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Appointment of Chair
That Councillor K L Jaggard be appointed Chair for the meeting.
Members’ Disclosures of Interest
In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.
No disclosures of interests were made.
To consider report HCS/12of the Head of Community Services.
Councillors are asked to bring the Licensing Handbook to the meeting, which has been circulated with the agenda.
The Sub Committee considered an application to vary the Club Premises Certificate in respect of Crawley Masonic Club, St Margaret’s Hall, Ifield Green, Crawley.
Following the introduction of those present at the meeting, the Legal Clerk outlined the procedure for the meeting. The Legal Clerk informed all parties that the Sub Committee had requested a pre-meeting with the Legal Clerk and Democratic Services Officer prior to the commencement of the Sub Committee, to confirm the procedure that would be followed during the meeting. At that pre-meeting the Sub Committee had confirmed receipt of the supplementary agenda documents which had been circulated following publication of the main agenda. It was confirmed that the Sub Committee had not asked for clarification of any aspect of the application or on the representations received from any party.
The Legal Clerk then asked all parties present, if they wished to make any relevant applications, for example to rely upon additional information, an adjournment or to cross-examine any party. No applications were made.
Report HCS/12 of the Council’s Head of Community Services was presented by Mr Lyons.
Mr Lyons, informed the Sub Committee that on 20 December 2018 ‘Crawley Masonic Club’, had submitted an application to the Council as the Licensing Authority for the Borough of Crawley to vary the Club Premises Certificate (CPC) for the premises – Crawley Masonic Club, St Margaret’s Hall, Ifield Green, Crawley in accordance with the provision of the Licensing Act 2003. A copy of the application was set out in Appendix A to the report, which included information provided by the Applicant as to how the four licensing objectives would be promoted.
The application proposed to vary the CPC:
(i) To extend the supply of alcohol as follows:
Mon – Sat 11.00 – 01.00hrs (the existing hours were 11.00 to 23.00)
(The application did not seek to vary the existing hours for the supply of alcohol on Sundays or holidays)
(ii) To extend the opening hours
Mon – Sat 10.00 – 02.00hrs (the existing hours were 10.00 to 01.00)
(The application did not seek to vary the existing opening hours for Sundays or holidays)
It was confirmed that the application had been advertised in accordance with legislation and as a result of the consultation process Sussex Police had submitted a relevant representation in which they proposed additional conditions to the CPC (Appendix E to the report) if the application to vary was granted. The applicant had confirmed to the Council that they agreed to the additional conditions proposed by Sussex Police.
Environmental Services had also submitted a relevant representation in which the officer stated that according to their records, Environmental Health (Pollution Team) had not received any noise complaints concerning the premises and whilst aware some interested parties referred to loud music, Environmental Services had no evidence to support or counter such claims. The representation also stated that as the proposed changes only related to the sale of alcohol and no extension to regulated entertainment, Environmental Health consequently ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
Exempt Information - Exclusion of the Public
In accordance with Regulation 14(2) of the Licensing Act 2003 (Hearings) Regulations 2005, the public be excluded from the following part of the Hearing. The Sub Committee considered that the public interest in taking such action outweighed the public interest in the Hearing taking place in public.
Application to Vary the Club Premises Certificate - Crawley Masonic Club, St Margaret's Hall, Ifield Green, Crawley
The Sub Committee gave further consideration to the application and to the matters raised at the meeting. In formulating its decision, the Sub Committee took into account the options that were available to it and considered what was appropriate to ensure that the licensing objectives were promoted.
The Sub Committee, having considered the application and the relevant representations in detail, resolved to take the actions as detailed in Appendix A to these minutes, because it was considered appropriate to promote the licensing objectives.
Re-admission of the Public
The Chair declared the meeting re-open for consideration of business in public session.
Application to Vary the Club Premises Certificate - Crawley Masonic Club, St Margaret's Hall, Ifield Green, Crawley
The Legal Clerk, on behalf of the Sub Committee, read out the Sub Committee’s decision. It was also announced that all parties would receive a copy of the decision notice (as detailed in Appendix A of these minutes) within five days of the Hearing.
Determinationof theLicensingSub-Committee sittingatCrawleyBoroughCouncil
Decisionandreasonsin relationto theapplicationforthe variationof aclub premisescertificateinrespectofthe CrawleyMasonicClub,
1. The hearingwasheldto consider therelevantrepresentations made inrespectof anapplicationof theCrawleyMasonic Clubto varyitsclubpremisescertificate(CPC).The applicationsoughtthefollowingvariationsto theconditions ofthe CPC:
(1) to extendthe currenthoursofsaleofalcoholon MondaystoSaturdaysfrom 11:00pmto1:00am;and
(2) toextendthe currenthoursofopeningon Mondaysto Saturdaysof thepremises from1:00amto2:00am.
2. The Sub-Committee,in determiningthe application,carefullyconsideredthe following:
(1) The applicationandall thematerialprovidedin supportofitincludingsubmissions made onthe applicant’s behalfat the hearing.
(2) The relevantrepresentationsmadeby theresponsibleauthorities:the EnvironmentalHealthdepartment,theFire Authorityand SussexPolice.
(3) The relevantrepresentationsmadeby 8interestedpartiesbeinglocalresidents,including thesubmissionsmadeby 2whoattendedthehearing inpersonand therepresentationsof athirdinterestedparty whowasrepresented atthe hearing.
(4) The guidanceissuedby theSecretaryof Statepursuantto s182of theLicensingAct2003(S182Guidance).
(5) The Council’sown Statementof LicensingPolicy(CBC’sPolicy).
3. The decisionof theSub-Committeewasthat the appropriatestepforthe promotionof thelicensingobjectiveswasto modifytheconditionsto theCPCas follows:
(1) The hoursfor thesupplyof alcoholto beextendedfrom 11:00pmto1:00am onMondaysto Saturdays;
(2) The openinghours ofthepremises tobe extendedfrom 1:00amto2:00am onMondaysto Saturdays;and
(3) The 7proposedconditionsas agreedbetweentheapplicantandSussexPolice(assetoutonpage34of reportHCS/12),shall beaddedas conditionsto the CPC.These are:
1. The Club will operate anageverification policysetata minimumof 25years,wherebyanypersonattemptingto buyalcoholwho appearsto beunder 25willbe askedfor photographicIDtoprove theirage.Signageadvertisingthe"Challenge"policy willbe displayedin prominentlocationsinthepremisesandshallinclude thepointof saleandthearea wherethealcoholis displayed,as aminimum.
2. Childrenunder theageof 18must beaccompaniedby theirparent, guardian or other appointed adult atall timeswhenin oraroundthe Club.
3. New membersmay notmakeuse ofthelicensedpremises untila period of 48 hourshas elapsedsincethe dateof the application.
4. Club membersmay signin amaximum oftwoguestsatanyone time.
5. All staffmembersengaged,or tobe engaged,in sellingalcoholonthe premisesshall receivefulltrainingpertinenttotheLicensingAct2003,specificallyinregardto age-restrictedsales,andthe refusalof salesto personsbelievedto beunder theinfluenceof alcoholor drugs.Inductiontraining mustbe completedpriortoengaging inany saleofalcohol.Refreshertraining (whichmay beverbal reinforcement)shallbe conductedthereafterat intervalsof nomorethansixteen(16)weeks.All restrictedsalestrainingundertakenby membersshall befully documentedandsignedbythose personsinvolvedin thesale/supplyofalcoholanda memberof thecommittee.All trainingrecordsshallbe retainedat theClub andmade availableuponrequestto theLocalAuthority LicensingOfficersand SussexPoliceOfficers.
6. The Clubshall atall timesmaintainandoperatea salesrefusalslog andanincidentlog,recordingall refusalsandincidentsofcrimeor disorder.Theseshall bereviewedandsignedby acommitteememberat intervalsof nomore thaneight (8)weeks.Feedbackshall begiventostaffto ensuretheseareusedoneachoccasion that a refusal orincidentoccursat the premises. Theserecords shallbe keptatthe Clubfor aminimumoftwelve(12)months, and made available uponrequestto officersofany responsibleauthority.
7. Childrenunder theageof 18may notbepermittedon thepremises after21:00hours.
4. The Sub-Committeenotedthatthe evidencefrom therepresentativesfromtheapplicant included thefollowing:
(1) That theClub’s byelawslimited thehiringoutof thepremisestomembers onlyandsothecurrentarrangementsare thatthepremisescannot be letto thegeneral public.
(2) That theClub’sintentionin applyingfor increasedhours wasprimarily toallow memberstostay behindlongeraftertheirmeetings, ratherthanan intentionto increasethenumber ofhiringsof thepremisesfor eventsnot associatedwithnon-lodgemeetings(i.e.lettingsto membersfor privatefunctions).
5. TheSub-Committeenotedthattherewasno objectiontothe applicationfromany oftheresponsibleauthorities.Inparticularthey notedthatSussexPolicesaidin theirrepresentation:“SussexPolicehavenoissueswhatsoever oranyconcernsaboutthe premisesorthis variationapplicationto increasethe hours”.The Sub-Committeewasmindedto givetherelevantrepresentationsfromthe responsibleauthoritiesconsiderableweightbearingin mindparagraph2.1of theS182Guidanceandparagraph2.14of CBC’sPolicy.
6. All oftherelevantrepresentationsby the8 interestedpartiesopposedthevariation application.The interestedpartieseachraisedoneor moreconcerns.Broadly,theconcernsraisedby theinterestedparties werethatshouldthe hoursbe extendedas appliedfor, thenthe followingnegativeimpactswouldoccuror increase:
(1) Illegaland inconsiderateparking andtheresultingaccessproblems associatedwiththis;
(2) Noise causingdisturbancefrom bothwithinthepremisesandfromthoseleaving thepremises;
(3) Noise associatedwithtaxispickingup people fromthepremises;
(4) Smokingoutsidethepremisesby thoseattendingthepremises,in particularator nearthemainentrance,andcigarettebutts ontheground;and
(5) Crimeand disorder.
7. The Sub-Committeeremindeditselfthatthatparkingoffthepremises onthe highwaywasnota matterwhichis regulatedby theLicensingAct2003– itis regulatedby otherlegislationandregulatorybodies –and sotheSub-Committee’s view wasthat tothe extentthatanyof the representationsraisedthis concernit wasnot relevanttotheirdetermination.
8. Intermsoftheotherconcernsraisedby the8 interestedparties,the Sub-Committeewasmindfulthatitsdecisionoughttobe evidence-based– taking(bearing inmind paragraph9.43of theS182Guidance),and thereforethey consideredin detailtherelevantrepresentationsand submissionsmade atthehearing bytheinterested parties.
9. The Sub-Committeefoundthattheevidencerelatingto actualpast noiseassociatedwiththepremiseswasverylimited,and in summarywasas follows:
(1) InMiss Patel’swrittenrepresentationshestatedthaton“a numberofoccasions” therehad been“loud music(includingdiscos)”, howevershedidnotspecifyhow many occasions,the periodof timeduringwhich theseoccasionsoccurredorthetimesofthe dayduring whichshe heardnoise.Miss Patelsaid thatshe hadmade complaints.However howmany weremade, whenthey weremade andthe detailof thecomplaints wasnot clear.It wasclarified atthe hearingon herbehalf (byMrs J. Smith)that thecomplaints hadbeen submittedtothe BrightonMasonic centre.In responseto this,the applicant’srepresentatives statedany complaintsmade totheBrighton centrehad notbeen receivedlocally bythem. MissPatel’srepresentative atthe hearing,Mrs P.Smithspokeofthere “sometimes”being noiseassociated withthe premises and “occasionally” theside doorbeingleft openand thatnoisecould be heardfrom inside thepremises. Mrs
P.Smith alsosaid thatif thereis anevent onthe premisesitisusually finishedby10pm.
(2) Mrs JSmithinherwrittenrepresentationsaidthatshe hasbeenwokenup bycarsleavingandthat itis disruptive.However,Mrs JSmithdidnotprovide evidenceabouthow oftenthisoccursandat whattimes,anditwasnot entirelyclearthatthatthe carsshe wasreferringto wereinfactdriven bythoseexitingtheclub. MrsJ Smithalsosaidat thehearingthatan increaseofhours wouldmeana potentialofmore hiringsoutofthepremises.She saidthatthepotential ofpublic nuisanceand disturbance(should theextendedhours begranted)is whatshe ismostconcernedabout.
(3) Mr Byngin hiswrittenrepresentationstatedthat“Mosteventsatthehall havebeenorderlybut noisehasoccurredoccasionally”.Atthehearing, MrByngconfirmedthattheapplicant’s(oritsmembersandguests’) pastbehaviour had beengenerally good, and hehadnoseriouscomplaints.Healsoconfirmedhis objectionwasbased onhis concernof potentialproblems whichmayariseifthehours weretobe extended.Mr Byngalsosaidhe wasconcernedthatto allowthe extendedhours maycreate aprecedent.Inrelationtothis lastpoint, theSub-Committeeremindeditselfthatthelicensing regimeunder theLicensingAct2003requireseachapplicationandpremisesto beconsideredonitsownmerits andthata decisionto extendthe hoursin respectof thisCPCwouldnot createa ‘precedent’whichwouldbe subsequentlyfollowedinother cases, inthe waywhich MrByngfearedit might.
(4) MrSmythin hiswrittenrepresentationstated:“I amconcernedthatif thepremisesareopenuntil theearlyhoursthoseleaving willmakenoise asthey speakleavingthebuilding.Wealreadyexperiencesomenoiselate atnightin thesummerfrompedestriansin IfieldGreen”.TheSub-Committeefoundthatitwasnotclearwhetherthenoise MrSmythfrompedestriansin IfieldGreenMr Smythreferredtowaslinkedin anywayto peopleattendingthepremises.
10. The Sub-Committeefound thatthebalance oftherepresentationsregardingnoise tobe speculative.Many ofthe interestedpartiesreferredto concernsthatif hourswereextendedtheyfeltthiswouldbe likelylead toan increasein noisefrom thepremisesor fromthoseexitingthe premisesor associatedwithvehiclesused bythose leavingthe premises.
11. The Sub-Committeeconsideredthelimitedevidenceof actualpastnoiseand weighedthisagainst(1)thelackof anyevidenceofcomplaintsto EnvironmentalHealth oranyotherresponsibleauthorityand(2)thestepstakenbytheapplicantto tryto reduceany noiseassociatedwithpeople leavingthe premises(detailedfurtherbelow).They concludedthattherewasinadequateevidenceto indicatea likelyincreasein noisefrom thepremises/thoseexitingthe premisesdueto anyextensionof thehoursforthe supplyof alcoholandopeningtimes.
12. Inrelation totherepresentationsby theinterestedpartiesabouta potentialrisein criminalconductand disorder,itwasnoted thatthesewerespeculativein nature.Mr Fergusonreferredto the“likelyincreaseriskofcrimein samewayit does any area late licensesaregranted”, andMr Weeks’s concern that “drivingwhilstunder theinfluence ofalcoholmaytakeplace”.However,the Sub-Committee noted thattherewas noevidence before them from any party,andsignificantlynonefromSussexPolice,thatthereis orhas beenany criminalactivity associatedwiththepremises,or thatcriminalactivitymightincreaseifthe hourswereto beextended.
13. The Sub-Committeealsonoted concernsraisedby MrWeeksregardingan increasedin“risk tochildren”, however, thisappeared toprimarily be linkedto hisconcernsaboutparking.TheSub-Committeefoundno evidenceinanymaterial beforeitwhichindicatedthatan increasein thehoursfortheserviceof alcoholandopeningtimesat theClub mightleadtoan increasedriskof harmto children.
14. The Sub-Committeewishedto acknowledgethestepswhichtheapplicanthas takentoaddressconcernsraisedby localresidents inthewrittenrepresentations,including:
(1) the sitingofa smokingareato thenorthof thebuildingawayfromtheresidentsin OldManorClose;
(2) contactingits membersremindingthemthatneighboursmay besleepingwhenthey leavethepremisesandso toleaveas quietlyas possibleandbe readyto leave in a taxi as soon asit arrives;
(3) contactinglocaltaxi firmsto seektheirco-operationto reducenoise whencollectingpatrons;and
(4) askingits membersto parkin anearbypublic carpark.
15. The Sub-Committeealsoappreciatedtheoffermadeduringthehearingbytheapplicant’s representativestoprovidecontactdetails forlocalresidentsshouldthey havefuture concernsor issuesregardingthe Club.
16. The Sub-Committeefeltthatthe evidencebefore themshoweda willingnesson thepart oftheapplicant’smembers toengagewiththelocalresidentsregardingconcerns whichmightarisein thefuturedue tothe extendedhours (andalsoconcerns moregenerallyabouttheuse ofthepremises),and wasof theviewthattherewasgoodreasonto believethatsuchfuture concernsmightbecapable ofbeing quicklyresolvedbetweentheparties.However,theSub- Committeealsoremindeditselfthatany personcanapplyto theCouncilfora reviewof theCPCshouldtherebeevidencein futureofanyofthe licensingobjectives beingunderminedby theuse ofthe premises,andthe Sub-Committeewasof theviewthis wasthe appropriatewaytoaddresstheresidents’concernsand fearsshouldtheymaterialisein thefuture.