Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn PE30 5DQ. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


There were no apologies for absence.


Items of Urgent Business

To determine any other items of business which the Chair decides should be considered as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There was no urgent business.


Declarations of Interests pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Please indicate if there are any interests which should be declared.  A declaration of an interest should indicate the nature of the interest (if not already declared on the Register of Interests) and the agenda item to which it relates.  If a disclosable pecuniary interest is declared, the member should withdraw from the room whilst the matter is discussed.


There were no declarations of interest.


To consider an application for a new Premises Licence for Heacham Social Club, 13 Station Road, Heacham pdf icon PDF 257 KB


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The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and declared that the Sub-Committee was sitting to consider an application for a new premises licence in respect of Heacham Social Club.  The Chair introduced the Sub-Committee, the Borough Council officers and the Legal Advisor and explained their roles. 


Procedure which will be followed at the Hearing pdf icon PDF 218 KB


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At the request of the Chair, the Legal Advisor outlined the procedure which would be followed at the Hearing.


Report of the Licensing Officer pdf icon PDF 16 MB


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At the request of the Chair, the Licensing Officer presented the report as included in the Agenda.  She referred to the additional information which had been circulated by both parties in advance of the Hearing.


The Licensing Officer stated that the hours applied for had now reduced as the applicant had agreed to reduce the operating hours following objections and subsequently those objections had been withdrawn.


There were no representations from Responsible Authorities to consider and one representation from ‘other persons’ as included in the Agenda.


The Sub-Committee were informed that there was a current premises licence in place for the premises held by Heacham Club, which was in excess of the hours applied for today.


There were no questions for the Licensing Officer.


Applicants Case


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The Applicant’s representative, Mr Warren Mitchell, presented the case explaining how the licence would promote the relevant licensing objectives.


In regard to public safety he stated that the club took their responsibility seriously and the shortfalls which had been picked up by the Trustees were being taken on board.  He explained that a Health and Safety Audit had been carried out and a subsequent repot received in July 2023, but since this time the Committee had been fully engaged in dealing with representations by the Trustees so they were still looking to implement the recommendations from the Health and Safety report and would address them, should the licence be granted. 


Mr Mitchell stated that CCTV was in place and complied with the necessary conditions in the operating schedule.  There was also a fire box and inspection registers for the three buildings and it was recognised that these needed to be brought up do date and this work would be carried out, should the licence be granted.


Mr Mitchell explained that the employee handbook was regularly updated and contained information on rights, training, dealing with difficult customers and how to de-escalate situations.  He stated that all employees would be trained on Health & Safety and Licensing.


In regard to the protection of children from harm, Mr Mitchell explained that the previous Designated Premises Supervisor had implemented the Challenge 21 policy and the Applicant would implement the Challenge 25 policy and train staff appropriately.


Mr Mitchell stated that the Trustees had suggested that underage alcohol sales were being made and he did not agree with this and stated that there were signs to say that minors needed to be accompanied by an adult and this would be reinforced.


Relating to public nuisance and crime and disorder, Mr Mitchell commented that the staff handbook included information on dealing with difficult situations and confrontation and training on this would be increased.


The Trustees had alleged that crime cases had been reported to the Police.  Mr Mitchell stated that the applicant did not recognise that these had occurred, but recognised that situations could potentially occur and staff would be trained as appropriate.


Mr Mitchell stated that staff would not serve individuals who appeared to be intoxicated.  He stated that he did not want to see disorder in the vicinity of the premises, but acknowledged that control was limited once people left the venue.


Mr Mitchell reminded the Sub-Committee that there had been no representations from Responsible Authorities.


Mr Mitchell explained that the social club had club rules and a management committee which effectively managed the club on behalf of the limited company.  This had been set up in 2016 when Heacham Club took over and Mr Mitchell stated that since then the club had gone from strength to strength, with a healthy bank balance and the ability to support a wide variety of activities.  Mr Mitchell provided detail of the activities that took place  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Interested Parties Case


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Mr Full presented the case on behalf of the ‘other persons’.  He provided background of the charity, which had not been in control of the premises since 2016.  He explained that the licence had wrongly been in the name of Heacham Club since 2016, but in September 2023 this discrepancy had been identified and the licence had been transferred back to the Charity as they needed to regain control as they felt that the law was being disregarded.


Mr Full stated that the objection was based on Heacham Club running the premises since 2016 and he had no confidence that they would improve how the club had been run in the future.


Mr Full stated that in May the Trustees had been made aware that the Licensing Act had not been complied with and the club was selling alcohol with no Designated Premises Supervisor in place.


The Trustees were also objecting to the application on the basis that they had a responsibility to the club and the Charities Commission.  Mr Full stated that the club had no status in the 1921 Trust or Management Committee.  He referred to the Applicant’s claim of a healthy bank balance but explained that they had not filed their accounts with Companies House for some time and had requested an extension.  He also stated that the applicant had never paid any Corporation Tax.


Mr Full explained that the Trustees had seen events take place with free alcohol which encouraged binge drinking and felt that the Club ignored the law and the rules.


With regard to the prevention of Crime and Disorder, Mr Full stated that the police had been called to the premises on several occasions and there had been other incidents where the police had not been called.


Mr Full stated that no Risk Assessments had been carried out by the Club and this could result in injury to the public and lack of control, failings by the club had also resulted in an incident with a lone worker accident.


Mr Full referred to the event at the club which permitted free drinks and resulted in one customer having to be carried home.


In relation to the protection of children from harm, Mr Full stated that there had been illegal sales made in the pavilion.  He also referred to FA rules and a complaint which had been made by the previous Designated Premises Supervisor relating to underage sales, adults buying drinks for minors and minors purchasing drinks from the bar for their parents.


Mr Full refuted comments made by the Applicant in that the club was not doing well prior to 2016.  He commented that there was insufficient management prior to 2016.


Mr Full stated that the Trustees had no confidence that the Club would be compliant and stated that the Club felt that the rules did not apply to them.


Mr Full explained that the Trustees would not be renewing the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Summing Up - Licensing Officer


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The Licensing Officer summed up the case and remined the Sub-Committee that they should consider all the information included in the Agenda and put forward at the Hearing today and dispose of the matter using one of the methods as set out in the report.


Summing Up - Interested Parties


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Mr Full commented that the Trustees had tried to enforce control and felt that if the Licence was granted the club would not comply with the rules.



Summing Up - The Applicant


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The Applicant’s representative stated that the club was being run by non-professional people who also had a day job and they were doing their best.


The Club was willing to put procedures in place to ensure compliance with the licensing objectives and move forward.


Mr Mitchell stated that failure to grant the licence would be the demise of the social club.


Outstanding Matters


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The Legal Advisor asked for clarification on what the effect of the possible grant of the licence would be if Heacham Club were going to be evicted and the Charity had served notice to terminate the lease on the premises.


Mr Mitchell commented that the club had received notice to quit the tenancy and had engaged a Solicitor to take this matter forward.  The Club believed that there was no lease involved so there was no lease to terminate.


Mr Full stated that a Section 25 notice had been served.  He acknowledged that there was no formal lease in place, but the Charity wanted to run the social club and take back possession.  Mr Fisher stated that the Social Club would not close/


Decision Notice pdf icon PDF 257 KB


The Chair explained that the Sub-Committee would retire to make their decision in private, accompanied by the Democratic Services Officer for administrative purposes and the Legal Advisor for specific points of law and procedure.


All parties were then called back into the room and the decision of the Sub-Committee was read out.  A copy of the decision notice is attached.