The panel heard an application for a review of the premises licence in respect of Amadeus, Chariot Way, Medway Valley Park.
The legal advisor asked the panel to note that the applicant had stated the name of the Premises Licence Holder to be ‘Aaron P Stone’. However the licence was held by ‘Aaron P Stone (Strood) Ltd’ and the application for the review should be amended accordingly to reflect accurately the name of the Premises Licence Holder. Page 2 of an e-mail from Ross Hutchins (following page 21 of the agenda) was circulated as it had not been included in the agenda.
The Business Development and Licensing Manager informed the panel that in accordance with Section 51 of the Licensing Act 2003, the Council had received an application from Jill Hinde for a review of the existing premises licence in respect of the Amadeus nightclub. The Business Development and Licensing Manager stated that following the advertising of the review application, no further relevant representations have been received either from interested parties or the responsible authorities. The applicant had requested a review of the licence under the licensing objective of the prevention of public nuisance.
The applicant stated that the
reasons for the review were as follows:-
· every night the nightclub is open she could hear the bass notes clearly and this kept her awake
· the applicant had started her objections in 2007 and finally reached this stage as nothing had changed this in time
· the applicant had contacted Mr Uslu to ask if the bass notes could be turned down. This had happened for a short time but had since increased in volume again
· the environmental health team had been monitoring the noise levels but they were not at a statutory nuisance level
· the licensee had suggested that they would erect screens in 2009. Mrs Hinde had assumed that this work had been carried out but now it seemed that it was not
· after the request for a review was submitted in November 2010, the next time the club opened the music could not be heard (except on two more recent occasions), so it was assumed that the volume had been turned down. Mrs Hinde asked for the volume to remain at this current level, as it was no longer causing a nuisance
· the applicant stated that she would also be pleased if the offer of screens to be fitted to the front doors of the club was to go ahead as well.
Mr Thomas advised that the noise problem had been identified as cars in the car park surrounding McDonalds which was open until 5am. People drove to this location with ‘supersound’ radios and the noise heard by Mrs Hinde was from these cars and not the nightclub.
Mrs Hinde responded that she had recorded all of the times when she heard the music and the noise always stopped when the club shut. She agreed that she did also hear car noises, revving engines and screeching of tyres but not their music. When asked how she knew when the club closed, Mrs Hinde advised she could see the lights turned off from her property which was located diagonally opposite (across the river) the front doors to the club.
Mr Thomas advised the panel that in November 2010, Mr Uslu had stood outside Mrs Hinde’s property whilst the doors to the club were open and the music played at its loudest level and reported that he could not hear any music. Mrs Hinde responded that the music became louder higher up within her three storey property. It had been explained to her that the noise bounced off the river but even so, she was surprised that it could not be heard at street level. If this check had taken place after the application for the review had been advertised, she reiterated that the sound was at an acceptable level after that time.
Mr Thomas advised the panel that as a matter of law, even if the panel found there was a public nuisance in this case, public nuisance was not defined within the Licensing Act 2003. He cited a High Court decision ‘Hope and Glory’ which had ruled that public nuisance could include low level nuisance if it involved a few people locally. He advised that there was only one person objecting to noise level in this case and this, in his opinion, was more a matter of private nuisance, as there had been no other objections from other residents in the area.
However, the nightclub wished to work with its neighbours and had commissioned the services of an independent noise advisory service (as set out on page 21 of the agenda). As a result of this inspection, the club was willing to consider a full service and EQ of the sound system and the installation of chipboard over the internal glazing of the front doors to the club. He suggested that no other action was necessary if the club was prepared to volunteer these works.
(1) The Panel accepted that, in law, this seemed to be a private nuisance rather than a public nuisance but that it was probable that the noise heard by the applicant did come from Amadeus;
(2) The panel took note of the proposals contained in Ross Hutchins e-mail (point 7 on page 21 of the agenda) regarding the full service and EQ of the sound system and Mr Grundy’s letter (paragraph 4.2 on page 23 of the agenda) regarding the installation of chipboard and requested that these took place within the next three months;
The panel noted that if there were any future
problems and the two steps detailed above had not been taken, this
could be taken into account at that time;
(4) The panel also noted the later offer of a 24 hour contact telephone number to allow Mrs Hinde to contact the club if there were any future problems.