Agenda item

To determine an application, to which representations have been made, for the grant of a new premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 - Application reference 19/00923/LAPL01

Minutes:

The Licensing Panel was asked to determine an application for a new premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 in respect of the premises known as Club Three, 42 The Grove, Gravesend, Kent DA12 1DP

 

The Senior Licensing Officer gave a brief overview of the application and background information to the Panel. 

 

On 17 September 2019 an application was received from Club three Ltd for the grant of a premises licence under section 17 of the Licensing Act 2003 in respect of the premises located at 42 The Grove, Gravesend, Kent DA12 1DP.

 

The application was for:

 

·         Late night refreshment - Monday to Sunday 23:00 to 03.00

·         Performance of live music – Thursday to Sunday 23.00 to 03.00

·         Playing of recorded music – Thursday to Sunday 23.00 to 03.00

·         Other similar entertainment – Monday to Wednesday 09.00 to 23.00 and

·         Thursday to Sunday 23.00 to 03.00

·         Supply by retail of alcohol Monday to Wednesday 09.00 to 23.00 and

·         Thursday to Sunday 09.00 to 03.00

 

The Licensing Team received the below representations during the 28 day consultation period:

 

·         An objection from Kent Police (appendix 4)

·         An objection from the Environmental Heath Team (appendix 5)

·         A number of valid representations from the public (appendices 6-10)

·         A petition was also received with 20 signatures from residents of Stephenson House opposing the Club Three application on the grounds of the licensing objective ‘Prevention of Public Nuisance’

 

The Chair invited the applicants to address the Panel.

 

The applicants addressed the Panel explaining their application, their background in the night time industry and their work that would promote the venue as a Community Club that would be nothing like the previous occupier, The Grove; which had a host of issues.

 

The Applicant (Owner) submitted and explained a new lease agreement between himself and Edward Kerr to the Panel: 

 

·         The lease agreement was initially a sub-lease agreement between the Applicant (Owner) and Edward Kerr; once the three month transfer period had completed then the Applicant (Owners) name would be transferred onto the lease agreement

·         The lease would then be valid for a ten year period

·         An account was given to the Applicant (Owner) to make the monthly payments

·         It was his understanding that Edward Kerr and the solicitor, Peter Daniels, had been in contact with the Free Holders and the lease agreement was going through the final legal process 

 

As the new lease agreement between the Applicant (Owner) and Edward Kerr was submitted as new evidence the Chair called a ten minute break to allow Members and the Police Officers to review the evidence.

 

The Police then put their questions to the applicants regarding their application and raised concern over the legality of the lease agreement; PC Chris Hill advised the applicants that one of the Free Holders of the building was sitting in the room and had no prior knowledge of the lease agreement between the Applicant (Owner) and Edward Kerr.

 

The Chair invited the Freeholder and her husband to speak at the table regarding the application and the lease agreement; Members were advised that Deborah Cat and her two sisters were the Free Holders of the building and none of them had been approached about the sub-lease or any new arrangements by either Edward Kerr, the applicants or any solicitors.

 

The Environmental Health Technician addressed the Panel and explained her objection to the application, on the ground of public nuisance through excessive noise from the venue, as well as running through her presented evidence. The proposed amended opening hours for Club Three were listed on page 60 of the report.

 

Members and the applicants had their questions answered by the Environmental Health Technician.

 

PC Chris Hill addressed the board laying out North Kent Police’s objection to the application and the reasons why the Panel should deny the application citing future involvement from Edward Kerr, irregularities with the lease agreement, the applicant’s ability to run a high profile venue effectively, lack of business/safety plans and the inevitability of crime and disorder being generated from the venue as the main concerns. Members were also advised that the second lease agreement submitted did not diminish his concerns over the possibility of future involvement from Edward Kerr with the Club or indeed the legality of the lease agreement itself.

 

Members and the applicant’s had their questions answered by PC Chris Hill.

 

The Chair stated that two parties had sent in written representations to the Licensing Team to speak at the meeting and Cllr Steve Thompson would be speaking on behalf of the residents who created the aforementioned petition against the Club Three application, in his capacity as Ward Councillor.

 

Mr Bryan Pearson and Mrs Diane Pearson were invited to speak; they laid out their reasons why the application for Club Three should be denied.

 

Mr Bradley Winn-Holdaway addressed the Board also explaining why the application for Club Three should be denied.

 

Councillor Steve Thompson addressed the Board sharing his sympathy with the applicants but also explaining why the application for Club Three should be denied. Additionally, he implored the applicants to seek professional legal service to ensure that the lease agreement they agreed with Edward Kerr was legally sound and they weren’t being lied to in any way.

 

At the request of the Chair, the Environmental Health Technician, PC Chris Hill and the applicants summarised their arguments to the Panel.

 

Once Members had their questions answered the Panel adjourned to consider its decision.

 

Determination

 

The Chair thanked all of the people present for attending and explained that Gravesham Borough Council aimed to support and improve the night time economy in Gravesend but acknowledged that it needed to be managed within the realms of the Licensing Objectives. Having followed the Licensing Act 2003, the statutory guidance, Gravesham Borough Councils Statement of Licensing Policy and carefully considering all of the evidence presented at the Panel meeting, the Panel was unsure that even with the proposed conditions a Licence could be granted; therefore the Panel felt it justified and proportionate to refuse the application.

 

The Chair advised that the Panel recognised that many serious issues from the previous occupier of 42 The Grove, had not been addressed fully in the application and raised concerns over the following three Licensing Objectives being breached: 

 

 

·         The prevention of Crime & Disorder – Members were not satisfied that there were conditions that would prevent any crime and disorder occurring after customers left the premises

·         The protection of Public Safety – Residents had advised the Panel that they felt unsafe travelling to their homes when walking past the venue at night 

·         The prevention of Public Nuisance – A detailed enough plan was not in place to prevent excess noise disturbing local residents from customers entering and leaving the venue

 

Supporting documents: