An application has been received for a new premises licence for MV Margarita, moored at Elgin’s Boatyard, Christchurch River.
This matter is brought before the Licensing Sub Committee for determination.
From BCP Council:
Tania Jardim– Licensing Officer
Linda Cole – Legal Advisor to the Sub-Committee
Jill Holyoake – Clerk to the Sub-Committee
Kieran Clarke – Democratic Services, observing for training purposes.
The Chair made introductions and explained the procedure for the hearing which was agreed by all parties.
The Licensing Officer presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated and a copy of which appears as Appendix A to these minutes in the Minute Book.
The Sub Committee was asked to consider an application for a new premises licence for MV Margarita, moored at Elkin’s Boatyard, Christchurch River, submitted by Mr Philip Day of Lacey’s Solicitors LLP on behalf of Mr Lewis Malone, for the supply of alcohol on and of the premises, Monday to Sunday 10:00 to 23:00. It was noted that the boatyard named in the application should have read ‘Elkins’ not ‘Elgins’.
21 representations had been received from other persons objecting to the application on the grounds of all four licensing objectives. 100 representations had also been received. The Licensing Officer provided an update on her report and explained that a response to the representations received in objection had been submitted by Mr Philip Day. A copy of this response had been circulated as a supplement and appears as Appendix B to these minutes in the Minute Book.
The following persons attended the hearing and addressed the Sub- Committee to expand on the points made in written submissions:
Mr Philip Day*, Laceys Solicitors LLP – on behalf of the applicant
Mr Lewis Malone – applicant
Mr James White – objector
Cllr Avril Coulton, Christchurch Town Council – objector
*Mr Day was accompanied by a colleague, Mr Byron Sims, observing for training purposes.
The Sub Committee asked various questions of all parties present and were grateful for the responses received. All parties had the opportunity to ask questions. All parties were invited to sum up before the Sub-Committee retired to make its decision. Before concluding the hearing, the Legal Advisor advised all parties of the right of appeal.
RESOLVED that having considered the application for a new premises licence for MV Margarita, usually moored at Elkins Boatyard, Christchurch, the Sub Committee has decided to grant the premises licence for the supply of alcohol on the premises, Monday to Sunday 10:00 to 23:00, and off the premises on up to 12 days a year Monday to Sunday 10:00 to 23:00, when the vessel is moored on the River Stour or the River Avon and a charitable or fund raising event is taking place in close proximity to where the vessel is moored.
In addition, the conditions as set out in section M of the operating schedule of the application, be added to the licence, subject to the following amendment to that set out in section M (a)as offered by the applicant:
Alcohol shall only be supplied to Customers who have booked a fishing trip or other pleasure trip(charter) on the vessel; bona fide friends or guests of the vessels owner(s); and /or if the vessel is moored, to persons boarding the vessel during any charity or other fund-raising event (“or handed to persons on board other vessels that pull alongside”- to be deleted)
Reason for Decision
The Sub-Committee considered all of the information which had been submitted before the hearing and contained in the report, appendices and supplement for Agenda Item 5. The Sub-Committee further considered the verbal submissions made at the hearing by all parties and noted the responses given to questions asked at the hearing.
The Sub-Committee was mindful that no representations had been received from any of the Responsible Authorities and there were 100 representations in support of the application.
The Sub-Committee acknowledged the concerns expressed in the 21 objections, many of which raised the issue of the effect of the grant of the licence on the natural environment. It was noted that this issue had been considered by BCP Council’s Biodiversity Officer in consultation with Natural England and it was agreed that the application would not have a likely significant effect on features of the Solent and Dorset Coast Special Protection Area under the Habitat Regulations.
The Sub Committee noted that some of the concerns raised by those objecting did not fall within the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 but would be subject to harbour, maritime and other regulations/permissions. In response to questions the Sub Committee noted that the applicant was currently going through the process of obtaining required permissions and was aware that other requirements may be necessary before he could operate, including the need for the vessel to be fully coded before use. The issues regarding access to and health and safety within Elkin’s Boatyard were not relevant to the Sub Committee’s consideration of the licensing objectives.
The Sub Committee agreed that there appeared to be a degree of misunderstanding and uncertainty in the representations as to the nature of the licence applied for and its anticipated negative impact on the licensing objectives. It was noted that the MV Margarita was a small vessel with a maximum capacity of 12 passengers and 2 crew and that the supply of alcohol was ancillary to its main purpose as a pleasure boat for fishing trips and/or charter and that food would form part of the offer for customers. Alcohol would only be served to passengers on board and not to other users of the water, as appeared to be the concern of many objectors. Mr Day representing the applicant, made it clear to the sub-committee that there was no plan for the vessel to be used as a ‘party boat’ or floating off licence.
The sub-committee were advised that the crew would aim for any day trip to be completed before dark, but timings were dependant on the tides. This together with the fact the vessel was limited by its size reassured the sub-committee that there was less risk for members of the public to be disturbed by noise nuisance.
It was also noted that off sales would be restricted to a maximum of 12 days per year and would only be permitted when activities relating to a charitable or other fund-raising event is taking place near to where the vessel is moored, with a requirement that the applicant give at least a week’s written notice to the Police and Licensing Authority prior to each occasion.
The Sub-Committee was satisfied that if the applicant operated the premises responsibly and in accordance with the conditions on the premises licence, then the premises should not undermine the licensing objectives.
It was noted that a review of the premises licence could be applied for at any time by a Responsible Authority or any other person should there be any issues associated with the premises in the future that may undermine the licensing objectives.
In making this decision the Sub-Committee have had regard to the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council Licensing Policy, the revised guidance, as set out by the Secretary of State and the licensing objectives, as set out in the Licensing Act 2003.
All parties to the application have the right to appeal to the Magistrate’s Court within the period of twenty-one days beginning with the day on which the applicant is notified by the Licensing Authority of this decision in writing.