The licensing officer reported that the applicant had agreed conditions and hours with the noise team. He stated that the hours had been amended to stop licensable activities at 7pm and have the place cleared by 8pm.
The noise team were happy that conditions had been accepted. It was stated that there would be two types of events that would be held a) quieter community events and b) more commercial events. Significant conditions were required in order to provide residents with some reassurance.
The interested parties stated that the application should be refused. The application could be refused on the grounds of all four licensing objectives and on cumulative impact. They raised concerns regarding the toilet facilities, issues regarding drug dealing which was already a problem in the area, noise, traffic concerns and concerns around the protection of children from harm. It was considered that the application had not been properly thought out. It was stated that they had not had a chance to look at the details of the noise team submission and there was a substantive issue of the noise from live music from the bandstand. The noise assessment did not include the noise of 200 people singing and chanting.
This was a tiny square which allowed the noise to reverberate around and windows would need to be closed to prevent music noise into their premises. The square would not be able to accommodate 500 people. It was considered that the applicant should complete a Temporary Event Notice form rather than have a permanent licence.
The applicant stated that the team wanted the licence granted to allow as many community events to take place as possible and to avoid the need for community groups to have to apply for temporary event notices. There would be appropriate community events and fun days. It was not intended to hold Glastonbury type events.
In response to questions it was noted with the introduction of the Live Music Act, amplification of music was exempt for events for under 500 people. The applicant stated that if the licence was granted they would have greater control over appropriate events. It was stated that more than 500 people would not be able to fit in the square. There would be a requirement for toilets at events. It was stated that Northampton Square was a very different environment to other spaces. Any event that needed to be submitted to the Safety Advisory Group would not be considered appropriate for this space. The start time of events would be from the time of set up. It was conceded that the resident groups should have been consulted about the types of events in the first instance.
In summary, the interested parties were concerned about the control of the numbers present as public could stand outside the barriers. It was considered that the application could be refused on cumulative impact grounds and that the application should be withdrawn for issues to be considered further with the community. The applicant stated that this should have previously discussed with the community and they would only wish to put on events which worked with residents.
That application for a new premises licence in respect of Northampton Square Gardens, Northampton Square, EC1V 0ES be refused.
REASONS FOR DECISION
The Sub-Committee read all the written submissions and the material. The Sub-Committee heard and carefully considered all relevant submissions at the hearing from the Applicants representative, Council’s Noise Team and from three residents.
The Sub-Committee reached the decision having given consideration to the Licensing Act 2003, as amended, and its regulations, the national guidance and the Council’s Licensing Policy.
The only Responsible Authority to make written and verbal submissions was the Noise Team. Their representative submitted detailed conditions which were agreed to by the Applicant.
Thirteen written objections to the application were received from members of the public who live near the park in question.
The Sub-Committee was required under Licensing Policy 21 to prevent public nuisance by protecting the amenity of residents in the vicinity of licensed premises. Applicants were expected to address these issues in their operating schedules. The Sub-Committee was not satisfied that the operating schedule adequately addressed this requirement.
The proximity of the premises to residential properties, the location of the premises and the character of the area and the potential impact on residents living in close proximity to the premises all have to be considered (Licensing Policy 2). The Sub-Committee was of the opinion that these factors had not been adequately addressed and /or dealt with. The applicant’s representative in his submissions to the Sub-Committee stated that it would have been beneficial for a consultation to have taken place with residents prior to the application being made. This had not taken place.
The Sub-Committee was accordingly not satisfied that the granting of this application would promote the licensing objectives and it was therefore refused.