Venue: Virtual Meeting via Zoom
Contact: Richard Woods / Maisie McInnes, Democratic Services
Appointment of Chairman for the meeting of the Sub-Committee
The Democratic Services Officer opened the meeting and invited Councillors to appoint a Chair of the Sub-Committee Hearing. It was proposed by Councillor Sally Beardsworth and seconded by Councillor Keith Holland-Delamere that Councillor Andrew Kilbride be appointed Chair of the Sub-Committee Hearing.
(1) That Councillor Andrew Kilbride be appointed Chair of the Sub-Committee
Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to declare any interest and the nature of that interest that they may have in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.
Note: Any Member with a disclosable pecuniary interest will not be able to participate in the hearing, and should therefore notify Democratic Services in advance so that arrangements may be made for an alternate Member to attend.
There were none.
Report of the Assistant Director – Regulatory Services
Purpose of report
To consider a Licensing Act application for a variation to a premises licence for; Towcester Racecourse, London Road, Towcester, NN12 6LB
1.1 To determine the application for a variation to premises licence in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003.
At the Chair’s invitation, the Licensing Enforcement Officer presented the application for a variation to the premises license for Towcester Racecourse, London Road, Towcester, NN12 6LB. As detailed in the report, the Licensing Enforcement Officer explained that the Towcester Racecourse is a greyhound and racing events premises that currently holds a license that permits them to hold a maximum capacity of five thousand people, as displayed in the licence at appendix 1 of the report. The application for the premises licence variation was submitted by Hills Licensing LTD, on behalf of Henlow Racing LTD to West Northamptonshire Council on 11 June 2021. The application requested an increase in the maximum capacity to 9999 and to allow the consumption of alcohol to be taken off the premises as displayed in appendix 2 of the report.
The Licensing Enforcement Officer summarised the consultation process and the responses received by the respective authorities contained in section 5.0. The Licensing department had also received 4 objections from members of the public which were at appendix 4 of the report. The Licensing Enforcement Officer asked the sub-committee to note the planning restriction on the main gate as a result of planning application S/2011/1219/MAF in 2011.
The Licensing Enforcement Officer concluded her report and the Chair invited any objectors present at the meeting to make their representation. Councillor Sandy Sawyer, representing Paulerspury Parish Council and residents, addressed the sub-committee and expressed concerns regarding noise complaints with the sound of dogs barking at early hours in the morning, and complaints relating to traffic and public safety. Mr Kerry Hollowell also addressed the sub-committee and echoed the concerns raised by Councillor Sandy Sawyer and added that litter was also an issue surrounding the site and suggested that the A5 entrance be used to alleviate traffic concerns.
The Chair then invited the applicant to make their representation, Geraldine Kovac, the Head of Operations addressed the concerns raised and explained that the complaint regarding noise from dog barking had been looked into and this would no longer be an issue as trainers would not be moving the dogs to another site early in the morning. In terms of litter, she assured residents that all alcohol would be served in plastic containers and regular scheduled litter picks would continue to take place after events.
The Chair invited the sub-committee to ask any questions. Members asked questions relating to the number and the welfare of dogs kept on site, if litter picks were only scheduled after events and if any of the residents had contacted highways. The Head of Operations, Geraldine Kovac responded that dog welfare was a priority and that greyhounds were rehomed and protected after they retired from racing and currently 100 dogs were on site. She confirmed that litter picks were scheduled the day after meetings and spot checks were taking place but not frequently due to staffing. Residents responded that they had not spoken to highways, and hoped that a response would be provided through the Council.