The Chair of the Sub-Committee advised all present of the process of the hearing. He then invited the Licensing Officer to introduce the report as outlined within the agenda on pages 5 to 59.
Members, Essex Police, the Ward Member and Mr Graham were provided the chance to ask questions of the Licensing Officer. During which it was enquired by Councillor Maney if the Licensing Team had received applications previously from Mr Graham, as it was mentioned within the agenda they had held past events. It was confirmed this was the first application submitted by the applicant.
Mr Barnes was then provided the opportunity to present the case on behalf of Essex Police and in doing so he confirmed their position as a responsible authority. Subject to the additional conditions they had suggested and had spoken to the applicant about, being included to any licence granted, they no longer objected to the application.
Members, the Licensing Officer, Ward Member and the applicant were provided the chance to ask questions of Essex Police. There were none from the Licensing Officer.
It was questioned as to whether Essex Police would be able to police such an event should it be agreed. It was clarified that if required the community policing team could deploy additional officers to the event. The Senior Licencing Officer for Essex Police continued by advising the normal number of officers would be within the area and only if intelligence suggested so, would any officers attend undercover or with a dog unit.
The Sub-Committee then heard from Councillor Hebb on behalf of local residents who objected to the event based on the location of the event. He continued that whist he admired the festival in principle, he felt that such a restricted residential area was unsuitable and unable to promote the four licensing objectives for such an event.
Members then heard from three local residents who wished to speak individually, rather than via their Ward Councillor. They made representations in similar terms to Councillor Hebb, arguing that such an event at the proposed location could not promote the licensing objectives and would cause problems for residents as previous events had done in the past, not only with noise complaints but also parking in the area, people leaving the event and not to mention setting up and tidying after the event itself. Residents stated they felt when events were held at this location there was no respect for local residents living in the area.
Mr Graham was then given the opportunity to present his case as set out in the written submissions provided to Sub-Committee. During which he explained how the event would comply with the four licencing objectives and detailed the event from security, the aim to minimise and control noise from the festival and to avoid any anti-social behaviour. He continued by stating an event management plan had been submitted to the Council and Essex Police.
Following questions by Members, the Sub-Committee heard that with concerns relating to parking, the event itself had been advertised as a non-parking event and although there was a small amount of parking on site this was to be used for the company itself if required. Mr Graham explained he had been in contact with the Highways Department to have the road closed to assist with holding the event as no parking. During discussions it was queried from Members as to the amount of people expected to attend the event, Mr Graham explained the cap of 2500 people had been based on previous events and tickets had been sold online only. The applicant continued by confirming without a ticket there would be no entry to the event.
There were no questions from the Licencing Officer or Essex Police. The local Ward Member queried as to why the event location had been chosen. Mr Graham explained the area had been chosen as this was the local area for the company where many of them lived and were from and wished to hold a local event.
The Licencing Officer summarised her case by advising Members they had heard submissions from all parties who were present, it was therefore up for them to consider the application and whether to grant or refuse the licence.
Essex Police were then given the opportunity to summarise their case and in doing so commented they had outlined their position relating to the conditions to be included on the licence should it be granted.
It was asked of the Ward Member to summarise his case and that of the case on behalf of his residents and in doing so he stated they had made their case; the festival was a nice idea however it was not the right location to hold such an event.
The applicant was asked to summarise his case and in doing so stated the company was a safe operator, the site had previously held events and the management plan had been sent to and agreed with the Council. He continued by advising that noise levels would be mitigated as much as possible as set out within the required plans.
It was confirmed that all parties had said everything they wished too.
The Sub-Committee adjourned at 8.14pm for deliberations and were accompanied by the Legal Advisor and the Democratic Services Officer.
The meeting reconvened at 8.40pm.
That the Sub-Committee agreed to refuse the application.