Application for a Variation of a Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003





East Sussex



Rockwater Group Ltd

Date of Meeting:

5 January 2021

Report of:

Executive Director Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing

Contact Officer:


Mark Savage-Brookes


(01273) 292100



Ward(s) affected:








1.1       To determine an application for a Variation of a Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003 for Rockwater.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1       That the Panel determine an application for a Variation of a Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003 for Rockwater.




3.1         The application is for a Variation of a Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003. The application proposes to:


“Remove condition 6 on Annex 2 of the premises licence which reads:


“The temporary huts shaded in green on the attached plan shall only be used for licensable activities until 14 December 2020”.


And to add the condition:


“The huts shaded in green on the attached plan will have a terminal hour for the sale of alcohol of 22.00 hours”.

If this application is granted, it will enable the huts to be used for licensable activities (i.e. the sale of alcohol) on a permanent basis. This application has been discussed with the police and follows the grant of a minor variation (which was not objected to by either the police or environmental health) which extended the use of the huts for licensable activities from 31 October to 14 December 2020.”


3.2         Part M (operating schedule) of the application is detailed at Appendix A and the plan of the premises is attached at Appendix B.


3.3         Summary table of existing and proposed activities





Live music

Every Day

11:00 – 03:00

No change

Recorded Music

Every Day

11:00 – 03:00

No change

Performance of Dance

Every Day

11:00 – 03:00

No change

Anything of a similar description within e, f ,or g

Every Day

11:00 – 03:00

No change

Late Night Refreshment

Every Day

23:00 – 03:00

No change

Supply of Alcohol

Every Day

11:00 – 03:00

No change

Hours premises are open to public

Every Day

11:00 – 03:00

No change

Conditions removed as a consequence of the proposed Variation

Remove: Condition 6 on Annex 2 which currently reads: “The temporary huts shaded in green on the attached plan shall only be used for licensable activities until 14 December 2020.”

Replace with: “The huts shaded in green on the attached plan will have a terminal hour for the sale of alcohol of 22.00 hours.”



3.4         The existing premises licence is attached at Appendix C


3.5         The premises does not fall in the Cumulative Impact Area or the Special Stress Area.


Representations received


3.6         Details of the representations made are notified to applicants on receipt by the Licensing Authority using a pro-forma.  A summary appears below:


3.7         Seventeen representations were received.  Sixteen of these were made with concerns about the application and were received from local residents and a Resident Association.


One representation was received supporting the application. This was received from a Ward Councillor.


3.8         Representations received had concerns relating to Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Public Safety and Prevention of Public Nuisance.


3.9         Full details of the representation s are attached at Appendix D.  A map detailing the location of the premises is attached at Appendix E.




4.1         The following extracts from Brighton & Hove City Council Statement of Licensing Policy are considered relevant to this application and are numbered as they appear in the policy:

1.            Introduction


1.1         This Statement of Licensing Policy has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003 (the Act) and having regard to Guidance issued by the Home Office under Section 182 of the act. The licensing authority is Brighton & Hove City Council.  The purpose of this statement is to promote the licensing objectives and set out a general approach to making licensing decisions.  The discretion of the licensing authority in relation to applications under the act is only engaged if ‘relevant representations’ are made by other persons or responsible authorities.  This policy will inform the approach to be taken when deciding applications and imposing conditions when relevant representations are received.  It is also intended as a guide for applicants as to what to include in their operating schedules, always recognising that if no representations are received, the application must be granted.  The licensing authority must carry out its functions with a view to promoting the licensing objectives and this policy is framed around those objectives.  Each application will be given individual consideration on its merit.  The scope of this policy covers the following:


·         Retail sales of alcohol;

·         The supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club, or to the order of, a member of the club;

·         The provision of regulated entertainment;

·         The provision of late night refreshment.


1.2         The licensing objectives are: -


   (a)       Prevention of crime and disorder;

   (b)       Public safety;

   (c)        Prevention of public nuisance;

   (d)       Protection of children from harm.




1.3    Scope


Licensing is about regulating licensable activities on licensed premises, by qualifying clubs and at temporary events.  Any conditions attached to various authorisations will be focused on matters which are within the control of individual licensees and others with relevant authorisations; i.e. the premises and its vicinity. Each application will be given individual consideration on its merit.  Nothing in this policy shall undermine the right of any individual to apply under the terms of the act for a variety of permissions and to have any such application considered on its individual merits.  Similarly, nothing in this policy shall override the right of any person to make representations on an application or seek a review of a licence or certificate where provision has been made for them to do so in the act.



4          Prevention of Crime and Disorder


4.1.1   The following details and measures are intended to address the need for the prevention of crime and disorder which may be associated with licensed premises and certificated club premises.  Conditions attached to licences and certificates will, as far as possible, reflect local crime reduction strategies.


4.1.2   The licensing authority acknowledges that training and good management play a key part in preventing alcohol and drug related crime.  The authority expects that all licensees of on-licensed premises attend training programmes which will raise their awareness of the issues relating to drugs and violence in licensed premises, and that suitable training be extended to all bar staff and door supervisors so that drug dealers and users will be deterred from using licensed premises for illegal purposes and that incidents of violence in licensed premises will be reduced.  Licensees are also encouraged to attend training programmes to help identify children at risk and issues of basic child protection. It is the duty of the designated premises supervisor (DPS) to train staff on induction concerning conditions on their premises licence.


4.1.3   It is expected that the DPS will spend a significant amount of time on the premises.  When not on the premises it will be essential that the DPS is contactable, particularly should problems arise with the premises and that staff are authorised by the DPS.


4.1.4   The location of violent attacks, anti-social behaviour and hate crime or related incidents may be used to justify closing times.



4.3       Care, control and supervision of premises


4.3.1   The Licensing authority supports the Business Crime Reduction Partnership and other approved schemes.  Where appropriate, premises licence holders should be members of the BCRP for the deterrence to violent crime that such membership provides.  The BCRP NightSafe radio scheme is normally expected as an operational requirement for city centre bars, clubs and pubs and is an example of good practice in achieving the aim of reducing crime and disorder and improving public safety.  Well managed pub-watch schemes provide information exchange between the premises licence holders and responsible authorities that reduce and deter violent crime and disorder.  The council will support a responsible licensing scheme.


4.3.2   The effective management and supervision of a venue is a key factor in reducing crime and disorder, both within it and outside.  The police will consider the applicants, objecting to the application where appropriate.  The police may suggest crime prevention measures in relation to, for example, the internal layout of the premises, closed-circuit television, help points, lighting and security staff.  The police may ask for conditions which support such measures to be imposed when licensing applications are granted, eg type of licence, capacity, operating hours’ restrictions.


4.3.3   Following the grant of a licence, the management and supervision of the premises, in so far as it might impact on crime and disorder, will continue to be monitored.  Particular attention will be paid to any licensed premises where there is evidence of criminal activity or any association with racist or homophobic crime.  The licensing authority will keep itself well briefed on the nature, location and type of premises where alcohol related violence and disorder are occurring so it can take full account of the facts and avoid exacerbating problems as required by the Community Safety Strategy.  Where licensed premises are found to cause nuisance or be associated with disorder or unreasonable disturbance, the review process may be invoked, and powers of revocation or the imposition of conditions may be considered.  Conditions may include use of closed-circuit television, licensed door supervisors and earlier closing times.  Such action to restrict the operation may be taken for trial periods to allow businesses an opportunity to remedy existing disorder, nuisance or disturbance.


4.3.4   This policy recognises the use of registered Door Supervisors All Door Supervisors will be licensed by the Security Industries Authority.  Mobile security units and similar systems are in use by some premises operators as a means of providing security cover at very short notice at premises which may not normally require a permanent security presence.  The Licensing Strategy Group has sought to define the standards and operating guidance for such mobile units, which will be in need of regular review.  This policy endorses the use of units following such guidance and standards in appropriate circumstances.  A copy can be found on the licensing pages of the council’s website.


4.3.5   The development of codes of practice and general operating standards for security companies is encouraged for local businesses; premises operators are urged to ensure that security services, when engaged, are provided by suitably qualified businesses operating to recognised standards and who should be working towards SIA accreditation.


5          Public Safety


5.1       The following details and measures are intended to address the need for the protection of public safety which may be associated with licensed premises and certificated club premises.


5.1.1   The permitted capacity is a limit on the number of persons who may be on the premises at any time, following a recommendation by the relevant fire and rescue authority under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. For any application for a premises licence or club premises certificate for premises without an existing permitted capacity where the applicant wishes to take advantage of the special provisions set out in section 177 of the 2003 Act, the applicant should conduct their own risk assessment as to the appropriate capacity of the premises. They should send their recommendation to the fire and rescue authority which will consider it and decide what the “permitted capacity” of those premises should be.


5.1.3   Conditions may be imposed in accordance with operating schedules to protect public safety including where justified:


(a)  provision of closed-circuit television and panic buttons.


(b)  use of shatterproof drinking vessels; bottles requiring use of toughened glass or plastic should normally be required unless applicants can show exceptional reasons.


(c)  use of door supervisors, licensed by the Security Industry Authority.


(d)  requirement of a minimum of a licensed door supervisor for every 100 customers in nightclubs and large city centre pubs or as indicated by risk assessment.


(e)  occupant capacity conditions will be applied where appropriate.


(f)  the provision of designated and suitably trained first aiders.


5.1.4   Where appropriate, licence holders or their authorised representatives will submit event safety plans and operating manuals, attend Event Planning Teams or Safety Advisory Groups and similar meetings prior to large events and shall be part of Event Liaison Teams during such events.  Due regard shall be had to relevant guidance and publications including, for example: HSE approved code of practice for events.


6          Prevention of Public Nuisance


6.1       The following details and measures are intended to address the need for the prevention of public nuisance which may be associated with licensed premises and certificated club premises.


6.1.1   In determining applications for new and varied licences, regard will be had to the location of premises, the type and construction of the building and the likelihood of nuisance and disturbance to the amenity of nearby residents by reason of noise from within the premises, as a result of people entering or leaving the premises or from individuals or groups of customers gathered outside (e.g. in order to smoke).


6.1.5   In determining applications for new licences or extensions in hours or terminal hours of licensed premises, regard will be had to late night public transport availability and location of taxi ranks to aid dispersal of customers.


6.1.6   Reasonable controls are available to all premises operators to minimise the impact of noise from customers outside.  The council’s Environmental Health Department has issued guidance on a number of steps that can be taken in this respect which are endorsed by this policy (see 6.2 below).


6.2 Smoking Advice


6.2.1   Premises licence holders will be expected to:

·         Develop a management plan on how to manage smoking on your premises and ensure that all staff are aware of the contents of this plan, and that it is effectively implemented.  Noise from people smoking and talking can be intermittent, vary in character and volume and be intrusive.  An effective smoking management plan will help prevent neighbours being disturbed.

·         Comply with any planning conditions restricting the use of outdoor areas.

·         Ensure that any structures used by smokers comply with the design criteria detailed in the Heath Act 2006 and that any structures, awnings, retractable canopies, etc. have the relevant planning permission. 

·         Ensure any new lighting to outdoor areas must be designed so as not to cause a light nuisance to neighbours and again have the relevant planning permission and building control consent.

·         Ensure that the conditions on the premises licence are complied with.  There may be conditions restricting the hours of use of gardens and outdoor areas.  Having reviewed the contents of the premises licence you may find it necessary to request a variation of your licence.

·         Licence tables and chairs on the Public Highway under the provisions of the Highways Act 1980.  These licences may have conditions restricting the times that the area can be used.

·         Ensure drinks, glasses and bottles are not taken onto the highway unless there is a tables and chairs licence permitting use.  A system should be adopted to prevent theft and ‘spiking’ of drinks, and reminding customers not to leave unattended items.

·         Discourage smokers remaining in gardens and outdoor areas and determine terminal hours. 

·         Discourage smokers remaining outside by removing/disabling tables and chairs or prohibiting their use after a certain time.  Lights and heaters will also be turned off.

·         Introduce a system that after a certain time the number of smokers outside are restricted to a maximum number.  Staff will be needed to manage this restriction.

·         Employ staff and/or SIA registered door supervisors to manage doors and control customers and smokers entering and leaving the premises.  Staff positioned on the doors can help to encourage customers not to cause a noise problem.  It may be that staff are required to manage doors after a certain time, particularly during the hours when neighbouring residents are trying to sleep.

·         Ensure door supervisors maintain order outside venues and protect customer safety. BCRP supports the use of Night Safe.  Radio net and other pager systems and pub watch schemes can be used to provide for rapid police response and alert other venues where customers and staff are endangered.

·         Position signs to remind customers that the premises is in an area where people live.  It is not always obvious in busy commercial streets with flats above.  By changing the design and wording of signs customers do not forget.  Signs can be located in and outside the premises and on tables.

·         Use CCTV to manage outside areas.


6.2.2   Licensed premises should normally display prominent, legible signs at exits reminding customers to leave in a quiet, peaceful, orderly manner.

8          Integration of Strategies


8.1    The licensing authority shall secure the proper integration of this policy with local crime prevention, planning policy, transport, tourism and cultural strategies by: -

·         Liaising and consulting with the Sussex Police, Community Safety Forum, Sustainability Commission representatives and following the guidance in community safety and crime and disorder strategy

·         Liaising and consulting with Public and Alcohol Programme Board

·         Liaising and consulting with the East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service

·         Liaising and consulting with the Local Strategic Partnership, Safety Advisory Group (Emergency Planning) and Equalities and Social Justice Consultation Forum

·         Liaising and consulting with the Planning authority

·         Liaising and consulting with the Highways authority

·         Liaising and consulting with local business and business associations. Having regard to any future documents issued relating to the Private Security Industry Act 2001, for example liaison or information sharing protocols

·         Liaising and consulting with the Trading Standards Team, for example with regard to test purchasing codes of practice


8.2    In line with statutory requirements and the Council’s Inclusion Policy, the Licensing Authority shall have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, and to promote equality of opportunity and positive relations between persons of diverse backgrounds, for example communities of interest such as: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; disabled people; racial and ethnic groups; religious and faith groups.


8.3    This policy supports the aims of the tourism strategy, recognising the benefits for the tourism economy of creating a safer and more attractive city centre and improving competitiveness with other European cities.  The Licensing Committee should receive any reports relevant to the needs of the local tourist economy and the cultural strategy for the area to ensure that it considers these matters.


8.4    The Licensing Committee should receive relevant information relating to the employment situation of the area and the need for new investment and employment where appropriate.


8.5    Specific conditions may be attached to premises licences to reflect local crime prevention strategies.  Such conditions may include the use of closed circuit television cameras, use of the NightSafe radio system or accredited scheme, the provision and use of shatterproof drinking receptacles, drugs and weapons search policy, the use of registered door supervisors, specialised lighting requirements, hours of opening. Certificates issued to club premises shall reflect local crime prevention strategies and may include any or all of the requirements listed above.


8.6    The licensing authority will have regard to the need to disperse people quickly and safely from the city centre to avoid concentrations which may produce disorder and disturbance.




Financial Implications:


5.1         The Licensing Act 2003 provides for fees to be payable to the licensing authority in respect of the discharge of their functions. The fee levels are set centrally at a level to allow licensing authorities to fully recover the costs of administration, inspection and enforcement of the regime.


            Finance Officer Consulted Michael Bentley                                Date: 10/12/20


Legal Implications:


5.2         The licensing authority must act to promote the four licensing objectives which are:


·         Prevention of crime and disorder

·         Public safety

·         Prevention of public nuisance

·         Protection of children from harm


The licensing authority must have regard to its statement of licensing policy and the guidance issued by the Secretary of State in carrying out its functions.


            Lawyer Consulted: Rebecca Sidell                                               Date: 14/12/20


            Equalities Implications:


5.3         Diversity is valued and strong, safe communities are vital to future prosperity. Licensing policy aims to protect children from harm including sale and supply of alcohol to children.


            Sustainability Implications:


5.4       Licensing policy aims to prevent public nuisance and develop culture of live music, dancing and theatre.









1.         Appendix A – Part M (operating schedule) of the Application


2.         Appendix B – Plan of Premises


3.         Appendix C – Part A of Premises Licence


4.         Appendix D – Representations


5.            Appendix E – Map of Area


6.            Appendix F – Photos of Premises


7.            Appendix G – Written Submissions


Background Documents


Brighton & Hove City Council, Licensing Act 2003: Statement of Licensing Policy 2016, revised January 2019.


Home Office, Revised Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003, April 2018.


Public Health Framework for assessing Alcohol Licensing. Annual Report – Ward. 5th edition. Public Health Intelligence. January 2019


Brighton & Hove City Council, Licensing Act 2003: Statement of Licensing Policy 2016, revised January 2019.