The Decision of the Sub-Committee was read out:
We have considered all of the evidence presented to us here today and are grateful for the oral submissions of those in attendance.
We have heard representations from Ms Jo Reed of the Community Safety and Neighbourhood Nuisance team of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, who expressed concerns the granting of the license would have on the amenity of local residents. This was supported by the submissions of Ms Boxall, who is a local resident and advised of the impact a positive licensing decision would have upon her and other residents.
The concerns are primarily as follows:
The applicant’s premises are located on a terrace and situated between two residential houses. The license application is to allow recorded music between 08:00 and 12:00 midnight Monday to Saturday.
We have heard submissions that recorded music will be of constant nuisance to the direct neighbours of the proposed bistro and we accept that there is a strong likelihood that noise from both the music and the revellers using the bistro will cause sustained and disproportionate nuisance to members of the public and particularly to direct neighbours.
There is also the further issue of the proposed external smoking area which may allow individuals who are intoxicated to congregate in an area where loud conversation will cause disturbance to neighbours who are in the direct vicinity.
We understand that the applicant is not responsible for the anti-social or criminal behaviour of those who attend his premises and then leave; they are solely responsible for their own actions. However, given that the premises is terraced with two residential houses, there is in our view, a strong possibility that noise nuisance from those on the premises could have a detrimental impact on the quality of life and amenity of those residing in the neighbouring properties, thereby causing a public nuisance.
We have considered restricting the operating hours for the playing of music but given the elderly population in the area, it is not likely that there is any time which the direct noise from the premises wouldn’t cause a nuisance to its neighbours.
We have heard no submissions from the applicant as to the viability of any noise reduction technology and in our judgment we don’t believe any such technology could alleviate the nuisance entirely, particularly given the open to air smoking area which could not be conditioned and is very close to the sleeping rooms of those who live in the neighbouring properties.
Design of Premises:
We have had the benefit of considering the plan submitted by the applicant. However, we are concerned that the side door and fire exit, is not in reality an exit and that there is no possibility of an exit to the side of the property in the event of a fire, because the premises is located on a terrace. With no rear exit being apparent, the only fire exit for potentially 50 customers is via the front door.
Again, we have been unable to put these concerns to the applicant for his response and as such we feel there is a risk, on the evidence before us, to public safety.
As such the decision of this panel is to reject the application in its entirety on the basis of observing the licensing objectives of the prevention of public nuisance and public safety.
RIGHT OF APPEAL
There is a right of appeal against this decision to the Magistrates’ Court. An appeal must be commenced within 21 days beginning with the day on which you receive notification of the decision. You may wish to seek independent legal advice from a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau regarding this.