Agenda item

Agenda item

Application for the Review of a Premises Licence

PREMISES:    The Chequered Flag, 32 Borough Street, Castle Donington, Derby, DE74 2LA


APPLICANT: Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service


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


Representations have been received from two responsible authorities. A notice of

hearing inviting them to attend has been sent to each of them. 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 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 limit for each presentation be ten minutes.


The Licensing Enforcement Officer presented the report to Members, highlighting background information and representations received. 


There were no questions for the Licensing Enforcement Officer.


The applicant, Mr C Abadie had nothing further to add than what was included within the report or the Licensing Enforcement Officer’s presentation.


In response to a question from Councillor K Merrie, Mr C Abadie could not comment on the other premises in Castle Donington as he had not undertaken any other fire safety inspections.


Ms L Richardson-Lewty addressed the Sub Committee on behalf of Mr R Sandham, the premises licence holder.  She explained that the premises was very small with a very welcoming atmosphere, which generally attracted older clientele.  It was reported that until the current review, there had been no incidents of crime and disorder in the five years that Mr R Sandham had owned the business and the police had only been called twice due to a troublesome customer.  She confirmed that Mr R Sandham was well aware of the reasons why the review had been instigated, and had worked very hard in the past week to address each issue raised within the report.  Ms L Richardson-Lewty expressed her concerns that the notice of the hearing had not been served as a hard copy, only electronically and was disappointed that the report pack had only been received in paper format the previous week.  Mr R Sandham had received the emails of both but was not very computer literate and therefore was expecting hard copies sooner.


Ms L Richardson-Lewty commented that Mr R Sandham regarded public safety with the upmost importance and listed the following things undertaken to address the fire safety concerns:


-        The bushes at the rear of the premises had been cleared.

-        Walls had been painted white to clearly show where the escape route was with more signs erected.

-        All barrels and rubbish had been removed from the rear of the premises and a permanent lockable store for the barrels installed.

-        Fire equipment on the premises had been tested and certified.

-        The first of many fire safety training sessions for staff had been delivered and logged.


Ms L Richardson-Lewty apologised for the missed appointments on behalf of Mr R Sandham, she explained that he was on holiday at the time and had not seen the email notifications; she reiterated her earlier comment regarding Mr R Sandham’s lack of computer skills.  She added that Mr R Sandham recognised the need to spend more time on his administrative duties, especially in relation to letter and email correspondence.


Regarding issues with waste, Mr R Sandham previously had a commercial waste contract but unfortunately, it had to be terminated as they failed to collect it for six weeks.  It was confirmed that a contract with North West Leicestershire Waste Services had now been set up.  The rubbish in the communal area was not solely from the premises and Mr R Sandham had evidence on his mobile phone of his complaints to the  landlord on this matter.


Ms L Richardson-Lewty assured members that the furniture outside the premises had been removed and the correct café licence would be applied for in the near future.  She also offered a new condition to be added to the licence regarding the installation of CCTV on the premises.


To conclude, Ms Richardson-Lewty proposed that the licensable activity hours be reduced to the following to allow Mr R Sandham time to deal with his administrative duties:


Monday to Friday        16:00 – 22:30hrs

Saturday                     12:00 – 22:30hrs

Sunday                        12:00 – 21:00hrs


In response to a number of questions from Councillor K Merrie, Ms L Richardson-Lewty stated the following:


-     Mr R Sandham agreed that he had failed in regards to the communication with all parties concerned and he now understood the importance of carrying out all parts of the administration required for the business.  Ms L Richardson-Lewty admitted that Mr R Sandham ‘had his head stuck in the sand’ and was letting everything get on top of him.  With the guidance and advice of Ms L Richardson-Lewty, Mr R Sandham would not get in the same situation again.


-     Mr R Sandham was fully aware of the conditions of his licence and recognised his failures as highlighted in the report.  He confirmed he understood the consequences and was truly sorry, he had learnt a lot during this process.


-     Mr R Sandham confirmed that he enjoyed his job very much and understood the importance of adhering to the conditions of his licence.


-     Regarding the waste collections, Mr R Sandham was planning on keeping his daily waste in the lockable store at the rear of the premises and then taking it back to his nearby property where the bins would be kept.  North West Leicestershire Waste Services would be collecting the waste from his property.  The Planning Enforcement Officer commented that this may not be possible and advised further discussions outside of the meeting.


Following a further question from Councillor K Merrie regarding the fire safety documents provided by the premises licence holder, the Fire Safety Inspection Officer stated that the fire certificate and risk assessment were not satisfactory due to missing information.  Also, the logbooks were not suitable as there was not enough information in the current format.  He was willing to work with the premises licence holder to make improvements on the documents to enable a positive audit test.  He added that in relation to the notice of the hearing, he had evidence that it was hand delivered as it was sent recorded delivery via Royal Mail and had been signed for.


In response to a question from Councillor D Everitt, Mr R Sandham acknowledged that there could have been dire circumstances if a fire were to occur at the premises before the current action was taken and he would adhere to the conditions in future.


The Planning Enforcement Officer reminded the premises licence holder that he would not only need a café licence to allow seating outside the front of the premises but also planning permission.  Ms L Rchardson-Lewty confirmed that they were aware.


Mr D Flower, Planning Enforcement Officer , addressed the Sub Committee.  He stated that the premises was operating outside its licence by having tables and chairs on the pavement in front of the building.  He explained that Mr R Sandham attended a meeting in 2018 regarding advice for a café licence, which was followed up by an email.  Following the meeting, a number of chasing emails and phone calls were made with no response.  Mr D Flower pointed out that although Mr R Sandham claimed to not be computer literate; he successfully emailed photographic evidence regarding other breaches of conditions when required.  Mr D Flower visited the premises in April 2019, spoke at length with Mr Sandham, and sent written correspondence on many occasions, all of which was ignored.  Mr D Flower felt the issue in this case was very poor communication as many of the problems with the premises could have been addressed sooner if Mr R Sandham was to follow the advice given.


Ms A Badani, Environmental Health Officer, addressed the Sub Committee.  She stated that Mr R Sandham had failed to produce a waste carrier licence for the disposal of his waste and investigations on this matter was ongoing.  There was also an issue at the premises with storage of waste and barrels in the communal area, which was a fire risk, members were referred to the photographs within the report.  Ms A Badani informed members of an ongoing noise complaint from a neighbour to the premises.  A noise assessment has indicated that there was an issue with noise from the patrons using the footpath outside the premises.  Investigations regarding the noise emitting from inside the premises were still being undertaken.


In response to a question from Councillor J Clarke, the Environmental Health Officer confirmed that there had also been noise complaints regarding the neighbouring licensed premises in the past but improvements had been made and they had always complied with conditions.


In response to a question from Ms L Richardson-Lewty, the Environmental Health Officer confirmed that she was aware that the neighbouring licensed premises had motorcycle groups visiting on Thursday evenings, which created noise, but investigations concluded the noise in relation to the complaint was emitted from the Chequered Flag.


All parties gave a brief closing statement, reiterating comments made previously in the meeting.


At 7.22pm the Sub Committee adjourned to consider its decision.  It reconvened at 7.50pm.




In order to promote the licensing objectives this Sub Committee added the following conditions to the premises licence:


1.      Upon receipt of fire safety audit reports all recommendations/actions therein shall be complied with within 60 days of receipt


2.      All staff shall receive 6monthly training on fire safety legislation and on their responsibilities with regard to licensing legislation. This training is to be documented and presented to a member of a responsible authority upon request


3.      CCTV shall be installed (by no later than 1/11/2019) and maintained at the premises:-


i.              The CCTV shall cover the entry and exit points of the premises and all areas whre alcohol/money is served/taken and all areas whre the public have access and the immediate vicinity outside the premises

ii.             The images/recordings are to be downloadable in a suitable format and provided to any member of a responsible authority upon request and without undue delay

iii.            Images and recordings must be of evidential quality and must indicate the correct time and date, and be kept for at least 31 days

iv.           All staff are to be trained in the use of the CCTV system and at least one member of staff must be on duty who is trained to download the systems images should any member of a responsible authority make a request for the footage


The sub-committee also amended the licensable activity hours under Part 1 of the licence to:


          Monday to Friday   16:00 – 22:30hrs

          Saturday                 12:00 – 22:30hrs

          Sunday                   12:00 – 21:00hrs


          (New Years Eve remains unchanged).


The sub-committee also recommended that the premises work with the Council to ensure all appropriate notices, licences and permissions were in place as soon as possible.


Supporting documents: