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Two Brewers Licence Application

2nd of October 2005

Dacorum Borough Council’s Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee met at 2.00pm on Monday 11 September to consider the application submitted by The Spirit Group Ltd on behalf of The Two Brewers. Twenty residents attended the meeting.
The application submitted covered the extension of hours to supply alcohol for consumption on and off the premises from 07.00 to 02.30 Monday to Sunday and the provision of live music, recorded music, “anything similar”(which includes karaoke) and facilities for dancing from 07.00 to 02.30 Monday to Sunday, with extensions of one hour on bank holiday weekends. The application also sought permission to provide late night refreshment (indoors only) from 23.00 to 03.30 Monday – Sunday, with a one hour extension on bank holidays.
In addition to the letter of objection sent by the Parish Council, DBC had received 135 letters from Chipperfield residents expressing their concerns and registering their objections to the proposals. All representations received (including the 135 letters) were reproduced in the agenda papers.
When invited by the Chairman of the Sub-Committee to present their application, the representative of The Spirit Group immediately withdrew their original application and submitted a revised application as follows:

Sunday – Thursday: last sale of alcohol 23.30; premises to close 24.00
Friday & Saturday: last sale of alcohol 24.00; premises to close 00.30
with a request for an additional hour on Christmas Eve and an additional
30 minutes on the Saturday and Sunday preceding each Bank Holiday Monday
(i.e. Bank Holiday Saturday: last sale 24.30; premises to close 01.00,
Bank Holiday Sunday: last sale 24.00; premises to close 00.30).

It appears that the revised times had been prepared following consultation between The Spirit Group and Hertfordshire Constabulary. As no formal notification of the change was made to Dacorum Borough Council, (although they had received copies of e-mails from The Spirit Group and Herts. Police with details of the proposed changes), Chipperfield Parish Council was assured that the revised application would not be considered by the Sub-Committee. However, the Chairman decided that the revised application would be considered.
In view of the significant changes between the original and revised application, the Chairman granted a ten minute recess for us to consider our response. Despite hurried consultation, we failed to marshal any additional arguments allowed under the four licensing objectives, which are: 1) the prevention of crime and disorder 2) public safety 3)the prevention of public nuisance 4) the protection of children from harm.
Phil Waine read a pre-prepared statement on behalf of residents and several of us refuted claims made by The Spirit Group’s representative. However, the only concession we obtained was the removal of karaoke from permitted live entertainment.
As I understand it, from November The Two Brewers are permitted to remain open for an additional hour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and an additional 30 minutes from Mondays to Thursdays.
Although it appears that we were out-manoeuvred by The Spirit Group, I am convinced that if the Parish Council had not received such tremendous support from residents, The Spirit Group would not have changed their original application. I am most grateful to everyone who wrote to Dacorum Borough Council registering their objections.
At the Parish Council Meeting held on the evening of 12 September, members agreed unanimously to question the Licensing Sub-Committee’s decision to allow the revised application to be considered without due notice having been received. Members also agreed to seek legal advice on the validity of the licence granted in these circumstances. All future developments will be published in Chipperfield News.
Liz Holliday, Chairman, Chipperfield Parish Council

 
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