2.00 PM - APPLICATION FOR A PREMISES LICENCE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LICENSING ACT 2003 - THE SPORTS BAR, 60-62 ARGYLE STREET, BIRKENHEAD
The Chair announced that this meeting was being held virtually, was being webcast and a record would be retained.
The Director of Law and Governance reported upon an application that had been received from Lewis Holdgate for a Premises Licence in respect of The Sports Bar, 60-62, Argyle Street, Birkenhead.
It was reported that the premises previously held a Premises Licence however this licence had lapsed as the Premises Licence Holder, Chevron Leisure Ltd had dissolved. The hours applied for were set out within the report.
The applicant had submitted an operating schedule setting out how the business would be conducted/managed in accordance with the four licensing objectives. A copy of the full application was available. Members were advised that the proposals set out in the operating schedule may become conditions of the licence should the application be granted. Following discussions with the Licensing Authority the applicant had agreed to amend the operating schedule.
In respect of the application nine representations had been received from local residents. The representations related to a history of anti-social behaviour caused by customers of the premises and noise nuisance from entertainment coming from the premises at a late hour.
Representations had also been received from Ward Councillors, Councillor Pat Cleary and Councillor Steve Hayes who supported the representations submitted by local residents. Copies of all representations were available.
The applicant attended the meeting by way of video conference together with the proposed Designated Premises Supervisor.
A local resident also attended the meeting by way of video conference together with Councillors Cleary and Hayes, Ward Councillors.
The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that all documentation had been sent and received and that two local residents had requested that Councillor Hayes also speak on their behalf and also that the local resident in attendance was representing himself as well as another local resident.
The Licensing Team Leader outlined the report.
The applicant, Mr Holdgate, reported that he had made the application for a Premises Licence to remain open an hour after the terminal hour for the sale of alcohol to allow for a staggered dispersal of customers which would be 1.00 am Sunday to Thursday and 3.00 am Friday and Saturday.
Mr Holdgate advised Members of the Sub-Committee that he had worked at the premises for a number of years. He informed Members that he had been engaged in a supervisory role for the two years prior to the termination of the previous Premises Licence but had not been responsible for the overall management of the premises. He advised that he had been aware of complaints in respect of noise coming from the premises causing a disturbance to local residents and informed Members that he considered he would be able to address some of those concerns by closing doors and windows and installing a noise limiter as well as further sound proofing measures. He advised Members of the Sub-Committee that he accepted there had been occasions when music could be heard by residents living in close proximity to the premises as he lived above the premises and had heard the noise from music emanating from the premises.
The local resident in attendance at the meeting advised Members of the Sub-Committee that he had experienced noise nuisance from the premises over a number of years. He provided detailed evidence of incidents of anti-social behaviour caused by customers of the premises. He reported that local residents had witnessed incidents of fighting and aggressive behaviour outside the premises and that bottles and glasses had been thrown into the car park of local residents’ properties. He informed Members of the Sub-Committee that other tenants had been forced to move house due to the disturbances that they had experienced. He provided details of his own experiences which included abusive behaviour towards him from customers of the premises and criminal damage to property. He also submitted press reports in relation to incidents of crime and disorder that had occurred inside and outside the premises.
The local resident subsequently read out a statement from another local resident who had experienced abusive behaviour verbally and physically from customers of the premises. He advised that the mental health of this resident had been affected by this and also from noise emanating from the premises which had resulted in him suffering from sleep deprivation. He reported that this resident believed that the licensing objectives had not been upheld when the premises had previously held a Premises Licence.
The Licensing Team Leader displayed a map of the area to clarify where the premises was situated.
Councillor Cleary, Ward Councillor addressed the Sub-Committee and advised that he had received many complaints from local residents when the premises had previously held a licence, in respect of noise emanating from music playing at the premises and customers of the premises as well as incidents of crime and disorder that had occurred within the vicinity of the premises. Councillor Cleary provided a detailed list of complaints from local residents which had occurred over a number of years and advised that irrespective of the change in ownership the applicant had been employed at the premises for four years, however, nothing had been done to address any of the issues raised which had included significant acts of criminal behaviour.
Councillor Hayes, Ward Councillor addressed the Sub-Committee and reiterated the concerns expressed by Councillor Cleary. He advised that a number of incidents had also been reported directly to him. He referred to the detailed log of incidents from local residents that he had provided prior to the hearing.
In response to the representations made by the local residents and the Ward Councillors, the applicant acknowledged that there had been incidents of disturbance at the premises but advised that he had reported such incidents immediately to the Police and to the Licensing Authority. He informed Members of the Sub-Committee that in order to address the issues of criminal activity at the premises, it had been necessary to change the door supervisor company. He reported that, in response to concerns relating to the external area at the rear of the premises, he would be prepared to prohibit that area from being used by customers.
In determining the application, the Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee had regard to the Licensing Objectives, the Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy and the Statutory Guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.
In determining the matter, Members of the Sub-Committee had regard to the significant nuisance caused to local residents by customers of the premises and noise, principally music, emanating from the premises. Members had particular concerns that the applicant had undertaken a supervisory role at the premises and had been unable to demonstrate a capacity to manage the premises in such a way as to uphold the licensing objectives.
In coming to their decision, Members of the Sub-Committee had regard to the fact that no representations had been made by Merseyside Police, however they considered that the evidence that had been provided from local residents had been so compelling that they were satisfied there had been a significant issue in respect of anti-social behaviour at the premises over an extended period. Members therefore believed that there were no measures that could be put in place to satisfy them that no nuisance would be caused by the operation of these premises.
(1) That in accordance with Regulation 14(2) of the Licensing Act 2003, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the application.
(2) That the application for a Premises Licence in respect of The Sports Bar, 60-62 Argyle Street, Birkenhead be refused.