Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall
Contact: Mr. Henry Downey, Democratic Services Officer
Apologies were received from Councillors Collins and Gormley.
The minutes of the meeting of 21st June were taken as read and signed as correct. It was reported that those minutes had been adopted by the Council at its meeting on 3rd July, 2023, subject to the omission of those matters in respect of which the Council had delegated its powers to the Committee.
Declarations of Interest
Councillor McCusker declared an interest 2(f) – Application for the Grant of a 7-Day Annual Outdoor Entertainments Licence for Holy Cross Boys Pitch in that he was on the Ardbone Festival Committee and left the meeting while the item was under consideration.
The Committee noted a list of applications for licenses which had, since its last meeting, been approved under the Council’s Scheme of Delegation.
The Committee considered the following report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues
1.1 To consider two separate and competing Street Trading Licence applications to trade at the designated site in Donegall Square East at Centra. The site is for night time use only.
1.2 Members are reminded that the normal process for dealing with competing Street Trading Licence applications is that the Service will bring the matter to your attention for consideration.
1.3 All the applications comply with the designating resolution for the site.
2.1 Based on the submissions presented and considering any amendments to the applications, the Committee is requested to consider each application in turn, taking into account Section 5 of the Street Trading Licensing Policy outlined in paragraph 3.5, and decide whether it is:
1. Minded to grant and approve the Licence to Mr. Patrick McCafferty; or
2. Minded to grant and approve the Licence to Mr. Christopher Hamill; or
3. Minded to grant and approve the Licence to one of the applicants with additional Conditions, and then;
4. Minded to refuse the Licence application under the discretionary grounds as outlined at paragraph 3.3 below, of the applicant who has not been granted a Licence.
2.2 When minded to refuse a Licence application, the applicant must be informed that they will be permitted to make representation regarding the refusal to the Council, with such representations to be made not less than 21 days from the date of notice.
2.3 As a consequence, the actual decision to grant and refuse the Licence will be considered at a meeting on a later date. There is a right of appeal to the Magistrate’s Court against any refusal on these grounds.
3.0 Key Issues
3.1 The Street Trading Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 (the Act) places a statutory obligation on a district council to grant an application for a Street Trading Licence unless there are sufficient grounds to refuse it.
3.2 Section 8 of the Act sets out circumstances in which an application must be refused, however there are no such grounds of refusal applicable to these licence applications.
3.3 Section 9 of the Act sets out discretionary grounds under which a district council may refuse to grant an application.
a. That –
i. The location at which the applicant wishes to trade as a stationary trader is unsuitable;
ii. The space in the designated street in which the applicant wishes to trade as a stationary trader is inadequate for the applicant to do so without causing undue interference or inconvenience to persons or vehicles using the street;
iii. The area or areas of the district in which the applicant wishes to trade as a mobile trader are unsuitable for the applicant to do so without causing undue interference or inconvenience to persons or vehicles in the area or areas;
iv. There are sufficient traders trading in the street, or at premises adjoining it, in the articles, things or services in which the applicant wishes to trade; ... view the full minutes text for item 4b
The Committee was advised that under the provisions of the Street Trading Act (NI) 2001, a district council had powers to designate and rescind the designation of specific streets or parts of streets as being suitable for street trading. The Act also allowed a council to vary a previous designating resolution in relation to the commodities or services to be supplied in specific streets. If a street or the commodity to be offered had not been designated under the Act the Council cannot issue a licence for street trading from a stationary position in that street.
The process of considering and reviewing the designation of streets is therefore an essential part of the legal framework within which the Council is enabled to regulate street trading in the City.
The Committee will recall that, at its meeting on 15th February 2023, it had granted approval to initiate the statutory process for the designation of 6 sites at Writers Square and 1 site at Annadale Embankment, which had been identified as a result of expressions of interest received from individuals wishing to trade from new sites. In addition, a previous decision by the Committee to refuse to designate a site in King Street was being reconsidered.
Based on the information presented, the Committee was requested to consider each proposal in turn and to:
1. Approve a Designating Resolution to designate the whole street or part of the street (site/s), where it may allocate street trading pitches. The Designating Resolution will include the operational date and may stipulate either:
• Only specified articles, things or services or classes of specified articles, things or services that may be sold or supplied; or
• Specified articles, things or services or classes of specified articles, things or services that are prohibited.
2. Decide not to proceed with any or all of the proposals.
In addition to making any Designating Resolution, the Committee might, having considered all comments, record any reasonable conditions that should be applied to a subsequent licence. For example, these might include hours of trade, days of trade, duration of licence.
The Committee was reminded that, once the site became designated it would subsequently have to consider any applications that might be received for a Street Trading Licence on any of the sites.
At that time, the Committee would assess the suitability and quality of the proposals and might decide to grant or refuse a licence within the requirements of the Act. Any Street Trading Licence granted might also be subject to reasonable conditions which could be used to control the commodities being sold, potential nuisance, etc.
The Members were informed that the designation process involved seeking comments from interested parties, including relevant statutory bodies, through public advertisement and consultation. The Street Trading Act (NI) 2001 required the Council to ensure that each application was fairly and objectively assessed, that all relevant factors were considered and, in doing so, the Council must consult with the:
· PSNI, and
· Department for Infrastructure - Roads.
The Committee was advised that an application had been received for the grant of a 7-Day Annual Outdoor Entertainments Licence for the Tipsy Bird. The applicant proposed to provide entertainment in the form of live musical one or two person acts. The outdoor area was located to the rear of the venue and opened onto Princes Street. The premises currently had an existing Indoor Entertainments Licence.
The days and hours during which entertainment might be provided under the terms of the Indoor Entertainments Licence were:
· Monday to Saturday 11.30 a.m. to 03.00 a.m., and
· Sunday 12.30 p.m. to 03.00 a.m.
The days and hours proposed to provide entertainment within the outdoor area were:
· Friday 4.00 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
· Saturday 2.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
· Sunday 2.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
The maximum occupancy of the proposed outdoor area would be in the region of between 120 and 180 people. The exact figure would be determined when all technical matters related to the application were resolved to the satisfaction of the Service. The number of persons to be accommodated in the new outdoor area was included in the existing overall maximum occupancy of the indoor area of 430 persons; they were not in addition to that occupancy.
All applications for the grant of Outdoor Entertainments Licences must be brought before Committee for consideration.
The Committee was advised that an objection to the application was received. Further to negotiations between both parties, a noise impact assessment was carried out by acoustic consultants acting on behalf of the applicant and the objector. The assessment identified that the limited noise levels had a minimal impact on the Translink Control Room and communication had now been received confirming that the objection has been withdrawn.
However, the objector had concerns that these noise tests had not been carried out during a live performance with patrons present. The Objector has requested that a special condition be attached to the licence to ensure that if noise arising from live entertainment impacts on the Translink Control Room operations then further monitoring of the noise levels would be carried out by the Applicant to establish an acceptable noise level.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service had both been consulted and neither had any objection to the application.
The premises had been subject to inspections as part of the licensing application process and all technical requirements and associated operational and management procedures had been checked and were satisfactory.
The applicant had provided the Service with a noise impact assessment report from an acoustic consultant for the outdoor area. This had been provided to the Environmental Protection Unit for evaluation.
The Building Control Manager requested that, if the Committee was of the mind to grant the Outdoor Entertainments Licence, then delegated authority was being sought to attach any terms and conditions to the Licence regarding the management of noise. Such conditions would only be attached with the full agreement of the licensee.
The Committee considered the following report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of Main Issues
1.1 To consider an application for the renewal of a 7-Day Annual Indoor Entertainments Licence for The Suffolk Inn based on the Council’s standard conditions to provide music, singing, dancing or any other entertainment of a like kind. They are also licensed for any public contest e.g., pool or snooker competitions, and for the playing of pool, snooker, etc.
1.2 Area and Location Ref. No. Applicant
The Suffolk Inn, WK/2020/02218 Mr Tony Clarke,
12 -14 Suffolk Road, The Suffolk Inn Ltd,
Belfast 53 Andersonstown Road,
BT11 0PB Belfast,
1.2 A location map of the premises is attached as Appendix 1.
2.1 Considering the information presented and representations received in respect of the application you are required to make a decision to either:
1. Approve the application for the renewal of the 7-Day Annual Entertainments Licence, or
2. Approve the application for the renewal of the 7-Day Annual Entertainments Licence with special conditions, or
3. Refuse the application for the renewal of the 7-Day Annual Entertainments Licence.
2.2 If the application is refused, or special conditions are attached to the licence to which the applicant does not consent, then the applicant may appeal the Council’s decision within 21 days of notification of that decision to the County Court.
3.0 Main Report
3.1 One objection has been received from a resident living near the premises. The nature of their objection relates to the following:
· Unacceptable levels of noise from patrons.
· Antisocial behaviour by patrons of premises.
3.2 A copy of the objection is attached as Appendix 2.
3.3 Following receipt of the objection the Service tried to facilitate liaison meetings between all parties involved to discuss the resident’s issues and attempt to resolve them.
3.4 Attempts to hold a meeting either online or in person proved unsuccessful. However, the resident still wish to pursue the objection.
3.5 As required by the Committee Protocol the applicant and the objector were requested to provide their representation in advance of the meeting for consideration.
3.6 The objector Representation Form is attached in Appendix 3 and this has been provided to the applicant, as required by the protocol.
3.7 In general, the representations relate to concerns as follows:
· persistent, loud and unsociable noise from private events such as DJs, singers and private parties
· subsequent issues that come fromprivate events being held as the noise is often not regulated
· significant anxiety and tension it causes within the local surrounding area.
· residents are anxious every weekend that their property will be damaged and especially concerned about the quality of sleep and wellbeing they will lack.
3.8 The objector has been invited to attend your meeting to discuss any matters relating to the objections should they arise.
3.9 The applicant has provided their Representation Form, as required by the Protocol, and a copy of their response is attached as Appendix ... view the full minutes text for item 5b
The Committee was advised that an application had been received for the grant of 7-Day Annual Outdoor Entertainments Licence for Holy Cross Boys Pitch.
The Building Control Manager advised that a 7-Day Annual Outdoor Entertainments Licence and a 14-Day Occasional Indoor Licence for a Marquee had been granted by Committee in previous years for this event but there was no current licence in force for the events planned for this year.
The applicant had applied to provide outdoor entertainment in the form of live music on the school playing pitch at Butlers Walk for Ardbone Community Festival running from 25 – 27 August 2023.
The standard days and hours during which entertainment might be provided for outdoor events was Monday to Sunday from 11.30 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. In addition, Special Conditions are attached to Outdoor Entertainments Licences related to setting limits on maximum numbers and implementing a robust system of dealing with complaints.
The applicant proposed to provide entertainment in the form of a DJ for a paint party for young people on Friday 25th August, a dance event on Saturday 26th August and a traditional Irish event on Sunday 27th August.
The Members were reminded that all applications for the Grant of Outdoor Entertainments Licences must be brought before Committee for consideration.
The Building Control Manager informed the Committee that, whilst public notice of the application had been placed in the press, the date of the advertisement was such that the 28-day statutory period during which representations to the application might be made would not expire until 18th August, 2 days after the Committee meeting.
At the time of writing this report no representations had been received to the application. The Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service had both been consulted and neither had any objection to the application.
The Building Control Manager suggested that, should the Committee be minded to grant the Outdoor Entertainments Licence, that this be subject to the proviso that no representations are received within the 28 statutory period to the application.
Subject to the above-mentioned provision, the Committeeapproved the application for the Grant of the 7-Day Annual Outdoor Entertainments Licence.
The information contained in the report associated with the following item is restricted in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.
Resolved – That the Committee agrees to exclude the members of the Press and public from the meeting during discussion of the following item as, due to the nature of the items, there would be a disclosure of exempt information as described in Section 42(4) and Section 6 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 2014.
Update regarding legal proceedings concerning a decision of the Licensing Committee to refuse an application for a new HMO licence for 30 Eblana Street, Belfast, BT7 1LD
The Committee considered a report which provided an update concerning a decision of the Committee to refuse an application for a new HMO Licence for 30 Eblana Street, Belfast.
The Committee noted the update on legal proceedings and approved the following:-
i. The Council shall consent to the Statutory Appeal based on legal advice; and
ii. agree to the County Court in Belfast granting Mr Enda Hughes a five year HMO licence on the standard terms and conditions.
The Committee agreed to the holding of a Pavement Café Workshop within the next 4-6 weeks, the date, time and venue to be agreed in consultation with the Chairperson.
The Committee considered the following report:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues
1.1 When the Houses in Multiple Occupation Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 came into effect in April 2019 following the transfer from Northern Ireland Housing Executive’s (NIHE) HMO Registration scheme to Councils under a new licensing regime, the Department for Communities (DfC) committed to undertaking a review of the implementation of the new HMO licensing scheme within two years of the transfer.
1.2 DfC commenced the Review of the Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme in December 2020.
1.3 This Committee on the 10 March 2021 agreed to the Council’s proposed response to the Review.
1.4 The Department for Communities (DfC) presented their initial findings to this Committee in May 2021
1.5 The final Report and Proposals from the Review of Houses in Multiple Occupation Licensing Scheme was published on 26 May 2023 which also contains the Council’s responses to the issues raised by respondents as part of the Review and DfC’s consideration and response to the Councils suggested amendments to the HMO legislation to improve the impact and effectiveness of the new HMO Act and its implementation.
2.1 Committee is asked to note the final Report and Proposals arising from the Review of Houses in Multiple Occupation Licensing Scheme.
3.0 Main Report
3.1 On 22 December 2020, DfC commenced the Review of the Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme and sought views in relation to the Review by means of an online questionnaire.
3.2 The main objective of the Review was to examine how the scheme was working in terms of the original policy intent which was to improve the conditions for tenants living in HMOs.
3.3 This Committee on the 10 March 2021 agreed the Council’s response to the Review from an operational perspective, together with a number of suggested legislative amendments that the Council requested to assist with the delivery of the Licensing scheme.
3.4 DfC received 227 responses to the on-line survey with the majority of responses (189) from HMO landlords or agents.
3.5 DfC undertook further engagement with BCC officers, landlords and tenants and presented an interim report to this Committee in May 2021. The Council provided feedback to DfC on the operational and administrative/delivery aspects of the licensing scheme following consideration by this Committee in November 2021.
3.6 The Review looked at the impact of the regulatory scheme on Councils in terms of resources, guidance and legislation with a view to identifying any changes necessary to ensure the legislation achieves its policy intent.
3.7 The report sets out the operational issues raised during the Review regarding BCC’s implementation and delivery of the scheme which covered 18 themes and the BCC response to each issue are contained in the main body of the report (pages 9- 18)
Those themes being -
3. Online application process
4. Revision to the definition
5. Environmental issues
6. Determination documentation
8. Over provision
9. Section ... view the full minutes text for item 7b
The Committee considered a report which provided an update on the Motions that the Licensing Committee was responsible for, in line with the decision of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee that all Standing Committees receive regular updates.
· Noted the update to all Notices of Motion that it was responsible for as referenced in Appendix 1 to the report; and
· Agreed to the closure of 2 Notices of Motion, that is, Sexual Harassment (ID 11); and the reconsideration of the refusal of a Designating Resolution for a Street Trading Licence in King Street (ID 242).