Agenda item


            The Building Control Manager submitted for the Committee’s consideration the following report:


“1.0     Purpose of Report/Summary of Main Issues


1.1       To consider an application for the grant of a Seven-day Annual Outdoor Entertainments Licence in respect of Northwood Linear Park, based on the Council’s standard conditions to provide outdoor musical entertainment.


Area and Location

Ref. No.


Northwood Linear Park Shore Road

Belfast BT15 3LZ


Mr. Ryan Black

City and Neighbourhood Services Department

Belfast City Council


1.2       The dates of a forthcoming community event proposed to take place in the park are such that this is the only Committee meeting at which this matter can be considered.


1.3       A location map has been circulated to Members.






2.0       Recommendations


2.1       Taking into account the information presented and any representations made in respect of the application the Committee is required to make a decision to either:


a)     approve the application for the grant of the Seven-day annual Outdoor Entertainments, or


b)     approve the application for the grant with special conditions, or


c)     refuse the application for the grant of the Seven-Day Annual Outdoor Entertainments Licence.


2.2       If an 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. In the case that the applicant subsequently decides to appeal, outdoor entertainment may not be provided until any such appeal is determined.


3.0       Main Report


            Key Issues


3.1       As for all licences associated with the Council’s parks, the applicant is Mr. Ryan Black, Director of Neighbourhood Services.


3.2       The standard days and hours for an Outdoor Entertainments Licence are:


·        Monday to Sunday:   11.30 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.


3.3       In addition, the following Special Conditions are attached to Outdoor Entertainments Licences:


·        Maximum numbers will be agreed at the discretion of the Building Control Service and will vary depending upon individual concert set up proposals.


·        Prior to any event taking place the promoters are required to demonstrate evidence of early consultation and have in place a robust system of dealing with any complaints, which has been agreed in advance with the Council.


·        Any requests to provide entertainment later than 11.00 p.m. must be considered by the Licensing Committee and therefore must be made at least three  months in advance of the proposed event.


·        Should an application to provide entertainment beyond 11.00 p.m. be granted and the Council then receive a significant number of complaints regarding noise or the complaint is of such significant impact, authority is granted to the Director of Planning and Building Control, in consultation with the City Solicitor, to reduce the finishing time for any subsequent nights of the event, in which case the promoter will be required to make contingency arrangements.


3.4       Members are reminded that all applications for the grant of Outdoor Entertainments Licences are subject to consideration by the Committee.


            Dockside Festival


3.5       At the Council meeting in July 2021, it was agreed to allocate £500k to a diversionary and festival programme, on the understanding that, as part of this programme, there would be events on Council land that would have to be organised within a tight timeframe. 


3.6       It was further agreed that all planned events must be compliant with Covid-19 restrictions at the time, with the use of Council Parks for approved events granted, if required, in compliance with existing Council polices and use of Council parks and open spaces. Approvals were subject to:


·        Negotiation of satisfactory terms and conditions of use, including any relevant fees, via an appropriate legal agreement prepared by the City Solicitor, including managing final booking confirmation dates and flexibility around ‘set up’ and take down’ periods, and booking amendments, subject to;


·        The applicant resolving any operational issues to the Council’s satisfaction;

·        Compliance with Coronavirus restrictions in place at the time of the event; and

·        The applicant complying with all relevant statutory licencing requirements.


3.7       Subsequently, at the SP and R meeting on 24th September, The Hubb Community Resource Centre was awarded £44,000 to run a festival programme from 25th – 31st October.


3.8       Its showcase event is the Dockside Festival, which will utilise the Northwood Linear Park to host a family friendly, community event over the Halloween weekend on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th October.


3.9       Entertainment in the form of live bands and DJ’s will be provided on both evenings of the Festival finishing by 11.00 pm.




3.10     Whilst public notice of the application has been placed in the press the date of the advertisement is such that the 28-day statutory period during which representations to the application may be made will not expire until after the outdoor events are scheduled to take place.


3.11     In the circumstances, where notification of a planned event is provided and there being no suitable alternative outdoor licenced venue to re-locate to, Members are asked to agree to grant approval for the events only and issue a licence for 29th and 30th of October.


3.12     To issue the licence, from a regulatory and enforcement perspective, is preferable to an event proceeding unlicensed.


3.13     At the time of writing this report, no representations have been received to the application.




3.14     The Police Service of Northern Ireland has been consulted in relation to the application. At the time of writing this report the Council has not received a response. An update will be provided for Members at the meeting.




3.15     The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has been consulted in relation to the application. When additional fire safety information is available to permit an assessment being made the NIFRS will provide a consultation response.




            Health, Safety and Welfare


3.16     Officers from the Service will engage with the applicant and event organisers in the lead up to the event to ensure all documentation and technical information is in place.


3.17     When received, the Service will provide a copy of the applicant’s proposals to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 to the Health and Safety section of City and Neighbourhood Services for their consideration.


3.18     Additionally, officers will inspect the site during the build of the event space and following its completion to ensure they are satisfied all safety and management procedures are in place.




3.19     The applicant has been requested to provide the Service with an acoustic report for the event. When received, it will be provided to the Environmental Protection Unit for evaluation.


3.20     When a report has been developed for the event it will be considered by Officers to ensure the technical requirements are in accordance with all relevant legislation and guidance.  The noise mitigation strategy must demonstrate that noise from the event will not cause unreasonable disturbance to commercial and residential premises.


3.21     The organisers will also be required to produce a suitable neighbourhood notification letter and officers will agree the extent of its distribution prior to the event taking place.




3.22     The applicant, and/or their representatives, for both the licence and the event will be available at the meeting to answer any queries you may have in relation to the application.


            Financial and Resource Implications


3.23     None.


            Equality or Good Relations Implications/

            Rural Needs Assessment


3.24     There are no issues associated with this report.”



            The Committee agreed to grant a Seven-Day Annual Outdoor Entertainments Licence for Northwood Linear Park, with entertainment being permitted only on Friday, 29th and Saturday 30th October.


Supporting documents: