Agenda item

Application for the grant of a Premises Licence: St Helen's School, Eastbury Road, Northwood, HA6 3AS




Mark McDermott, Licensing Officer, introduced the application for the grant of a new premises licence in respect of St Helen’s School, Northwood. Members were informed that the proposal was to sell alcohol on Fridays from 16.00 hours to 20.00 hours in a social setting for staff and their invited guests. It was noted that the provision of recorded music had been included in the application, however this was not required as background music was not a licensable activity.


It was highlighted that one representation had been received from a local resident objecting to a potential increase in public nuisance. Correspondence had been sent by the applicant, however an agreement could not be reached; it was noted that the objector fundamentally opposed the grant of the licence. The officer’s recommendation was to grant the license as detailed in the report.




Jackie Brinicombe, Assistant Business Director at St Helen’s School, Northwood, addressed the Sub-Committee on behalf of the applicant. It was outlined that senior leadership at the school had been minded to reach out to their staff in an informal and social context and that the application for a premises licence on Friday afternoons was seen as a way for staff to meet up in a socially at the end of the school week. It was highlighted that a perceived benefit of the premises would be that it was a private environment where informal but important discussions could take place between staff about school matters; these matters could be confidential and therefore would not be appropriately discussed in other social settings such as a local pub. By way of clarification it was confirmed that the premises would be for adults only and that all children were to be off site by 3.30pm on Fridays.


With regard to the number of people consuming alcohol at the premises, it was highlighted that less than 50% of school staff work on Fridays and of those, many only work in the morning. In respect of similar social clubs run by comparable organisations, it was highlighted that Merchant Taylors School in Rickmansworth and many NHS Trusts operated equivalent set ups with no adverse impacts on the level of public nuisance caused. Further to this, it was noted that the premises was at a central location within the school grounds further alleviating any concerns of potential noise disruption. The applicant also noted that they were happy to accommodate the Licensing Officer’s recommended condition that appropriate signage be displayed requesting staff leave the premises in a manner respectful of neighbours.




The Chairman reiterated that although the provision of recorded music had been applied for, it was not necessary for the applicant’s intended operation of the premises as playing background music was not a licensable activity.


The applicant clarified for the Committee that no extra-curricular activities were to take place after school on Fridays; any extra-curricular activities were scheduled for Mondays to Thursdays. It was noted that, should the Committee be minded to grant the application, the applicant would not be opposed to conditions ensuring the premises were to only operate during the school term and that alcohol may only be served up to 19.40 to allow for sufficient drinking up time.


By way of clarification regarding the prospective individuals who would frequent the premises, the applicant informed Members that ‘staff and their invited guests’ referred to members of school staff and a friend or partner. It was explained that a group of friends external to the school would not be attending the premises.




There were no closing remarks made.




After deliberations in private session, the decision of the Sub-Committee was to grant the Premises Licence, subject to the below conditions. The Sub-Committee’s reasons for this decision would be published in the written Decision Notice.


The Conditions are as follows:


  1. Notices shall be prominently displayed requesting patrons respect the needs of local residents and leave the area quietly;


  1. The opening hours of the premises shall be each Friday only, during school term-time only, from 16.00 to 20.00 hours only; with no service after 19.40 hours.




If any individual who made relevant representations to the application feels aggrieved by the decision of the Sub-Committee to grant the application, they may appeal to the Justice Clerk under section 181 and schedule 5 of the Licensing Act 2003 to Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, The Court House, Harefield Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1PQ, within twenty-one days of the date of notification of the decision.


No decision made by the Council will have effect during the time period within which an appeal may be brought and until such time that any appeal has been determined or abandoned.

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