Contact: David Acton
To determine the application for a variation to a premises licence made by Westbourne Leisure Ltd trading as Strawberry Bank Hotel, 72 Main Road, Meriden, Coventry, CV7 7NF
Licensing Act – Variation Strawberry Bank Hotel
The Licensing Act Panel had carefully read the report and heard from the applicant’s barrister Leo Charalambides.(LC).
LC reminded the Panel that this was an application to vary the premises licence and not a review. He submitted that they must not look at mere ‘anxieties’ and reminded us that no responsible authorities had objected such as public safety, police or licensing etc.
LC also submitted that the hotel were surprised by the objections received by neighbours and that silence from the responsible authorities indicated their support for the variation.
It was helpful to hear from LC that the operation of hotel would not change as the variation was for an outdoor mobile drink server and that this would promote the licensing objectives as there would be more staff, including a manager who would always be present outdoors when a licensable activity took place. This would help manage potential noise complaints.
LC advised all events at the hotel were risk assessed including all outdoor events.
LC also referred to the hotel’s ‘disclosure bundle’ which he submitted listed as many people supporting the variation from the wider community as much as those objecting.
We were correctly reminded not to take into account non licensing related matters such as planning/highways/parking etc.
Ward Councillor Allsopp reminded the Panel of the objections we had already read about in the report.
LC confirmed that there had been no further complaints against the hotel since September 2020.
The panel went into private session to consider the submissions made and answers to the queries raised as well going through the numerous objections raised to the variation. These were mainly due to noise issues historically and concerns as to further noise issues.
The Panel felt it was very harsh for LC to claim that the objections were merely due to ‘anxiety’. The objections referred to dates and incidents of previous noise emanating from the premises. Indeed, the hotel on one occasion accepted there was an issue with noise due to a band playing excessive base.
The Panel didn’t agree that silence from the responsible authorities necessarily meant that they had supported the variation and the submission that claimed the council had ‘highest regard’ for the hotel was not considered relevant when taking into account the 4 licensing objectives.
Mr Gill highlighted to LC that his disclosure bundle contained list of ‘supporters’ who were not from the community and very little if any were neighbours. In fact, some of them were from Cheltenham and Coventry, and not Meriden residents.
There was no reason for the Panel to not accept that the hotel was indeed concerned that their guests were not unduly disturbed by noise and that all external events would therefore conclude by 10pm.
After lengthy discussions the Panel, reluctantly on this occasion, agreed to grant the variation. As LC advised, more than once, this was not a review but an application to vary and the hotel’s purpose of that variation was ... view the full minutes text for item 1.