Agenda item

Agenda item

Application for a Variation to a Premises Licence

PREMISES: The Lamb Inn, Ashby de la Zouch


APPLICANT: Alex Stanley


To determine an application for a premises licence in respect of the above.


Representations have been received from one interested party. A Notice of Hearing inviting them to attend has been sent. If they fail to attend, the hearing can be held in their absence or adjourned.


The following documents are attached:-


a)    Report of the Licensing Enforcement Officer


At the beginning of the Hearing, the authority shall explain to the parties the procedure it is proposed to follow. The Hearing shall take the form of a discussion led by the authority and cross-examination shall not be permitted unless it is required to consider the representations


The Chairman introduced the parties and outlined the procedure to be followed.


The Hearing Regulations 2005 state that the Authority must allow parties an equal period of time in which to present their evidence. He advised that he was minded to allow a maximum time limit for each presentation of ten minutes and this was agreed.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer presented the report to members, highlighting background information and representations received. It was confirmed that the variation which had been sought concerned the extension of supply by retail of alcohol by an additional hour to the current licence on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.


It was noted that the Craft Union Pub Company Limited had held discussions with the police and it had been agreed that 3 additional conditions would be added to the licence. Officers confirmed that they were satisfied that correct notification procedures had been followed.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer informed the meeting that there were many other licensed properties in the immediate vicinity of The Lamb Inn and that these had comparable opening hours and licensable activities.


The Chair invited the applicant’s representation.


The applicant informed the committee that the Craft Union Pub Company was an experienced operator and that The Lamb Inn was a well run premises, situated within a busy commercial area. The Craft Union Pub Company operated approximately 450 premises around the country. The applicant confirmed that they had held a meeting with the local police force who were satisfied with the proposals and that no representations had been made from residents or other responsible authorities. There was no evidence that any of the crimes included in the crime statistics relied on by the objector had occurred in or were directly associated with the Lamb Inn. The objection from the Town Council was therefore pure speculation about what may happen.


The Chairman invited the objectors to make their representations. 


Town Councillor Geraint Jones spoke on behalf of Ashby de la Zouch Town Council and informed the panel that the Town Council had unanimously resolved to object, specifically on the grounds of extending the operating hours. The Town Council had no objections to the second part of the application which included the addition of further conditions.


The objection centred around the potential for an increase in crime and disorder, which the Town Council asserted had markedly increased in 2022. Town Councillor Jones concurred that the Covid-19 pandemic may have skewed crime levels but claimed that crime had increased and also alleged that most of this had been “in the vicinity” of The Lamb Inn. It was asserted that an increase in operating hours may encourage other operators to apply to open later. The increased burden on the police, should the application be granted and crime levels increase, was also raised as a concern. Anecdotal evidence was provided which related to clientele of The Lamb leaving the premises and walking in the road and it was also observed that taxis had been seen to be parked unsafely outside of the premises.


In summary, Town Councillor Jones clarified that there had been no objection to the second part of the application but that the Town Council had grave concerns with regards to the potential for increased crime and disorder.


The Chair enquired how many licensed premises operated on Bath Street and was advised that there was 1, which was acknowledged to be less than on Market Street, where The Lamb Inn operates. The Chair pointed out that there had been more incidents and reports of problems on Bath Street than on Market Street and suggested that it had been people, not pubs, which had caused the problems.


The Licensing Officer wished to address the issue raised around taxis parking unsafely outside of the premises. He acknowledged that the Licensing Team were aware of this problem and following investigation, understood that it had been caused by door staff using the parking spaces in the taxi rank. He confirmed that this was the subject of ongoing work for the Licensing Team.


A member questioned the crime figures as it was noted that crime figures from previous years would not be subject to a fair comparison, given the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic had made and it was asserted that given the impact of the pandemic on the industry, these figures were not reasonably comparable.


The applicant was invited to ask any questions but had none so were therefore invited to present their closing speech.


The Applicant’s representative highlighted the fact that there had been no objections or concerns from the Police or Environmental Health and only one residential objection had been received, which had been submitted by a member of Ashby Town Council.


He also asserted as the police had made no objections, there would be no real concerns and that the issue which the Town Council had raised was a very general issue and not connected to The Lamb Inn. He also referred the Sub-Committee to the Statutory Guidance which states that licensees are only expected to impact the behaviour of customers in the immediate vicinity of their premises, they cannot be expected to manage the behaviour of customers once they are beyond the direct management of the licence holder and their staff.



At 10.55am the Sub Committee adjourned to consider its decision.


At 11.33am the meeting reconvened and at the request if the Chairman, the Legal Advisor read out the decision notice. The Chairman advised that it be agreed by the panel that the application be granted.



Supporting documents: