onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

December 14th, 2008 |

Asda Apply Again for A 24 Hour Alcohol License

You may have seen the folowing comment left on onlinefocus today by a Rawreth Lane Resident. We thought it was important enough to highlight it here:

“ANOTHER APPLICATION RE 24 HOUR LICENSE
On picking up the ASDA rubbish from my front garden I picked up a Licensing Notification re ASDA applying to be able to supply alcohol twenty four hours a day, seven days a week & to include the provision of late night refreshment from 2300 hours to 0500 hours the following morning seven days a week.
I’m not sure how many local residents are aware of this application. Any representations by interested parties must be received in writing by the Licensing Authority no later than 8th January 2009″

It accordance with the law on licensing, we are not making any comments of our own right now – though everyone else is free to do so.

Asda did try to apply once before, and at that stage Onlinefocus reader Corey Vost provided the folowing information:

‘Shops, stores and supermarkets should normally be free to provide sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises at any times when the retail outlet is open for shopping unless there are good reasons based on the licensing objectives for restricting those hours. For example a limitation may be appropriate following police representations in the case of some shops known to be a focus of disorder and disturbance because youths gather there’

The application number is 08/00741/LAPREV and you can view it here

You can comment online.

The expiry date for consultations is indeed 08/01/2009.

38 Responses to “Asda Apply Again for A 24 Hour Alcohol License”

  1. 1
    Corey:

    If anyone wants to use my comment from last year, and want to quote it, it is an extract from the Revised guidance made under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003.

    Obviously the problem with youths congretating outside ASDA has not been solved, and from what I have seen not even tackled by ASDA.

  2. 2
    Corey:

    I have submitted my objection to this application on the grounds of public nuisance. I have said..

    “Last year, ASDA made a similiar application, and that was rejected. At that time last year, I objected, and the grounds for my objections this year remain this same.

    An extract from the Revised guidance made under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 quotes ‘Shops, stores and supermarkets should normally be free to provide sales of alcohol for consumption off the premises at any times when the retail outlet is open for shopping unless there are good reasons based on the licensing objectives for restricting those hours. For example a limitation may be appropriate following police representations in the case of some shops known to be a focus of disorder and disturbance because youths gather there’

    I personally have complained to the police numerous times concerning the gathering of youths outside ASDA and the public nuisance caused by them. ASDA show little consideration with regard to this and allow the youths to congregate outside of their shop and within its smoking hut.

    In view of this continual problem, ASDAs inability or desire to solve the problem and in light of the comments made under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003, the licensing committee should refuse this application.”

  3. 3
    Deanne Hooper:

    yet again, important information like this is only made available through this website. It would be interesting to know how many local residents actually received something formally asking them to comment.
    A few scattered posters around Asda (mostly on the floor with all the other rubbish) and asking for a response by 8th January says to me they don’t really want to hear our views!!

  4. 4
    Greenbelt:

    Deanne, as I understand it, if a person has submitted earlier comments, RDC Planning Dept. will include that person in any future correspondence.
    I currently have Application 08/00887/FUL Lords Golf & Country Club, received a couple of days ago.
    The proposal is: Retrospective Application to Construct Earth Bund 1.5m High to Part of Driving Range and Construct 5m High Pole and Netting to Raised Bund Top.
    Having said this I have had no notification of the ASDA submission so it works in some cases and not in others.
    Perhaps another case for Admin to follow up.

  5. 5
    Deanne Hooper:

    I have submitted previous comments regarding Asda – over the months related to their initial application and also about opening times. However we didin’t receive any correspondence on this one.

    Does anyone know any more about Asda’s plans for “late night refreshments” from 2300 to 0500, is this fast food or does this simply mean the shop will be open? 24hrs license for alcohol plus a fast food “light refreshments”….. that sounds like a nightmare for the neighbourhood to me!!

  6. 6
    Corey:

    I walk past ASDA daily – there has not been anything on lamp posts outside ASDA. I thought the law stated that these kind of applications had to be opened to the public forum for their opinion, and suitable notification given. Every other application made by ASDA has resulted in notification being posted to me, but not so in this case, which makes me wonder if this is an unlawful application in so much that the council are not giving formal notification to the public?

  7. 7
    Corey:

    I have today received an email from Kevin Doyland, which I thought I would share, especially as we can not object electronically!

    Dear Mr Vost,

    Thank you for your representation. There are, however, some matters
    that I have to address with you: – 1. You refer to incidents that you
    have complained to the police about. Having checked with my police
    licensing colleagues, there are none that have come to their attention
    although they are checking with the police at Rayleigh to see if they
    have any knowledge. Perhaps I could ask you to be more specific in the
    types of incident you are talking about and the dates upon which they
    happened, which might help the police licensing unit to identify them.
    2.As a result of a recent case, the question of public nuisance has now
    to be seen in light of whether or not it affects a ‘class’ of people,
    i.e. a proportionately large number, or an individual or individuals.
    If a nuisance affects only a small number of individuals, it is unlikely
    to meet the legal test of being ‘public’ and any representation based
    upon that objective will almost certainly fail.
    3.In order for your representation to be considered, the law requires
    that you make it in writing in addition to any electronic format. Can I
    therefore request that you write setting out your objections, with
    evidence/reasons against the appropriate licensing objective/s of (a)
    prevention of crime and disorder; (b) public safety; (c) prevention of
    public nuisance; (d) protection of children from harm.

    Please make your written response to arrive with us by 8th January 2009
    at the latest.

    In the meantime, if I can be of further assistance please contact me at
    the address below.

    Yours sincerely,

    Kevin Doyland
    Licensing Manager
    Rochford District Council
    3 – 19 South Street
    Rochford, SS4 1BW

    tel. 01702 318036 (direct line)

    My Response to the email

    Mr Doyland,

    I read your email with interest, and qould like to know when the law changed requiring that objections be put in writing? It certainly was not the case last year and my objection was accepted.

    I live directly opposite ASDA and have consistently inconvenienced since they opened. I have had to make numerous calls to the police with regard to noise pollution caused by youths, unfortunately I have not kept a written record of times and dates of when these calls had been made. Had I have known I would need them to enable my quality of life to be assured now, I would have kept them.

    Perhaps the council needs to realise the proximity of the store to a residential area. By allowing the store this licence you will be allowing a group of people to utitlise the store during early hours, when people will be sleeping.

    In the year that ASDA has been open, they have consistently failed to evidence their ability to be a “good neighbour”, the evidence of which is already held with Rochford Council, we have logged complaint after complaint with planning and environmental health departments as well as having CCTV equipment set up in our property for a 5 week period.

    I await your response to my initial enquiry at the top of this email.

    Sincerely

    Corey Vost

  8. 8
    Deanne Hooper:

    yes I had a similar one Corey.

    So they don’t write to ask the local residents they rely on the small possibility of us seeing a dropped sheet of paper regarding the application.

    Then they give only a couple of weeks over the busiest time of you for anyone who gets a spare moment to be able to respond.

    Then to top it all, we can’t object by email it has to be in writing!!!

    I am prettty sure they are relying on the fact that no one will bother and they can quickly get this one through!!!!

  9. 9
    Corey:

    My thoughts exactly! We have less than a month to respond and over Christmas! ASDA certainly are not daft when it comes to planning this!

    Why is there though, the ability to respond electronically, if we we’re not supposed too, and there is no mention, anywhere, that you have to respond in writing?

  10. 10
    amocs:

    I have the exact same reply, minus the police info.
    Whats the point of this Portal if it does not accept comments!!

    This definately needs to be highlighted more to the local community, as i am sure not many need or want a 24 hour supermarket selling Alcohol to the crowds of youths who nightly congregate in Sweyne Park and then litter the surrounding street.

  11. 11
    amocs:

    I have now been told that as my location is not close enough to ASDA my comments are not valid.
    Speaking from someone that is regularly has to clean up smashed bottles and empty drinks cans from outside my property, and has regularly had drunken youths outside my house late at night, i find this incredible.
    Ok so i am not directly affected, but surely as a local resident my views should be represented?
    Sounds very much like the planning department want this to go through to me.

  12. 12
    Deanne Hooper:

    I think if you are local enough to pick up the rubbish from Asda and be affected by it then your views should be considrered.

    Funny how they won’t accept emails, despite there being a direct link on the website. Only formal written objections will be accepted.

    Did anyone receive any formal written notification of this application from RDC?

  13. 13
    Mike Nobes:

    Obviously Asda have got to the council. If the housing goes ahead then ASDA will be in a prime position to profit from the extra housing and a 24 hour licence will be of benefit, to them not the residents!

  14. 14
    Mark Hooper:

    This is a useful document when making licensing representations:

    http://www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/GuidanceforInterestedPartiesmakingrepresentations2007.pdf

  15. 15
    Canterbury Close Resident:

    There are two copies of the application posted in the windows of the foyer of Asda for all to see. They both face outwards.

    CC

  16. 16
    Canterbury Close Resident:

    ………….. and some rather large trees have just arrived (3.30 p.m.) and look as if they are being planted on the gravel parking area.

  17. 17
    Corey:

    CCR, they were posted yesterday morning.

  18. 18
    Greenbelt:

    I am extremely concerned about this application as I do not understand the concept. If Asda trade under a condition that only allows them to be open from 7:00am to 11:00pm, what will the consequences be if the application to provide “Late Night Refreshments Everyday” from 23:00pm to 5:00am?
    Will it mean a)That Asda can trade for 22 hours per day.
    b)If they can will it automatically mean that as the store is open they can continue normal trade throughout the night.
    c)If not would they have strong grounds to make an application for such trading.
    d)Is the application for the Asda building or for the whole of the site.
    e)If it is the whole site could the license be for one of the proposed shops, a bar or an eatery which could then be transferred to a new occupant.
    I think there is a hidden agenda here. Why is the application as posted on the Licensing Authorities site so vague?

    Can someone please answer these questions!

  19. 19
    Chris Black:

    Unfortunately the government inspector allowed Asda UNLIMITED opening hours…

  20. 20
    Mike Nobes:

    It seems to me that whatever is in the best interests of local residents, Government Inspectors come along and reverse decisions. It does not matter if it is development, licensing or anything else, these faceless individuals work for big business and not what is in the best interest of residents and most importantly not for the best interests of our children. Do they ever come into the vicinity of an area that they are are empowered to make decisions on or do they play god from the safety of their airconditioned offices?

    How can this person make such a decision on allowing an uncaring giant like ASDA the right to a 24 hour license without taking the environment and public safety into consideration?

    If anyone knows a government inspector I would be very interested in hearing their side of the story.

  21. 21
    Murton:

    I think it is a disgrace this application is even being considered for 24 hours trading for any reason. Asda should never have been allowed on this site to start with now they think they can do what they like with scant regard for any one who lives in the area.

  22. 22
    a.matthews:

    Is it possible that a judicial review over the inspectors decision can be made ?
    As in the case of an appeal on land in watery lane which went against the landowner so she took the case for review . I suspect there is a time limit though . This seems so loaded against the residents interests and infringes on human rights .There is a thought anyone got funds to take it to european court of human rights .It should be the licencing authorities function to protect your rights .Priory chase should not have to put up with this .

  23. 23
    Chris Black:

    I think the decision of the inspector was atrocious. But perhaps it was the District Council’s lack of interest in the site that let him do it – remember, as part of the original deal between the District Council and the County Council, the District Council were supposed to have been involved in the marketing of the site. That didn’t happen.

    At last night’s planning meeting there was an application for some two-storey flats in Bull Lane. I voted against it, but was a little bit exasperated when one of the ward councillors went over the top said it would ‘totally destroy the quality of life’ of residents there. My response was that I had seen applications that did totally destroy the quality of life, but that last night’s application wasn’t one of them….

  24. 24
    Kevin Doyland:

    Perhaps I could answer some of the comments made above: –
    1. Under the Licensing Act 2003 there is no provision for the council as the licensing authority to canvas public opinion about an application or even to advertise the fact that one has been made. The law relies on the applicant placing notices at the premises for 28 days and in a local newspaper on at least 1 occasion during the first two weeks. Having visited the site, we have told Asda’s to put up notices at each door, on each of the main signboards alongside Rawreth Lane and at each footway off Priory Chase – there is already one notice on the car park entrance.
    2. We do maintain a website where applications received are automatically shown through the electronic database. That portal also allows comments to be sent to us. However, and without commenting on the logic of the law, it is a fact that regulation 21 of the Licensing Act 2003 (Premises licences and club premises certificates) Regulations 2005 requires that representations that are made electronically must also be made in writing – that isn’t the council’s decision, it’s the legislators.
    3. Asda have applied for a variation to allow the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises for 24 hours each day (Sunday trading laws will restrict those hours on Sundays, currently) and to allow the sale of hot food and drink between the hours of 11pm and 5am daily, to coincide with their current permitted opening of 24 hours a day. I have no indication of what the ‘hot food’ provision will be but, generally, for premises to be able to sell even coffee between those hours, a licence is needed. If they intend opening after 11pm and want to provide customers with hot refreshment they need a licence; if they only wanted to provide cold food and drinks, they don’t.
    4. The Licensing Act 2003 is specific on who can make representations. For members of the public, they have to be ‘interested parties’ – generally those that live or are involved in a business in the vicinity. The question of ‘vicinity’ is not defined and we look at each case on its own merits. In this case it was felt that properties in Downhall Park Way were too far from the premises to be classed as in the vicinity, especially as there is an industrial area in between. There is no appeal against the decision concerning interested parties, other than through judicial review or complaint to the ombudsman.
    5. Finally, the licensing process is quite distinct from the planning process. Speaking as manager of the licensing section I can assure you that I have absolutely no interference or influence from any councillors or officers of the council. In simple terms, the law is so tight on how these applications are dealt with that there is no discretion on our part in how they are made, processed and determined – the only time that there is any discretion is when representations have been properly made and are heard by a licensing committee and even they are restricted by the law and regulations.

    You can obtain detailed guidance and other information concerning the Licensing Act 2003 on the Department of Culture Media & Sport website at: http://www.culture.gov.uk

    We are always prepared to listen to people’s views and answer questions they might have. If anyone wishes to discuss any issues around licensing, please contact either Peter Nellies or myself on 01702 318058/318036 or via licensing@rochford.gov.uk.

    Kevin Doyland
    Licensing Manager
    Rochford District Council

  25. 25
    Mike Nobes:

    Admin, the question of the government inspectors reports and decisions, be they development or licensing, are these reports in the public domain. Can we look them up and analyse how they come to their decisions? These people have such a profound impact on our lives they must surely be accountable for decisions. I have heard from reliable sources that many of these inspectors are not even suitably qualified to make such decisions, this came from a firm of surveyors. Does anyone know if inspectors have to gain a suitable qualification and have enough experiance to carry out the duties that are their remit? Is their a website which will give this information? Do they have a code of ethics, their positions are open to attempted bribery etc. Not that I would accuse any government inspector of buckling under such pressure.

    What they do have in their hands is the power to make many peoples lives a misery. Maybe it was time we found out a bit more about these people.

  26. 26
    Deanne Hooper:

    It is encouraging to see that Kevin Doyland as a manager of the licensing section also looks at this website to note local people’s views. Thank you for taking the time to comment and clarify some issues.

    In response to your comments:

    1 – I feel that there is a significant difference between fulfilling the minimum required by the law in notifying the public with a few posters and an advert in a local paper, as opposed to genuinely trying to find out what the residents of Rawreth and Rayleigh need and want in their community.
    It would be good to know the aims and objectives of the RDC licensing Dept, I guess it should be about meeting the needs of the community, not about ensuring the minimum standards of the law are fulfilled in a tick box fashion. If this were done then although the law may state “there is no provision to canvas public opinion” maybe the department would be striving to find out what is needed and what impact this would have on local residents.

    2 – in reference to having things in writing, perhaps the council could print off the electronic correspondence and send it to people asking them to sign it?

    3 – I would hope that a vague reference to “late night refreshments” from a store that currently has no cafe or take away facility may trigger some further investigation as to quite what Asda’s plans are. Instead we hear that the licensing department have “no indication” of what this would be that they are being asked to approve

    4 – Although in point 5 it is stated that the licensing department have no discretion to make decisions, they then appear to contradict this by stating they have already made a decision that the Downhall estate is too far away to be considered an “interested party”, and what’s more there is no way this can be appealed against. I would have thought an estate within walking distance of the store and an area where the teenagers with the alcohol will congegrate, is certainly classified as “interested parties”

    5 – good to hear that the licensing department are not being influenced by any other party. It would be nice to feel they are however being strongly influenced primarily by the needs and concerns of the local residents and community living very close to this large store. Most of these residents with busy lives over Christmas will not have the time or expertise to work out how and what they are allowed to appeal against in legal terms. All they will know is how this will almost certainly negatively affect their quality of life. Gathering evidence from police and searching websites for licensing Acts will I guess put most people off expressing any view at all!

    I cannot see any benefit to the local community for this store being open all night selling alcohol. I feel all that will happen is further disturbance to local residents, more litter and more antisocial behaviour associated with alcohol use. At a time when government departments are investing money to reduce the health and social impact of teenage binge drinking this seems to be going against all those objectives.

  27. 27
    Amocs:

    What a good statement of facts Deanne.
    I agree that it is encouraging that the Licensing Department have seen our concerns and have felt it necessary to reply, but i still feel that unless the local community know and respond to this, the application will pass without comment.
    To quote a line from the document linked by Mark Hooper :”If no relevant representations are made, the licence or variation must be granted (subject to the mandatory conditions)”. This worries me, does the Law not even consider local residents quality of life ?

    I was very bemused by the statement made declaring that the Downhall estate is considered `not in the vicinity`, because a industrial park is in between the two sites. This is an industrial estate which is 90% closed after 6.00pm, has no shops selling anything after hours and has no problem with youths congregating there. So why that influences the decision is beyond me.

    As for the requirement to display notices.. i have been to ASDA with the view of reading the notices and if it was not for the fact i was looking i would have missed them. Yes they are posted on the Entrance Barrier, and in the window next to the doors, but if you were not looking they are easily missed.
    Maybe a statement from ASDA would be good so that we can hear what they are proposing.. 24hour coffee shop??

  28. 28
    Chris Black:

    Yes, thank you Mr Doyland for leaving your comments – its very helpful for residents to get this kind of information.

    So. essentially, residents have to provide reasons for refusing the application that relate to one of the following:

    (a) prevention of crime and disorder;
    (b) public safety;
    (c) prevention of public nuisance;
    (d) protection of children from harm.

    “Quality of Life” issues that don’t come under one of the 4 categories AREN’T considered.

    Ron is a member of the licencing committtee. It’s possible, though not likley, that he could be involved in the proceedings.

    I’m not on the licensing committee, so I can be a bit more active in advance and will be making my own represenations. To get anywhere in objecting to this , though, residents need to accumulate a list of problems that have arisen so far in connection with of the four issues and the sale of alcohol.

    Perhaps it would be best if everyone who has any items for this list emailed them to one person, rather than publishing them in public here.

    Do we have any volunteers to use their email address as a collecting point ?- if not I’m happy to be the person.

    Also I suggest a newsletter needs to go out in the next week to advise local residents …any volunteers to help deliver it?

  29. 29
    Temple Way Resident:

    I am appalled by ASDA’s sheer arrogance at even attempting to make this application. Again ASDA demonstrate that they are NOT good neighbours. I am also very disappointed in this abhorrent attempt to get this application through the back door which frankly has only been supported by the attitude of RDC’s lax interpretation of the law and application of minimum standards.

    They must take into consideration the close proximity to homes, this is not an out of town supermarket on a retail park and should not be considered as such. This over developed site is in the middle of a residential settlement.

    Local residents have recently fought hard against the sale of alcohol and hot food take-aways in the proposed six units to be built on this site by CORAL (Rayleigh) Ltd. Have these considerations simply been ignored? Do ASDA think in all honesty that these considerations do not affect them too?

    RDC placed opening hours restrictions on the CORAL application – 07:00 hrs to 23:00 hrs I believe. These opening hours MUST also be imposed on ASDA -retrospectively if necessary.

    I note that ASDA are already planning to open for 24 hours over Christmas. This must never have been allowed and must NEVER be allowed again even if retrospective restrictions need to be imposed.

    RDC have made several grave errors over the last few years in relation to this ASDA development and for their own sake if nothing else should not compound these errors any further by allowing this application which will cause further erosion of local residents enjoyment to family life – Article 8 ECHR.

    This ASDA already attracts gangs of youngsters and teenagers to congregate in the area. These youths also congregate and intimidate shoppers in the foyer – typically abusing the motorbility scooters that are kept there and hanging around outside the cashpoints. They also habitually use the ASDA staff smoking shelter. What do ASDA do about these issues? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! What do Rayleigh Police do about this? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

    These problems will only be exacerbated by the extension of licensing hours to sell alcohol and hot food? Who else are ASDA hoping to attract if not youngsters and teenagers? They are surely not trying to market this as a public service?

    Sadly youngsters & teenagers congregating together = under age drinking and substance abuse, increased litter, graffiti, vandalism, noise and disturbance of the peace. Vandalism is already an issue is Sweyne Park this is directly associated to alcohol abuse by teenagers buying and shoplifting cheap booze from ASDA. How does and extension to ASDA’s licence reflect Government Policy in thier attempts to reduce harm and reduce binge drinking?

    The store will also attract so called joy riders at night who will use ASDA carpark to meet and cause added noise disturbance. Are Rayleigh Police prepared for this? How will this help local families? This will have a detrimental effect on house prices.

    Please see some common sense and restore levels of common decency and SAY NO TO ASDA.

  30. 30
    Temple Way Resident:

    In addition I would like to add that I visited ASDA this afternoon with the express purpose of trying to find a notice advising local residents of this application. At first I couldn’t find one, the elderly
    “meet and greet” ASDA employee on the door simply shrugged and said the notices must have been removed. I also spoke to the Trainee Manager who at first didn’t appear to know what I was asking about.

    The Meet and Greet Man and the Trainee Manager eventually found ONE A4 typed black and white notice on “display” hidden away in a dark corner behind a sliding door. Hardly a prominent position?

    NB I was trying to find a notice that I knew should be in existence. How on earth are other local residents who are in blissful ignorance of ASDA’s plans supposed to “find” these notices so that they are informed?

    ASDA are also assuming that all local residents actually shop at ASDA? I know of quiet a few residents who boycott ASDA and therfore would never see these notices.

    I think that this amply demonstrates ASDA’s contempt for the law and it’s “neighbourly” antisocial intentions towards local residents. Again I reiterate that I am utterly appalled and dismayed by ASDA’s cynical attempt to sneak through this licensing application.

    SAY NO TO ASDA!

  31. 31
    Mike Nobes:

    The council would have us believe that their hands are tied. This is nonsense. How any competent authority or government inspector would allow ASDA a 24 hour license to sell alcoholic drinks beggers belief. Thankfully I do not live in the vicinity of ASDA in Rawreth but I have noticed and been told how much anti-social behaviour has increased since ASDA has been built, even their own staff will not clear the youths who are causing the trouble. I would not for one moment suggest that the instore staff should do this, however that is what the management of ASDA believe should be part of their staffs’ duties! The district is going downhill fast at the hands of the current authority. for once, this week I actually saw the councillors back the residents, at the development control meeting when they turned down the application to build flats in Bull Lane. The council know that the government inspector will allow this application to be passed but did back the residents. The only way sense will prevail is if some way the National Government is put on the spot. They have no respect for our way or quality of life.

    Weir Gardens is an example of how peoples quality of life is being seriously eroded by some ‘yes sir’ government official who’s remit is only to help developers at the expense of residents. To build flats in this small area is an affront to the people who live in the gardens. As Chris Black has said it was an atrocious decision, some might say a devastating decision to the residents who will see their properties worth fall even further by this indefensible decision to build flats here. The remit of the government official has to change, to consider all factors not just if the development would fit into the proposed site.

    I would suggest we should all write to our local MP Mark Francois and see if he, as our MP, has the appetite to take our concerns to Parliament. There will be an election in the not too distant future and it will be interesting to see if Mr Francois takes our concerns seriously. The Tories also know that there are County Council elections coming up!

  32. 32
    Deanne Hooper:

    When I deliver our leaflets I will make sure I put a couple through Mark Francois door. As a local “resident” he will be personally affected by this too!

  33. 33
    Kevin Doyland:

    Whilst I will try to continue to monitoring this website during the current application, I can’t respond to each and every comment. However, I will try to address some of the comments raised: –
    1. The role of the licensing section in dealing with an application is fairly prescriptive – we check it for compliance with the law and then process it in accordance with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003. That means, if there are no relevant representations objections, granting it as requested; if there are relevant representations, of arranging for it to be heard before a committee. The only discretion we have is in the matter of whether or not a representation is relevant (as prescribed under the Act) and who is an ‘interested party’ which is decided on a case by case basis.
    2. We do not have a remit to take positive steps to find out what the community wants – we have to take an impartial position and can only deal with those matters prescribed under the Act.
    3. So far as what is requested in an application goes – we can only check that the activities requested fall under the Act. We have no powers to make representations ourselves – that has to be done by the other authorities, such as police, environmental priotection, etc. and the public who qualify as interested parties.
    4. The Licensing Act 2003 does not allow the council to take into account any question of planning consent in deciding whether or not to grant a licence or the times that a licence can be granted until. Just to explain further – the planning department can’t object to a licence solely because there’s no planning consent or where the licence times will exceed those allowed under the planning consent. You may think this irrational but it is a fact.
    5. In this case Asda’s have planning consent to open 24 hours a day – not granted by this council but by the government inspectors. This does impact on the licensing application because government guidance says that a licence should be granted to coincide with the opening hours, if so requested, unless there are, for example, objections from the police on the grounds of crime and disorder. This does not mean that others cannot object nor that an application has to be granted where it can be shown that factors exist that undermine the licensing objectives.
    6. As part of our role in ensuring the application is properly made, we do periodically check that the public notices are properly displayed and we will be following up the comment that there are few/none.

  34. 34
    Mike Nobes:

    For anyone worried about either the licensing issues or the role of the Government Inspectors and their role of overturning decisions made by elected councillors and would like to share their concerns with Mark Francois MP, can contact him via the local Conservative email as follows. chairman@rayleighconservatives.org.uk If Mr. Francois receives enough emails from worried residents he will have to take our concerns on board.

  35. 35
    Kevin Doyland:

    We visited the site yesterday (22/12/08); there 5 displayed and another was being put in the foyer area.

  36. 36
    Kevin Doyland:

    Just a reminder to those people who wish to submit representations in connection with this application – the closing date is 8 January after which none will be accepted. For guidance on how to make representations go to http://www.culture.gov.uk/what_we_do/alcohol_and_entertainment/4038.aspx

    Please also remember to make them in writing, to include details of name and address and to sign them.

  37. 37
    Mike Nobes:

    Also for those people who have not written to Mark Francois MP, the email address is chairman@rayleighconservatives.org.uk As our MP he has to look at all issues concerning his constituents and we are coming to the time he will need to take all our concerns onboard, if he is to survive the next election! This will not be lost on him or his team.

  38. 38
    Kevin Doyland:

    The council has received 15 valid representations to this application, which will result in a hearing no later than the first week in February. All those who made valid representations will receive a notice informing them of the time, date and place and of their rights to attend and give evidence to the Licensing Sub Committee. Those whose representations were rejected may attend but not take part in the proceedings.

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  • Jim Cripps: I see Countryside and their chums ( Chelmsford Councillors this time ) are at it again – 3600 new...
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500 HOUSES BETWEEN LONDON ROAD AND RAWRETH LANE

There's lots of information on the District Council website about the planning application "North of London Road ". To see it , just click here.

The Core Strategy

This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here click here. (2.5mb)

Planning Applications…

If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.

If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.

Reporting A Problem

If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
There's also an independent website called FixMyStreet. It's very good for reporting minor street problems like holes in the road, grafitti or failed streetlights. You can find FixMyStreet here.

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