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Advertising of the Foxes Den Premises Licence Application & Petition from Sedlescombe residents

1. On 1 July 2009, a local resident sent a petition signed by more than 100 local residents to Derek Stevens, Chief Executive of Rother District Council.

2. The complaint was that the statutory 28 days notification of the premises licence application had been "so inadequately displayed and communicated" and that Foxes Den seemed to be anticipating the grant of a licence as they were already selling tickets for the One Love Festival planned for August. Because of this, suspicions were being voiced regarding the Council's integrity. NB This refers to the District Council's integrity and not the Parish Council's. The Parish Council has no responsibility in this matter.

3. Two other points were made in the letter attached to the petition:

  1. That quite a number of residents in the area affected are elderly. A description of one elderly person and their fears has been added.
  2. Annual events, limited to attendances of up to 500 persons, with no alcohol and external music ceasing at 11pm, "are quite acceptable to virtually all the residents".

4. The following is supplied for information of the Parish Council:

  1. The first notice of the premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 was received by the Clerk to Sedlescombe Parish Council in an attachment to an e-mail from Richard Parker-Harding (Head of Environmental Health at Rother DC) on Wednesday 3 June 2009. This was a list of current applications for Premises Licences & Club Premises Certificates. The Pestalozzi application was dated 27/05/09 with a decision to be made by 27/07/09. The document stated "Representations from Parish Councils must state the names and addresses of the residents they are representing".

  2. Details were immediately add to the Sedlescombe Parish Council website www.sedlescombe.org.uk regarding the application together with links to Rother's site where more information was on display.

  3. By this time, blue notices were on display on the boundaries of the Pestalozzi Estate advertising the application. These have to be displayed by the applicant and details of the font and colour of paper are laid down in the Department for Culture Media and Sport's notes regarding premises licences. There is also a requirement for the application to be published in a local newspaper at least once during the 10 working days after the application is given to the licensing authority. The necessary notice was published in the Rye and Battle Observer on 05/06/09.

  4. A notice was placed on the Sedlescombe Parish Council noticeboard regarding the licence application.

  5. An emergency meeting of Sedlescombe Parish Council had already been called for Tuesday 9 June to discuss another matter and an additional agenda item regarding the Pestalozzi Premises Licence Application was added. This meeting was informed by the Clerk (recorded in the Minutes) that objections to the grant of a premises licence can only be made by persons or businesses living in the vicinity. Also, in accordance with the sentence on the licence list that representations from parish councils must state the names and addresses of the residents they are representing (the Council was aware that this had been the situation when Licensing Act training was provided in Sedlescombe in 2003). The public participation part of this meeting was attended by Debbie Martin (Marketing Manager of Pestalozzi International Village) and Dan Wiltshire, Managing Director of Foxes Den who provided further information to the Council. At the Chairman's request, Debbie Martin's information was e-mailed to the Clerk the same evening. By this time, the Parish Council was aware that representations had already been made to Rother by local residents living nearby and that, therefore, there would be a hearing in accordance with the Licensing Act. The Parish Council decided to take no further action in submitting a representation on behalf of named residents if asked to do so.

  6. The following day, on Wednesday 10 June, the Clerk telephoned the Licensing Officer, Richard Hoyland, who told her that the law had changed and parish councils are now able to make representations on licence applications.

  7. It was decided to hold another Emergency Parish Council Meeting on Tuesday 23/06/09 so that, if the Parish Council agreed, representation could be made to Rother Licensing Department by the closing date on 24/06/09. A notice was inserted in the 19/06/09 edition of the Sedlescombe News advertising the licence application and the forthcoming Parish Council Meeting.

  8. About forty people attended the Parish Council Meeting on 23/06/09 and the Chairman allow them to participate for fifty minutes.

  9. In summary, the licence application was advertised to the public:
    1. On Rother District Council's website from at least 03/06/09.
    2. In the Rye & Battle Observer of 05/06/09.
    3. In several places on the boundaries of Pestalozzi International Village.
    4. On Sedlescombe Parish Council's noticeboard outside the shop from 03/06/09.
    5. On Sedlescombe Parish Council's website from 03/06/09.
    6. On agendas and minutes of Sedlescombe Parish Council on 09 and 23/06/09.
    7. In Sedlescombe News 19/06/09.


Mrs P Raymond
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer, Sedlescombe Parish Council
01424 870508, sedlescombe@freezone.co.uk, www.sedlescombe.org.uk
8 July 2009