Agenda and minutes

Licensing Sub-committee
Thursday 16th August 2018 2.30 pm

Venue: Walnut Room, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Helen Johnson 

No. Item



To appoint a Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the meeting.


Councillor H.Bower was appointed Chairman of the Sub-Committee for the meeting.




The Chairman introduced the Members of the Sub-Committee and the Officers serving the Sub-Committee and outlined the hearings procedure which had been adopted by the Council.  Copies had been previously circulated.


The applicant, the person supporting the applicant and the representative of the responsible authority confirmed their identities to the Sub-Committee.




A copy of the application to vary the premises licence, a summary of the hours in the application, and the representation against the application had been circulated.


The Licensing Officer confirmed that notice of the hearing had been given to all parties in accordance with the requirements of the Licensing Hearing Regulations.




The Licensing Officer introduced her report.  The report outlined the application and the representations received against the application and  referred to the Licensing Objectives set out in the National Guidance and the Council’s own Licensing Policy.


The Licensing Officer confirmed that the time requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 with regard to the service of the requisite notices in respect of the application had been complied with.


The application was for a licence for Ponsbourne Park Ltd under the Licensing Act 2003 for a premises licence for alcohol, plays, films, live music, recorded music, performances of dance, anything of a similar description to live music, recorded music or performance of dance and late night refreshments.


The Sub-Committee noted that alcohol, plays, films live music, recorded music, performances of dance anything of a similar description to live music, recorded music or performances of dance from 09.00 to 02.00 Monday to Sunday and late night refreshment 23.00 to 02.00 Monday to Sunday had been requested.


All activities to be indoors and outdoors.  Outdoor events would take place in a marquee for which a separate application has to be made.




The Applicant gave details of his application and the reasons for wanting to return the house to its former use as a conference and wedding venue. 


The Applicant’s Licensing Consultant clarified that her client wanted to return the former training centre to a wedding and conference venue with a view to erecting a marquee at some point.  It was understood that an application would have to be made for the erection of a marquee in the grounds of Ponsbourne at a later date.


The Applicant advised that staff would be trained in under age sale prevention and the manager would be residing on site.  It terms of public safety; there would be sufficient security on site and trained staff.  It was noted that there had been no objections from the Police and helpful support from the Fire Service Officer.


Being in a rural setting, the noise level will be less of an issue and the venue would not constitute a pub or night club establishment.   The level of noise would be controlled and music would be turned off at mid-night. The Sub-Committee were advised that 5 to 15 weddings would take place next year. The Applicant clarified that the restaurant would be open to the public outside of weddings and that it would be open during the week. It was confirmed that Ponsbourne Park Limited already operate another very successful premises in the Chiltern area which caters for all corporate and wedding events.  The Applicant’s Licensing Consultant further confirmed that her client wishes to develop a thriving business for the area and operate in line with their other successful premises. Also it would create jobs for the local community.  It was also clarified that the marquee would be soundproofed to minimise the noise.  The Applicant was aware of the Tennis Courts and horses nearby in the equestrian grounds.  The Applicant advised that any clients would require a vehicle to attend the venue due to its location.




Two written representations were made against the application as set out in the paper which had been circulated to all members of the Sub-Committee and the Applicant. The two residents were not present at the hearing.




The Sub-Committee asked about noise levels and whether there would be any fireworks at events and it was confirmed by the Applicant’s Licensing Consultant that no fireworks would be used at the premises.  It was further confirmed that noise levels/sound would be contained to ‘appropriate levels’.


Members sought clarification in terms of licensable activity for films, plays as there may be events such a murder mystery or team building exercises at the premises.  It was confirmed by the Applicant’s Licensing Consultant that these events would all take place indoors.


A question was raised in respect of an application for the proposed marquee and it was confirmed by the Applicant’s Licensing Consultant that a separate application would be made at a later date.  It was further confirmed that there would be spa facilities created.




The Sub-Committee retired from the hearing at 3.00pm to deliberate and reconvened at 3.30pm.


The Chairman notified the hearing, that following careful consideration of the representations made, the Sub-Committee considered the evidence presented by the Licencing Officer and by the Applicants (Ponsbourne Park Ltd), presented by Sarah Hills of Hills Ltd (Licensing Consultant). The Sub-Committee also took into account the objectives of two of the local residents. The Committee further considered the licencing objectives under the Licensing Act 2003, together with the guidance issued under s182 of the Licensing Act 2003. Given the need to ensure compliance with those objectives, and the guidance, and taking into account all the evidence provided, the Sub-Committee decided to grant the license as follows:-


(1)       To accept the concessions already offered by the applicant and in addition


(2)       The times of the licence to be Mon-Thu from 09:00 – 00:00


(3)       The times for any Bank Holiday Sundays to be 09:00 – 02:00


(4)       For live and recorded music to be inside the premises only


(5)       For plays and films to be inside the premises only


(6)       All outside activities will be dealt with under a separate application for the marquee at a later date.