Agenda and draft minutes

Reconvened from 26 April 2022, Licensing Hearing Panel - Tuesday, 21 June 2022 9.30am

Venue: Meeting Room 9 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Stephen Platt, Democratic Services Officer 

Media

Items
No. Item

74.

Election of the Chairman

When the meeting commenced on Tuesday, 26 April 2022, Councillor Mrs Chambers was elected as the Chairman.

Minutes:

When the meeting was commenced on Tuesday, 26 April 2022, Councillor Mrs Diane Chambers was elected Chairman for this meeting.

75.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were none when the meeting commenced on 26 April and reconvened on 21 June.

76.

Record of the meeting

When the meeting commenced on Tuesday, 26 April 2022, the Panel agreed that the Chairman, after consultation with the other members of the Panel, would sign the record of this meeting outside the meeting. 

Minutes:

It was agreed that the Chairman, after consultation with the other members of the Panel, would sign the record of this meeting outside the meeting. 

77.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report. 

Minutes:

There were none. 

78.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 371 KB

When the meeting commenced on Tuesday, 26 April 2022, no interests were declared in respect of item 6.

 

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct in respect of both items 6 and 7.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 5.

Minutes:

When the meeting commenced on Tuesday, 26 April 2022, no interests were declared in respect of item 6.

 

When the meeting was reconvened on Tuesday, 21 June 2022, no interests were declared in respect of item 6.

 

In respect of item 7, the Chairman declared that she and Councillor Hackwell were members of the Planning Committee but they were not involved in the relevant Planning Permission (MC220240).

 

 

79.

Application for review of a Premises Licence - Baba Food and Wine, 75 High Street, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 1BJ pdf icon PDF 232 KB

This application was due to be considered on Tuesday, 26 April 2022.

 

The meeting commenced and was adjourned to a later date to enable the Applicant’s agent to attend. 

 

In accordance with Section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003, the Council has received an application from Kent Police, as a responsible authority, for a review of the existing premises licence in respect of Baba Food and Wine, 75 High Street, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 1BJ.

 

All responsible authorities have been consulted in line with the Licensing Act 2003.

 

Representations in support of the review application have been received from the Director of Public Health.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Chairman asked the parties to introduce themselves and then reminded all present of the process that would be followed as outlined in the main agenda.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer outlined the review application before the Panel, with reference to the documents contained within the main agenda pack prepared for the original hearing date of 26 April 2022 and the supplementary agenda packs nos 1 and 2 issued on 16 and 20 June respectively.

 

The Chairman explained that the Panel might need to go into closed sessions for related matters as and when required. PC Smuts indicated that the Kent Police had no objection for the CCTV footages being viewed in open meeting with the exception of one clip.

 

PC Smuts presented the application for a review of the premises licence on behalf of Kent Police. He said that Baba Food and Wine was a grocery store authorised to sell alcohol 24 hours a day for 365 days a year.  The shop was located in the High Street at Gillingham close to the junction of the Canterbury Street, surrounded by a variety of business, retail and residential properties. The Gillingham High Street and the nearby areas suffered from a high level of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour. The area was covered by both a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) and Cumulative Impact Policy (CIP). Currently the High Street was suffering high and unacceptable levels of persons regularly found to be street drinking and consuming alcohol within the PSPO control zone. Persons found to be street drinking were often persons that were alcohol dependent consuming high-strength beers and ciders. An inevitable consequence of street drinking could be aggression, public nuisance, public urination, alcohol-related litter and crime and disorder.

 

PC Smuts further said that it had become increasingly evident to both the town centre policing team and police licensing officers that street drinking levels in Gillingham appeared to be on the increase, with the immediate area in relation to the premises being of particular concern. It was evident to the Kent Police that the premises had a large effect on the nuisance problem in the High Street. He then shared with Panel members on the crime and disorder incidents which he considered helped to show that the premises were being run irresponsibly: 

 

-       On 26 October 2021, the Kent Police reminded Mr Temur, the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) that the premises should not serve alcohol to drunk people.

 

-       On 1 January 2022, at approximately 01:00, PC Hunt and PC Smuts observed a male sitting on the bench directly outside St Mark’s Church on High Street consuming what appeared to be a can of lager or cider. (St Mark’s Church is the immediate neighbouring property to Baba Food and Wine). Sitting on the ground directly outside of the premises surrounded by her bedding and belongings was a female that appeared to be homeless. A male was observed entering the premises and purchasing a bottle of cider.  Upon exiting the premises, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

Application for a new Premises Licence - Moot Brew Co Limited, Court Farm, Pilgrims Road, Rochester, Kent ME2 1HR pdf icon PDF 8 KB

The applicant has applied for a new Premises Licence in respect of Moot Brew Co Limited, Court Farm, Pilgrims Road, Rochester, Kent ME2 1HR.  

 

All responsible authorities have been consulted in line with the Licensing Act 2003.

 

A representation has been received from a member of the public.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Senior Licensing Officer advised that the applicant had applied for:     

 

Supply of Alcohol  (on and off the premises)

Monday to Sunday                                           10:00 – 18:00

 

He confirmed that the application had been correctly advertised in the local press and notices displayed at the premises for the required period.

 

The Senior Licensing Officer further advised that in accordance with para. 9.14 of the Amended Guidance to the Licensing Act, permission had been granted by the Planning on 30 March 2022 (MC220240). The matter had been put to the Licensing Hearing Panel because the Council had received a representation relating to public safety and no agreement had been reached.

 

At this juncture, the Chairman declared that she and Councillor Hackwell were members of the Planning Committee but they were not involved in the decision of MC220240.

 

The Chairman invited the applicant to speak in support of their application.

 

Mr Patrick Smith advised that Moot Brew Co was a microbrewery, i.e. a small, independently owned brewery that crafted and produced its own beer. Like many small craft breweries which had similar designs, the focus of Moot Brew was on quality, not quantity.

 

Mr Smith added that the fundamentals of the Moot Brew business were built from the ground up to promote the four licensing objectives. Moot Brew was a destination for beer enthusiasts to learn about, and experience different flavours and profiles of craft beer, not a place to simply consume alcohol. Therefore, its customer base would be geared towards searching out premium experiences rather than excess consumption, and this would help in the prevention of crime and public nuisance. Moot Brew’s team had a significant amount of training and experience in the hospitality industry including health and safety practices enabling the company to be well equipped to prepare staff members to protect the public from harm.  There were comprehensive tactics in place for each of the four licensing objectives, which were enshrined in Moot Brew’s business strategy.

 

In response to the objection raised, Mr Smith provided the following responses: 

 

·       The traffic movement of the Medway Valley was gradually becoming busier due to housing development, in addition to the need for larger agricultural vehicles to access the operating Court Farm and for delivery vans to reach the residents in the Valley;

 

·       He walked his dog along the Pilgrims Road every day and never felt unsafe and vehicles only needed to reduce the speed and deploy some tactics at certain points of the road;

 

·       Moot Brew was a specific niche, consumer-type business operating between 12 noon and 6 pm and its licence would not affect the quality of life or pose any danger or nuisance to the public.  The application had received positive feedback generally from the community; and

 

·       It was a small business and thus would not bring any meaningful impact on the overall traffic level.

 

The Chairman invited the objector, Mr Duncan King, to question the applicant. He presented his objection, making the following comments:

 

·       He lived on the Pilgrims  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.

81.

Exclusion of the press and public pdf icon PDF 138 KB

This report summarises an exempt appendix, Appendix G and recommends that the Panel exclude the press and public from the meeting during the viewing of CCTV footage in respect of item 6 and also during the Panel’s deliberations and decision making in respect of items 6 and 7.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Decision:

 

The press and public were excluded during part of the meeting to enable certain CCTV footage to be viewed in respect of item 6, and also during the decision-making process for both items 6 and 7 because consideration of these matters in public would disclose information falling within three of the descriptions of exempt information contained in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as specified in agenda no. 8, and, in all the circumstances of the case, the Panel was satisfied that the public interest in maintaining the exemption, outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.