would be trained commensurate to their function within the business. (x) that the premises licence holder would ensure that a personal licence holder was on duty at the premises from 8pm every day. The applicant had already trained 7 staff as personal licence holders in addition to himself.
Mr Elford continued that he understood local residents concerns, but argued that there was no evidence at this time to support those concerns. He asked members to approve the application.
He Licensing Officer asked Mr Elford to clarify that the removal of anything of similar description to live music, recorded music and performances of dance (part H on the application) and that live music and recorded music remained on the licence between 2300-2330 hours. Mr Elford on behalf of the applicant confirmed this was the case.
The Chairman invited members to asked questions. In response to a question regarding the responsible authorities, Mr Elford confirmed that there were no objections from the responsible authorities.
Cllr Pipe sought clarification in what was meant as “late night”. Mr Elford advised that the premise was a family leisure complex not a late night pub/bar with “vertical drinking”. The hours sought would allow flexibility. For example the climbing wall would be used in the day by school groups and the bar would not be required. However in the evening adult amateur climbers may wish to enjoy a social drink after a climbing session.
In response to another question, Mr Elford advised that the soft play area was not a licensable activity, but there would be a Challenge 25 initiative in place on the site. The applicant confirmed that around 8.30pm most children would be out of the soft play area, unless there was a family party event. All children would be expected to be supervised.
In respect of the implementation of a noise limiter, members asked if an expert would be consulted for the installation. In reply Mr Elford confirmed that this would be the case, and that the walls and roof had been insulated. He did not believe that there would be noise breakout from the premises.
Members asked where the smoking area would be sited? Mr Elford confirmed that it would sited in area which would not effect local residents and other customers. Members also asked about the siting of pop-up bars and the applicant confirmed that if there was a pop-up bar these would be manned by the premises staff. Members were further advised that these events would be risk assessed accordingly. In response to a question in respect of capacity, members were advised that the final figure had not yet been established yet.
In respect to function room advertisements, members were informed that advertising would be by the website and onsite bookings mainly for children’s parties.
In respect of a question about car parking, the applicant confirmed that parking was not a relevant issue to the application. However the premise would have 50 spaces and in the summer months he was hoping to operate a bus service from West Bay to and from the site.
In response to a further question, Mr Elford advised that “vertical drinking model” was like a traditional pub, for example drinking standing at the bar.
The Chairman welcomed Mr Cross an objector to the application. He had concerns about drunk people using the footpath by the side of his property. Was this the right place to sale alcohol on an industrial estate when their were many public house in the town? Mr Cross indicated that he understood the business model but could not agree that it was appropriate to sale alcohol on the site. There were no questions to Mr Cross
The Chairman invited Mr Middleton to address the sub-committee. Mr Middleton appreciated that his points in his previous submission had now been taken into account. However these were not addressed prior to him making his representation and this caused him some concern. The conditions proposed by the applicant showed that they are now listening to the residents but he did not think that the concessions put forward or the conditions proposed were substantiated. For example there were no smoking area indicated on the plan.
In his view, this showed that there was no preparation or consideration for this issue. He was concerned with the information given in particular regarding the capacity figures. Which could be amplified considerable. He further expressed concerns about the parking issues. He asked members to consider reducing the licensing hours as some of the conditions still remained unclear. He felt that it was important to consider the application with caution as it was sited on an industrial estate near the town with a residential area. He considered it to be reasonable for the business to operate with temporary event notices in the short to medium term. The community was not adverse the business succeeding but he was surprised that the local residents had not had any consultation in this matter.
Mitigation was not successful and in response to a question from the Chairman the timings considered acceptable to Mr Middleton would be 11.00am to 6pm which was in keeping with the trading estate hours. He also asked Sunday trading hours to be considered as there is no Sunday trading on the industrial estate at the moment.
In response to questions from members Mr Middleton confirmed that he had attended 2 mitigating meetings with a representative of the applicant, but there had been no consultation prior to the application being submitted.
The Chairman invited the Licensing Officer to respond to the public statements and she confirmed that applicants were not required to provide smoking areas for their customers. The capacity of the building was not recorded on the licence that was a matter for the fire risk assessment and with regards to consulting residents, the requirement of the regulations was that the application be advertised in a local newspaper and a notice be displayed on site. These were both complied with and were considered sufficient.
The applicant had no questions of the Mr Middleton.
The Chairman invited all parties to sum up their case. In summing up Mr Middleton asked the sub-committee to reject the application and Mr Cross also strongly objected to the application.
In summing up Mr Elford stated he was sorry that residents felt that they had not been consulted. However giving the conditions offered he was confident that the applicant would promote the four licensing objectives in the way that the premises was operated.
The Licensing Officer and the Legal Advisor had nothing further to add.
In closing the meeting the Chairman advised that the sub-committee would consider the information provided and the decision would be sent to all parties in writing within 5 workings. All parties had 21 days to appeal to magistrates court following the decision made by the sub-committee.
That the application be grant as set out in the appendix attached.
An application for a new premises licence has been made by Cove Café Ltd for on and off sales of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment. Representations have been received and remain unresolved therefore a hearing by the licensing Sub-Committee must be held to determine the application.
Publication date: 30/07/2020
Date of decision: 15/07/2020
Decided at meeting: 15/07/2020 - Dorset Council - Licensing Sub-Committee