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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone

Contact: Oliviya Parfitt  01622 602032

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies.


Notification of Substitute Members


There were no Substitute Members.


Election of Chairman


RESOLVED: That Councillor English be elected as Chairman for the duration of the Sub-Committee Meeting.


Disclosures by Members and Officers


There were no disclosures by Members or Officers.


Disclosures of Lobbying


There were no disclosures of lobbying.




RESOLVED: That Item 7 be taken in public as proposed, with the Sub-Committee to enter into closed session for its deliberations.


Application for a premises licence to be varied under the Licensing Act 2003 for Hush Heath Winery, Hush Heath Estate, Five Oak Lane, Staplehurst, Kent , TN12 0HX pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Additional documents:


The persons participating at the hearing were identified as follows:


Chairman – Councillor Clive English

Sub-Committee Member – Councillor Denise Joy

Sub-Committee Member – Councillor Bob Hinder

Senior Licensing Officer – Lorraine Neale

Legal Advisor – Helen Ward

Democratic Services Officer – Oliviya Parfitt


Applicant – Richard Balfour-Lynn

Applicant’s witnesses – Adam Williams, Sarah Easton, Councillor John Perry.


Interested Parties – Matt Lewin, on behalf of Andrea Hodgkiss, Angus Codd, Mr & Mrs Humphrey and Amanda Tipples, Sally Humphrey, Andrea Hodgkiss, Natasha Davidson-Houston.


The Chairman explained that:


·  The Sub-Committee would allow all parties to put their case fully and make full submissions within a reasonable time frame.


·  The procedure would take the form of a discussion led by the Sub-Committee and that would usually permit cross-examination within a reasonable timeframe.


·  Any person attending the hearing who behaved in a disruptive manner may be directed to leave the hearing by the Sub-Committee (including temporarily) after which, such person may submit to the Sub-Committee any information which that person would have been entitled to give orally had the person not been required to leave the meeting. If this was not possible, they may be permitted to speak at the Chairman’s invitation.


The Senior Licensing Officer introduced the report, referencing the application received in appendix 1 to the report, and the representations received in appendix 3 to the report.


The applicant, Mr Richard Balfour-Lynn, was invited to make their opening remarks and stated that the application had been submitted to avoid a potential situation whereby the premises was accused of invalidating its licence through serving food, given that the licence included that the premises would not operate as a restaurant. As there was no legal definition of a restaurant, the applicant wished for the word to be removed from the licence.


The applicant summarised the services provided by the venue, including wine tastings that were accompanied by lunch, the production and sale of wine, a shuttle service for visitors, and its role as a local business and employer.


The Legal representative clarified that the Sub-Committee would not be able to define the term “restaurant” however they would consider the application and its effect on the licensable activities.  


In response to a question from the panel, the applicant confirmed that they would like to provide a greater number of food options for guests as part of the ‘wine and dine’ experience offered at the premises. The applicant’s witness, Sarah Easton, reiterated that feedback had been received from regular customers that they would prefer a wider range of food options. It was not intended for the premises to become a restaurant.


The applicant’s witness, Councillor John Perry, gave their opening remarks and stated that the business was important to the local economy and that the services provided were similar to other wineries. The impact of Covid-19 to the business and the need for business diversification was highlighted. The premises provided high-quality products and services, with the traffic on the local road network stated to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.