Merthyr Tydfil: Pub licensing decision
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A pub in Merthyr Tydfil has had its application to extend its opening hours approved.
The White Horse Inn on Windsor Terrace in Twynyrodyn applied to vary its premises licence so it can open for an extra hour on Monday to Thursday, an extra hour and a half on Friday and Saturday and an extra hour on a Sunday.
The variation of licence will also allow it to sell alcohol to be consumed off site, play live music indoors, host dance performances indoors, offer late night refreshments indoors and hold indoor sporting events.
The decision also allows the pub to increase the hours it is allowed to sell alcohol to be consumed on site and play recorded music indoors but the committee voted to refuse the application to include the beer garden in the premises licence.
A meeting of the council’s statutory licensing committee considered the application at a meeting on Wednesday, October 13.
The committee report said that as live and recorded music are not deemed to be regulated entertainment between the hours of 8am and 11pm on any day that the premises are open for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises, no conditions or further restrictions on timings can be attached to the premises licence.
The applicant has agreed to different timings from the ones initially proposed and to conditions proposed by South Wales Police and the environmental health department.
The sale of alcohol to be drunk on and off the premises will be allowed until 12am from Monday to Thursday, 12.30am on Friday and Saturday and 11.30pm on Sunday
The opening hours will be from 11am to 11.30pm on Monday to Thursday, 11am to 1am on Friday and Saturday and from 11am to 12am on Sunday.
For indoor performances of dance, the hours will be 11am to 11pm on Monday to Saturday and 11am to 10.30pm on Sunday.
Indoor late refreshments will be allowed until 12am from Monday to Thursday and on Sunday and until 12.30am on Friday and Saturday.
Indoor sporting events can take place from 11am to 11pm on Monday to Thursday and on Sunday and until 11.30pm on Friday and Saturday.
Recorded music can be played until 12am on Monday to Thursday, until 12.30am on Friday and Saturday and until 11pm on Sunday and live music is to stop at 11pm all week.
For each they propose an extra hour is allowed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing day, bank holidays and Sunday prior to bank holidays.
They’ve also put in place conditions over the presence of CCTV and its monitoring, signs, an incident log, identification and training to prevent the sale of alcohol to under age people and measures to minimise disruption to neighbours.
The decision notice said that the issues to be determined were whether or not the licensable hours should be pulled back further to take into account the representations of the public who believed the “agreed” hours were still too late and whether the outside drinking area should be added to the premises licence.
On the extended hours, objectors to the application had said that the
pub was in a residential area and increasing the hours would inevitably lead to the nuisance they currently experience extending later into the night.
The written and spoken evidence given by the objectors detailed noise from late night “revellers” raising voices, shouting, swearing and being generally rowdy.
The committee accepted that these problems were real and genuine but decided there was no direct evidence that the “revellers” who currently cause these issues are customers of this pub.
Comments were made about taxis and other cars calling at the premises to collect customers but this was denied by the applicant who stated that he very often drives his customers home late in the evenings .
The objectors said that by extending the opening hours more people would inevitably come to the pub for a late drink, who would then leave later and consequently the problems experienced in the area would increase.
The applicant said that he ran the pub responsibly and had spoken to neighbours about any issues that they may have.
The committee said it took into account that the pub is on Twynyrodyn hill which is a main route from the bottom end of Merthyr town up into Twynyrodyn and the streets surrounding the pub and that it is likely a lot of the noisy “revellers” come from other establishments in Merthyr who open late.
The representations from local residents also referred to parking congestion in the area but this was not something that the committee said it could take into account apart from where parking and increased traffic becomes a public safety issue or leads to nuisance.
The committee did not believe that extending the hours and adding to the licensable activities would cause public safety or nuisance issues specific to increased vehicles in the area.
The committee said it was “relevant” and that they took into account that apart from one complaint of under age sales that was reported whilst the premises was under previous management, there were no complaints to the licensing department , public health or the police concerning the premises and this lead the committee to believe that the premises was being run responsibly.
The applicant currently has live and recorded music at the premises but this would not seem to have caused any nuisance, as there have been no
complaints to public health or to the applicant, the decision notice said.
The other issue for determination was whether to add the outside beer garden to the premises licence.
Strong opposition to this was received from one resident who stated
that his rear garden was extremely close to the outside beer garden and that the construction of the beer garden was such that it caused noise to amplify and as such if it were used regularly without structural modification, it would cause nearby neighbours an inevitable noise nuisance.
This was accepted by the committee who felt that an outside drinking area where music could be played would conflict with the licensing principle of prevention of nuisance.
It was however accepted with off sales added to the premises licence, customers could drink there but it was hoped that this would not cause a nuisance to neighbouring premises.
If it does cause a nuisance to neighbours, the notice said this could be addressed under the Licensing Act just like any other licence breaches if they were to happen.
Words: Anthony Lewis, Local Democracy Reporter
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