Agenda item

Application for a new Premise Licence under the Licensing Act 2003 for Allington Castle, Castle Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 0NB


The persons participating in the hearing were identified as follows:


Chairman – Councillor English


Committee Member – Councillor Hinder


Committee Member – Councillor Springett


Legal Advisor –Helen Ward


Democratic Services Officer – Miss Oliviya Parfitt


Senior Licensing Officer – Lorraine Neale


Applicant – Mr Peter Olliver


Applicant’s Witness – Kerrie Gibson


Other Parties – Mr Alex Dimmick


All parties confirmed that they were aware of the Sub-Committee haring procedure and had each received a copy of the hearing procedure document.


The Sub-Committee confirmed that they had read the papers and the additional documentation provided by the other parties.


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 they 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 and outlined the requested hours for the provision of live and recorded indoor music and alcohol. The purpose of the licence would be to allow the premises to operate as a wedding venue.


One objection had been received and was contained within Appendix 3 to the report. The objection expressed concerns relating to public nuisance and public safety, specifically an increase in inappropriate behaviour and noise nuisance. There were concerns that the local road network was unsuited to the increased number of vehicles that would be visiting the site, with no pavements to secure the safety of pedestrians.


The Senior Licensing Officer stated that the objector had submitted a response to the applicant’s initial response to their concerns, which had been shared with the Sub-Committee.


The applicant was invited to make their opening statement and stated that drivers had to undertake due diligence in navigating the local area, but that pedestrians and car were able to pass one another. It was not felt that the level of traffic would be significantly impacted if the licence was granted. The venue would only be accessible to the attendees’ vehicles for a short amount of time, with an hour given as an example, after which time the gates would be closed.


The applicant’s witness was invited to make their opening statement and referenced the multiple temporary event notices that had been used in the past. No complaints had been received.


In response to questions from the Sub-Committee Members, the applicant confirmed that the road referred to, which led up to the venue, was a single-track road for approximately 200 metres. There were passing points in place to aid traffic flow. The applicant’s witness stated that if a wedding took place at the venue, the guests would usually arrive between 1-1.30 p.m., with the venue to close at midnight. 


The objector was invited to make their opening statement. It was felt that the local roads’ passing points would not be able to cope with an increase in vehicle traffic, with the narrow turnings highlighted. It was stated that one of the passing points was a resident’s driveway. The applicant responded to state that two vehicles could pass one another at certain points of the road network.


The objector was invited make their closing statement and stated that local residents had not been aware that a licence application had been submitted. In response, late objections had been sent to the Senior Licensing Officer and a request was made for those to be considered.


It was felt that granting the licence would significantly increase the currently low volume of local traffic, particularly at night when guests left the venue.

Specific attention was drawn to the road network located by the local railway bridge; it was stated that two cars could not pass one another at that point. An increase in traffic would affect the limited space available for pedestrians. The parking arrangements were questioned, in order to avoid guest’s parking on the local roads. The applicant confirmed that all attendee vehicles could be parked within the premises grounds.


In response to further questions from the Sub-Committee, it was reconfirmed that no complaints had been received from previous events. The roads in question were the responsibility of the local Highways Authority.

The Legal Representative confirmed that parking and traffic concerns would not normally fall within the licensing objectives which the Sub-Committee had to consider in determining the application. The Legal Representative questioned whether the applicant would agree to a condition being placed upon the licence, if granted, for a risk assessment to inform the use of SIA security staff. The applicant agreed to the proposed condition and stated that the ‘Challenge 25’ policy would be in operation.


The chairman advised that the Sub-Committee would retire for deliberation with the legal advisor present. The meeting was adjourned between 10.35 a.m. to 11 a.m.


The Sub-Committee returned and the Chairman stated that the application had been granted, subject to the inclusion of conditions relating to SIA trained security and Challenge 25. The reasons contributing to the decision were outlined.


It was confirmed that a written decision notice would be provided. Parties were reminded of the right of appeal to the Magistrates Court.


The meeting closed at 11.03 a.m.


RESOLVED: That the Sub-Committee’s decision and reasons be provided within the Notice of Determination attached as an Appendix to the minutes. 


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