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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

Introduction

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the Panel and outlined the procedure to be followed. 

 

No members had any interests to declare.

 

No representations had been withdrawn.

 

 

2.

Report of Licensing Officer pdf icon PDF 318 KB

Minutes:

The Licensing Officer presented the Senior Licensing Officer’s report.  He provided a summary of the application, the steps proposed by the applicant to meet the licensing objectives, and the representation received from members of the public. The residents were concerned about late night noise from loud music, and had suggested that the music should stop at 11 pm.  He asked the sub-committee to determine the application taking account of the four licensing objectives and the written representation made, and to ensure that their decision was evidence based, justified and proportionate.

 

In response to questions from the sub-committee, the Licensing Officer:

 

·                marked on the location plan provided the area which would be used by the applicant.  The marked location plan was then shown to all parties present (Appendix A);

 

·                explained that the simple caution received by the applicant in May 2015 had been for a breach of Condition 15 (a) and (b) of the previous licence, which required a fire risk assessment, fire strategy and action plan to be deposited with the fire authority 56 days before the first event;

 

·                alcohol would be supplied for consumption inside the marquee only.

 

 

3.

Representations Against the Application

Minutes:

Mr Szadurski stated that he had been disappointed to find that, although no licence had yet been granted, the Best Parties website was already taking bookings for 1 – 21 December, and some events were fully booked.  He asked whether he was wasting his time making representation.  His wife had a demanding and responsible job and needed to be able to sleep after 10 pm.  Currently the booking website indicated that she would be adversely affected for every day of the licence period.

 

The Chairman explained that the sub-committee did not condone Best Parties actions regarding the booking website, and no decision on the application had been made prior to the hearing.

 

In response to a question from the sub-committee, Mr Szadurski confirmed that he had been resident at his current address for two years.

 

 

4.

Representations in Favour of the Application

Minutes:

Ms Sturt, for Best Parties Ever, stated that the events were being advertised as being subject to licencing consent.  Only 11 of the dates applied for in the application were being used.  Live music would finish at 11.00 pm.  Other activities needed to be able to continue to 12.30 am for commercial reasons.  Ms Sturt suggested that an additional condition requiring noise checks at residents’ roads on party nights could ensure that noise was kept to acceptable levels.  The company did not want to cause a nuisance to residents.  At the company’s other venues, noise checks were carried out once per night.

 

In response to questions from the sub-committee, Ms Sturt explained:

 

·                the sound limiter machines were calibrated by a production company and the umbrella company.  The council was welcome to be included, and would be provided with a set of keys.  There was not always live music, it depended on the theme of the event. There was no music in the dodgem area;

 

·                security personnel were present half-an-hour before events opened, at a ratio of 1 to every 100 guests, with a minimum of three.  Events were not always sold out.  Doors were kept shut, but were push-release because they were fire exits;

 

·                Ms Sturt, the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS), was normally present for the first weekend of events.  A venue manager, who was employed as an event manager throughout the year and was fully trained, would be present at all other times.

 

The Licensing Officer confirmed that an application for a change of DPS would be needed for the change in personnel, however this could be made with immediate effect.

 

 

5.

Questions

Minutes:

Further questioning between the parties present took place and answers were given as follows:

 

Ms Sturt explained to Mr Szadurski that:

 

·                the mixed group nights advertised on the company’s website were open and operational subject to a licence being granted.  Not all of the other dates were available; some of them might be used for private functions.  The Watford venue usually hosted 11 parties each year; if too many dates were offered, the number of guests at each party would not be enough to be financially viable. Party dates might vary from year to year because calendar dates changed in relation to the days of the week.  Best Parties Ever were applying to be allowed a maximum of 18 dates, however in previous years the most ever used had been 13;

 

·                an in house production team provided the noise monitoring; the setting was sometimes done externally.  It had never been conditioned that they should go to certain roads to check sound levels.  If there was a problem because, for example, the wind direction had changed, the sound levels could be reduced as appropriate.

 

The Licensing Officer explained that the application for up to 18 nights was the same as the licence held for the period 2011 – 2015, however fewer than 18 nights had been used.  A calibrated noise monitor could be used for external checks.

 

The chairman explained to Mr Szardurski that:

 

·                any queries he might have regarding the possible re-location of the marquee should be addressed to Aldenham Country Park;

 

·                if, when trying to report a noise problem, he did not get a response from the Best Parties Ever phone number provided to local residents, he should contact the Council’s Environmental Health department.  It would be helpful to the officers if he kept a log of incidents.

 

 

6.

Closing Statements

Minutes:

Mr Szardurski stressed that noise levels, particularly after 10.30 pm, had been a problem, with constant drumming and the PA system being audible.

 

Ms Sturt stated that Best Parties Ever did not wish to cause a nuisance, and would accept a condition requiring noise monitoring during events.  She acknowledged that a three-week period was significant to residents.

 

The Licensing Officer outlined the options available to the Panel with regard to the determination of the application, noting that the applicant would be happy to condition noise checks.  He also noted that it was best practice that, in the event that an additional condition that had not been raised at the hearing was proposed, all parties should be made aware of it and given the opportunity to comment before the final decision was made.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman, the Licensing Officer explained that the application was for a licence without time limit.  It was for members to decide whether they wished to reduce the period of any licence granted.

 

 

7.

Determination

Minutes:

At 2.40 pm the Panel adjourned to deliberate.

 

At 3.15 pm the Panel returned to the Chamber and the other parties were recalled.

 

The Chairman advised that, having regard to the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and the Guidance issued by the Secretary of State, the Panel had decided to grant the licence for a period of five years subject to the following conditions:

 

1.         the mandatory conditions;

 

2.         the conditions in the Applicant’s Operating Schedule other than condition 11.

 

3.         the following additional conditions:

 

(1)       prior to commencing operations each year a noise management plan shall be submitted to the Environmental Protection team of Hertsmere Borough Council for approval, put in place and adhered to. Such a plan shall incorporate a ‘stand-alone’ noise limiter device to control noise levels from all amplified sources and  the calibration of such device shall be  approved by a member of the Environmental Protection team of Hertsmere Borough Council;

 

(2)       external noise monitoring inspections shall be carried out at each event on at least two occasions between the hours of 22.00 and
00.30 to ensure that noise from live or amplified music is not clearly audible at the nearest noise sensitive boundaries.

 

Reasons for Decision

 

The Sub-Committee considered that the amendment to Condition 11 and the additional condition regarding noise monitoring would address residents’ concerns in respect of late night noise nuisance.

 

Note

 

The Sub-Committee resolved to grant the Licence for period of five years only in view of the caution received by the Applicant in May 2015 for breaching a condition on its previous licence imposed to promote public safety.

 

Appendix A: Location Plan pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Appendix B: Decision Notice pdf icon PDF 66 KB