Note: This application will not be heard before 2.00pm
The Sub-Committee considered an application for a new premises license to authorise the provision of regulated entertainment, provision of late night refreshment and the sale of alcohol for consumption on and off the premises at the Grand Hotel, Morton Crescent, Exmouth.
The Chair introduced the East Devon District Council Officers present.
The applicant, Axcel Hospitality (Exmouth) Limited, entitled to make representations, was represented by Mr Angus Gloag of Clerksroom, with Mr Peter Hutchinson also in attendance.
There were no responsible authorities present.
Regarding representations from responsible authorities, the Chair advised that the agreed position between the Police and the applicant is set out in Appendix G. EDDC Environmental Health had stated that no noise complaints about the premises had been received since 2005 and that the applicant had been advised regarding potential noise measures and equipment that could be imposed if complaints are received in the future.
There were no interested parties present. Mr A Rowsell had given notice to attend, but had subsequently sent apologies.
The Chair confirmed that Sub-Committee members have read the documents submitted by the parties in advance of the hearing and summarised representations received which appeared to relate principally to two of the four licensing objectives, namely the prevention of crime and disorder and prevention of public nuisance.
The legal advisor to the Sub-Committee, Mr Giles Salter, outlined the hearing procedure.
The Licensing Officer, Ms Lesley Barber, summarised the application and drew the Sub-Committee’s attention to the plans in the report and the three licenses for three proposed areas; the function room and the dining room on the lower ground floor and the bar area (referred to as the lounge) on the ground floor.
Page 186 of the Officer’s report sets out the Police agreed position following their request for a number of changes to the timings within all of the proposed licensable areas of the premises and it has been agreed that the hours will be pulled back to 11.00pm for the sale of alcohol, unless there are bona fide functions taking place.
As a result of the Police agreements, a number of interested parties had withdrawn their representations with fifteen remaining outstanding from the original thirty representations.
A number of outstanding representations relate to live and recorded music which were not part of the Police representation. Local residents remain concerned regarding the timing of live or recorded music and the applicant has indicated that there was scope for discussion on the proposed timings.
The applicant’s legal representative, Mr Angus Gloag, presented the application and introduced Mr Peter Hutchinson, DPS for the Grand Hotel, and representing Axcel Hospitality. Mr Hutchinson confirmed that the Grand Hotel is currently closed, but was previously a three star hotel.
In response to questions from Mr Gloag, Mr Hutchinson further confirmed that the position as agreed with the Police was accurately set out in Appendix D of the Officer’s report and that the Hotel would abide by the terms agreed.
It was noted that local residents had expressed concern that the intention was to run a night club and Mr Hutchinson confirmed that this was not the case. Regarding the playing of recorded or live music, the intention was that this would be confined to the downstairs area. Noise levels would be monitored and a decibel limiter would be installed if deemed appropriate at a future date.
Responding to questions from the Sub-Committee, Mr Hutchinson advised that it was difficult to predict with any certainty how many functions would take place.
Refurbishment of the Hotel was underway, focussing on bedrooms and public areas before refurbishment of the basement area and function rooms. If noise subsequently became an issue in the basement and function rooms, the Hotel would firstly consider noise reduction measures and then potentially soundproofing.
The applicant’s legal representative, Mr Gloag, made a final statement and advised that the applicant takes its responsibilities seriously and is an aspirational brand.
The Chair advised that all parties would be notified in writing of the Sub-Committee’s decision within five working days.
The Chair thanked all those participating in the hearing.