Meeting documentation

Meeting documents

Licensing Sub Committee
Monday, 18th March, 2013 6.30 pm

Declaration of interests - members are reminded that following the adoption by Council of the new Code of Conduct, any declaration of interest should be made having regard to the new code. In particular, members must make clear the nature of the interest and whether it is 'personal' or 'prejudicial'.

The Monitoring Officer would like to remind members that when they are considering whether the following items are exempt information under the relevant paragraph under part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 they must have regard to the public interest test. This means that members must consider, for each item, whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption from disclosure outweighs the public interest in making the item available to the public.

Councillor P Hyde take the chair for the remainder of the meeting.
There were no apologies for absence received.

There were no declarations of interests received.
PREMISES: Meadow Lane Post Office, Meadow Lane, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 4DN

The Chairman introduced the parties and explained the procedure to be followed. The Hearing Regulations 2005 stated that the Authority must allow parties an equal period of time in which to present their evidence. It was agreed that the maximum time for each presentation be fifteen minutes.

The Licensing Team Leader presented the report to Members, highlighting background information and the representations received. He reported that since the agenda had been distributed he had been contacted by Mr and Mrs Neville, and Mr and Mrs Underwood to give their apologies, and was asked to refer Members to their objections within the report. He also reported that 172 hearing letters had been sent out to interested parties.

Councillor T Neilson asked for further information on the opening hours of the other licensed premises in the area to use as a comparison. The Licensing Team Leader agreed to obtain the information required prior to the Members leaving the meeting for deliberation.

Councillor M Wyatt, Ward Member, expressed his concerns that there were no representations from the Responsible Authorities as he had been assured that the Environment Department and the Street Action Team were going to make submissions. The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that there had been no representations received. After further comments from Councillor M Wyatt, the Legal Advisor explained that the Street Action Team were not a responsible Authority and were not entitled by law to make a representation, he also gave further advice on the process of the meeting.

Mrs J Sherratt, on behalf of the applicant, addressed the Committee. She informed Members that the owners had brought the premises in August 2012 and that they had plenty of experience in running convenience stores as they had been running another store in Newbold for the past ten years. Their Newbold store was very successful, had received no complaints and had passed many test purchases; therefore the applicants had a flawless record. Mrs J Sherratt advised Members that the applicants planned to invest a great deal of money into the business and carry out a complete refit of the building, with up to date tills and CCTV being installed. The applicant believed that the Post Office would not survive on its own which was why the application had been submitted. Members were informed that Mrs Odedra, as the current DPS had a full documented training system and would be operating the store with her Sister-in-Law, who was also a personal licence holder. Mrs J Sherratt highlighted to the Committee that all the Responsible Authorities had been consulted and no representations had been received. With regards to the concerns about the number of outlets selling alcohol in the area, Mrs J Sherratt understood that there were genuine concerns but they were not lawful reasons to refuse the application. She advised Members that the owners were aware of residents' concerns over anti-social behaviour, however as there was a lack of evidence from the authorities to support the concerns that the licensing objectives would not be met then the Committee would have to provide very good reasons as to why the licence should not be granted. With regards to the petition submitted by the applicant, Mrs J Sherratt explained that they wanted to show that there was support for the store and it was unfortunate that some people under the age of 18 years of age had signed it.

Mrs J Sherratt concluded that the applicants were applying for the licence to match the opening hours because they were taking into account the repercussions of having alcohol on display when they were unable to sell it, not because they were planning on selling a large amount of alcohol in the early hours of the morning. She highlighted that the Council's Policy recommended that the licence match the opening hours.

In response to a question from Councillor N Clarke, Mrs Odedra explained that staff were trained and tested when they initially started employment, this was then repeated at 6 month intervals in accordance with Trading Standards. Mrs Odedra delivered the training herself which was all recorded and signed.

Mrs S Wick raised concerns regarding people with alcohol problems that may want to purchase alcohol regularly and asked the applicant how they would monitor and control this, as mentioned in the report. Mr Odedra explained that if a customer was sober when purchasing alcohol he could not refuse to serve them. Mrs J Sherratt added that it was not the shop owner's responsibility for how individuals act once they have left the premises.

In response to a question from Mr R Wick, Mr Odedra confirmed that the store was an additional business to the store already running in Newbold, not a replacement. He stated that there were three family members with personal licences and they would rotate between the two stores.

Mrs M Bonser asked for the justification of opening for such long hours within a residential area which also had two schools. Mrs J Sherratt stated that it would be a convenience store which would be selling items such as newspapers so it would need to open early and an 11pm closing time was not unusual for this type of store. Mrs M Bonser added that there was already a noise nuisance with the other premises in the area especially at delivery times. Mrs J Sharrett stated that this application was for different premises and Members should not consider issues related to other premises as it was not relevant.

Mrs S Wick, Resident, addressed the Committee. She made the following points:
- There was currently an issue with a gentleman that drank alcohol outside Mrs S Wick's house, causing a nuisance and littering. An ambulance had to be called on a number of occasions.
- The six parking spaces behind the store offered by the applicant were unsafe as the entrance to the car park was close to the junction.
- Another premise in the area wanted long opening hours but was refused.
- The area did not need another convenience store.

Mr B Briers, Resident, addressed the Committee. He made the following points:
- The application stated that the business needed the sale of alcohol to survive but he was surprised that 25 per cent would be alcohol sales.
- Other Post Offices in the District were able to survive without turning into a convenience store.
- None of the residents in the area want the store and the Council should agree with the majority opinion according to the Human Rights Act.
- There was already an issue in the area with the sale of alcohol.
- The entrance to the car park was at the narrowest part of Hall Lane which was dangerous.

Councillor P Hyde reported that car parking was not a matter for the Committee as it was a matter for the Planning Department and County Highways. In response to a question from Mrs D Briers, the Legal Advisor stated that the parking spaces were offered by the applicant so that was why it must be considered by Members.

Councillor M Wyatt, Ward Member, addressed the Committee and urged Members to refuse the application. He stated that the residents had concerns regarding the anti- social behaviour in the area as a result of alcohol consumption. He was disgusted that due to the lack of representations from the Street Action Team, the information on anti- social behaviour in the area had been prevented from being considered by the Committee. The Environmental Health Team Manager explained the structure of the team and that the Street Action Team was not in itself a Responsible Authority. Environmental Protection however did consider putting in a representation but decided against it.

Mrs M Bonser, Resident, addressed the Committee. She made the following points:
- She had suffered abuse from people using the other premises in the area, including being threatened by violence and abusive language.
- There had been an armed robbery at the local Co-op store and staff had been badly affected by it.
- There were two schools within the area and the children would be passing the store on route to and from the school. There would be a risk to the children from the large lorries which would be making deliveries during busy periods at a busy junction.
- Bargain Booze had decided to reduce the opening hours and when Mrs M Bonser asked as to why, they responded that they did not want to be responsible for anti-social behaviour in the area.

Councillor N Clarke, Ward Member, addressed the Committee. He stated that the number of representations from local residents was high for an application such as this and they were all related to anti-social behaviour concerns. He stated that as localism was high on the agenda, this was an opportunity to listen to the local people.

Mr R Wick, Resident, addressed the Committee. He stated that he found it difficult to understand how the applicant was relying on alcohol sales to make the business viable when the previous owners ran the Post Office for 24 years without an alcohol licence.

Mr T Bottle, Resident, addressed the Committee. He commented that he thought it was strange that as the Government and NHS were concerned with alcohol consumption that the Council were encouraging another licensed premises. The Legal Advisor stated that as an Authority, the Council had to comply with the legislation which in this case was the Licensing Act. If Members did not take into account the legal position, the Council would be open to legal action.

As requested earlier in the meeting, the Licensing Team Leader gave the opening hours for the Midlands Co-op and Bargain Booze stores.

The applicant's representative and the interested parties made brief closing speeches reiterating points made earlier in the hearing.

At 7.50pm the Sub Committee adjourned to consider its decision and reconvened at 8.25pm.


The application be granted as submitted with the amendment agreed by Trading Standards regarding the Challenge 25 Policy as per appendix 3 of the report.
Published on Wednesday, 27th March, 2013
The meeting commenced at 6.30pm and closed at 8.27pm.

Attendance Details

Councillors J Cotterill, P Hyde and T Neilson.

Officers: Mr D Gill, Mr S Eyre, Mr L Mansfield and Mrs R Wallace.

Applicant: Mr V Odedra and Mrs L Odedra (applicants), and Ms G Sherratt (Licensing Matters representing applicants).

Interested Parties: Councillors N Clarke and M B Wyatt (Ward Members), Mrs M Bonser, Mr T Bottle, Mr B Briers, Mrs D Briers, Mr R Wick and Mrs S Wick (Local Residents).