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Election of Chairman for the meeting
RESOLVED that Councillor R. L. Dent be appointed Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the meeting.
Apologies and notification of substitutes
No apologies for absence were received.
Declarations of Interest
To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.
No declarations of interest were received.
The Chairman opened the Hearing and introduced the Members of the Sub-Committee and officers present.
The Chairman welcomed all those present and requested that all those present provided brief introductions.
The Sub-Committee was asked to consider a variation application for a Premises Licence, in respect of the Co-op, 5 St Kenelms Road, Romsley, Worcestershire, B62 0NU.
The variation application was subject to a Hearing initially in light of twenty three representations received from members of the public. The basis of the representations was on the grounds of:-
· The Prevention of Public Nuisance
· The Prevention of Crime and Disorder
· Public Safety
· The Protection of Children from Harm
All those present were informed that Councillor R. L. Dent, had conducted a site visit, an unannounced visit to the site for which the variation application had been submitted.
The Council’s Legal Advisor asked Members to be mindful to the fact that it was a variation application before them and in doing so re-iterated the variation as applied for:-
The Technical Officer (Licensing) Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS), introduced the report and in doing so drew Members attention to the current operating hours, as detailed at 2.4 in the report and the representations received as detailed at Appendix 3 to the report.
In response to the Chairman, the Technical Officer (Licensing) WRS responded and explained that the variation application had been advertised in accordance with legislation and that under the Licensing Act 2003 that there was no requirement to consult with residents in respect of the variation application. Members were further informed that no representations had been received from any of the Responsible Authorities.
The case for the applicant was then put forward by Mr. R. Arnot, Solicitor, Ward Hadaway LLP.
Mr. R. Arnot introduced Mr. P. Senior, Area Manager, Co-op. Mr. Arnot stated that the Hearing was not about the opening and closing times of the store, but about the licensing objectives and meeting those objectives.
Mr. Arnot then referred to the twenty three letters objecting to the variation application. He would question their validity, as the objections were speculation and not evidence based. He would therefore ask Members to discount the following comments included in those representations:-
· Extra traffic.
· Parking issues.
· Fear that the additional later opening hours would create a public nuisance.
· The time the previous owners chose to close the premises.
· No need for such premises in a small village.
· No evidence that residents already suffered noise nuisance from the premises during opening hours.
Mr. Arnot continued and stated that the variation application had been submitted for the standard opening and closing hours for Co-op stores, although stores generally closed at 10:00 p.m.
The Co-operative Food Group Limited was the fifth largest retailer with over 76,000 employees. The application before the Sub-Committee was for the sale by retail of alcohol for consumption off the premises and that alcohol sales for the Co-operative Food Group Limited only represented 15% of their turnover. The store on St Kenelms Road was a convenience store and family shop, not a dedicated off licence.
The previous premises licence holder, namely the Spar, had chosen to close the store at ... view the full minutes text for item 10/16