Agenda and minutes

Licensing Sub-Committee - Thursday 11th March 2021 10.30 am

Venue: Members to access the meeting via Teams. Members of the press & public may listen to the live stream on the Council's website: View directions

Contact: Committee Services 


No. Item


To appoint a Chairman for the hearing


The Senior Specialist: Legal opened proceedings and called for nominations to the

Chair. Councillor Mrs J C Stilts proposed that Councillor M F L Durham be elected as

Chairman, this was duly seconded by Councillor C Mayes.


RESOLVED by assent that Councillor M F L Durham be appointed Chairman for the meeting.




Chairman's notices


The Chairman welcomed everyone to this remote meeting of the Licensing Sub-Committee, held under new regulations which had come into effect in response to the COVID-19 situation.  The Chairman then went through some general housekeeping arrangements for the meeting and asked both Officers and Councillors in attendance to introduce themselves.


A roll call of those Members present was taken.




Apologies for Absence


There were none.


Disclosure of Interest


Councillor M F L Durham declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was a personal licence holder with Maldon District Council.




Licensing Act 2003- Application for a Major Variation to a Premises Licence - Crouch Ridge Vineyard, Fambridge Rd, Althorne, Maldon, Essex CM3 6B2 pdf icon PDF 289 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery, (copy enclosed).

Additional documents:


The Chairman sought confirmation that all present were in possession of and had read the report of the Director of Service Delivery along with Appendices A to D. He drew the Committee’s attention to the Aide Memoire found on page 3 of the meeting pack that outlined the procedure to be followed during the meeting.


He then deferred to the Lead Licensing Officer to present the report. The Lead Licensing Officer took the Committee through the report, the 4 licensing objectives and advised that the options available to the Committee were outlined in paragraph 4.1. He reminded all present that the existing licence was from 10-6pm daily and the change sought was an extension of opening hours to 11pm. He concluded by drawing Members’ attention to the content of the appendices and advised that the application accorded with the Licensing Act 2003.


The Chairman then invited the Applicant’s representative, Mr Lonergan, to make an opening statement.  Mr Lonergan referred to the submitted application and provided the Committee with further details.  He advised that he would not be calling any witnesses.


Members of the Committee were given the opportunity to raise a question around temporary licenses and the Applicant responded accordingly.  The Chairman advised that there were no responsible authorities present and called on the interested party wishing to speak to address the Committee.


Mr Sowter referring to the licensing objectives raised concerns about the protection of children from harm and prevention of public nuisance. He said that any increase in traffic entering and exiting the parking area would have a detrimental impact on public safety as it was a busy and dangerous stretch of road with poor sightlines when exiting. Furthermore, the increased noise from traffic would impact on children’s sleep patterns. He concluded by saying that an extension of opening hours was inappropriate in the locality which was largely residential and that the application be rejected as it did not accord with the licensing objectives.   


The Chairman then called on the Applicant’s representative Mr Ross Lonergan to make a closing statement. Mr Lonergan said that they wanted to be ambassadors for the area, providing both an enjoyable and educational experience. They wished to build on their good reputation and encourage all groups to visit. All their staff were fully trained, the premises and the grounds maintained, and the barn was insulated with signage outside advising visitors to leave quietly.


In response to questions regarding the type of events held Mr Lonergan said they were largely WI, Rotary Wine Clubs, Wine Tasting and Food Pairing working with local chefs. In terms of music they did not hold discos but had hosted the Choral Society and a band at their annual open day. Both the Lead Licensing Officer and the Lead Specialist: Community confirmed that to date no noise complaints had been received.


At this point a question was raised regarding the impact of Crouch Meadow Memorial Grounds on the business hours. The Applicant advised that all wakes took place in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 308.


Post Committee Decision


The Sub-Committee carefully considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery and its related appendices, along with evidence heard at the meeting from the Applicant and interested parties – Mr Sowter. The Sub-Committee Members considered the licensing objectives to be of paramount concern and had considered the application on its own merits and in accordance with the licensing authority’s Statement of Licensing Policy and guidance issued under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.


The Committee may only determine the application based on the four licensing objectives and it was unable to take matters of planning permission being required, traffic and roadside litter into consideration. Decisions under the Licensing Act should not duplicate other statutory provisions and as these areas were covered under other legislation the Sub-Committee had not taken these objections into account.


The Sub-Committee had considered the objections of all 4 residents who raised objections.


A detailed decision letter will be sent to all relevant parties setting out the decision including rights of appeal.


RESOLVEDthat the application for a Major Variation to a Premises Licence at Crouch Ridge Vineyards, Fambridge Road, Althorne, Nr Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 6BZ be GRANTED subject to the mandatory and conditions consistent with the Operating Schedule terms and conditions in Annex 1 and Annex 2 of the licence attached to the Committee Report at Appendix D