The Chairman introduced the Members of the Sub Committee, Legal Adviser, Licensing Officer, Democratic Services Officer and explained their respective roles.
The Chairman advised that the Sub Committee would take into account the merits of the application against the four licensing objectives: the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm, in addition to the Home Office Guidance and the Council’s Licensing Policy.
6.2 Procedure to be Followed
The Legal Adviser referred to the procedure to be followed for the Hearing and those present wishing to make verbal submissions. There had been no requests from any other party to speak at the hearing. The procedure was as previously circulated to all interested parties with the Notice of Hearing. All parties had been sent an agenda.
6.3 The Council’s Licensing Officer’s Report
The application is for a Premises Licence to be granted under the Licensing Act 2003 is to allow the Supply of Alcohol. The operating schedule shows:-
Hours Premises Open to the Public:
Monday to Sunday 10am to Midnight
Relevant licensable activities:
· Supply of alcohol.
Hours of licensable activities:
Supply of Alcohol 10am to 11.30pm
(on and off the premises)
Seasonal variation on all licensable activities
New Years Eve/Day Open of business on New Years Eve to close of business on New Years Day
Conditions had been agreed with the Environmental Health officer that there would be a restriction to the playing of live music to the inside of the building only and to limit the playing of live music to once per calendar month with at least 4 weeks between events. All other amplified music both inside and external to the premises to be played at a volume to be agreed with the Environmental Health Department
The Council has received four representations of objection, on the grounds of public nuisance. No objectors were present at the Hearing.
The Applicant and the Applicant’s representative were present at the hearing.
6.4 Address by interested parties
We heard from the applicant’s representative, who submitted that this is a working farm and the owner has been licensed for a number of years and was looking to sell their own cider as they already sell eggs, meat etc. If there are no customers then the premises will be shut. There is also a limited amount of cider that can be made and once this is gone then they will not be selling any more. Consumers will be aware of the strength of alcohol.
The applicant’s representative addressed the concerns from the written representations and stated that they did not expect there to be an increase in traffic and drink driving will not be encouraged. There was also no expectation that there would be anyone walking around the village at night. This is a working farm and the majority of customers are expected to make an appointment as they want an experience. Whilst people could turn up without an appointment it would depend on whether the applicant was available as to whether they would be able to buy the cider.
The Applicant’s representative confirmed that planning permission is still to be agreed and they did not want the license to start until 1st March 2021. The applicant is hoping to have holiday lets and so it would not be in their interest to upset paying guests. It is likely that it is these customers who would be drinking later in the evening and therefore would be staying and not walking or driving around the village. The applicant does not wish to upset their neighbours and purely wants to provide an experience and not operate as a pub.
In response to questions the applicant and their representative advised:
· That the only alcohol on site would be what they made, no bought in alcohol.
· They wanted the license until midnight so that people could be there late on nice summer evenings and would negate the need to apply for a TEN and gives them flexibility, especially if they have the holiday lets.
· Visitors would probably be by appointment but of course people could just turn up but this is not expected to happen all of the time.
The applicant’s representative summarised their points.
At this juncture the committee adjourned to debate the decision. On reconvening the Chair announced the decision.
Arising from consideration of the report, all the representations, the relevant provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 and delegated legislation made thereunder, the guidance given to licensing authorities and the Council’s own Policy.
The Sub Committee resolved that the application for a New Premises Licence in respect of The Cider House, Netherton be granted as set out in the report subject to the licensable activities ending at 11pm 7 days a week.
The Sub Committee are satisfied from the information presented that the Applicant is seeking to sell cider produced at the farm and that their method of operation is such that the Licensing Objectives will be upheld.
The Sub Committee heard that the ethos behind the application is for people to enjoy the products that have been produced on this old working farm. It is intended that there will only be one or two tables from which customers can soak up the ambience of the farm whilst enjoying a cider which has been produced there. Customers visiting the farm may also wish to purchase cider to take away.
The Sub Committee, whilst understanding the concerns expressed by the local residents, do not consider that they are supported by fact but are based only on speculation. There is no evidence to suggest that granting a licence to sell alcohol will increase the volume of traffic that uses the lanes approaching the farm. The farm is already a working farm.
The Applicant’s agent informed the Sub Committee that it was not the intention of the applicant to have large groups of people present at one time. Holiday accommodation is currently being constructed on the farm and there is a holiday cottage opposite the cider store, it is envisaged that it will be the guests staying in these that will be most likely to use the farm facilities in the evening. It was submitted that the applicant would not want anyone to cause a noise nuisance as this would be detrimental to his business as a whole.
In respect of the opening hours the Applicant’s Agent informed the Sub Committee that the premises would not be open for all of the licensed hours, it will not be an regular drinking establishment, if there are no customers the premises will close, there will be encouragement to make appointments as the farm is a working farm and it is likely that the applicant will look after customers himself rather than employing extra staff. There will only be a limited amount of cider produced from crop each year and once this has gone there will no more until the following year.
Bearing all of this in mind the Sub Committee were happy to grant the application but stated that the felt that the sale of alcohol should terminate at 11pm
Rights of Appeal
This decision does not take effect until the period for making an appeal has expired, or if an appeal is made, until that appeal has been determined. An appeal may be made by the applicant for the review, the licence holder or any person who made relevant representations in relation to the application.
If you wish to appeal you must give notice of appeal to the Clerk to the Justices at the South Devon Magistrates’ Court, 1st Floor, Riviera House, Nicholson Road, Torquay TQ2 7TT, within the period of 21 days beginning with the day on which you were notified of the decision.
Should there be problems associated with the event the Council’s Environmental and Safety Department has powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to take action against statutory noise nuisances.