Agenda item

Application for an occasional premises licence in respect of How The Light Gets In Festival 2019, Wye Meadow, Newport Street, Hay-on-Wye. HR3 5BZ - Licensing Act 2003

To consider an application for an occasional premises licence in respect of How the Light Gets In Festival 2019Wye Meadow, Newport Street, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5BZ.


Members of the licensing sub-committee from the council’s planning and regulatory committee considered the above application, full details of which appeared before the Members in their agenda, the background papers and the supplement issued on 4 March 2019.


Prior to making their decision, the members heard from the applicant and the applicant’s finance director, Fred Spriggs, Licensing Officer, Aris Trezins, Environmental Health Officer and two local residents.


The Licensing Authority summarised the application and noted that no objections had been received from West Mercia Police or the Licensing Authority. Trading Standards and Environmental Health had made representations, which had been agreed with the applicant. Three representations had been accepted from members of the public.


Environmental Health stated that due to public concerns about noise from the site, monitoring had taken place during the event in 2018 including equipment sited in a neighbouring property and officer site visits. No problems had been identified. There had been very few complaints received by Herefordshire Council and a week after the event Powys County Council confirmed they had not received any complaints at that time. A draft noise management plan had been submitted and would be accepted with some minor amendments. It was noted that the condition should be amended to require production of the draft noise management plan 2 months prior to the first day of the festival rather than 3 months as originally stated.


The sub committee then heard from two local residents who lived in and just off Newport Street. The sub committee heard that:

·         There remained some goodwill towards the festival;

·         The proposed finish time of 2am was not reasonable and was considerably later than the main Hay literary festival;

·         Noise from the event site itself was not the issue, there had been a number of instances of nuisance behaviour in the early hours during the 2018 festival;

·         Marshalling had been insufficient; adequate numbers of properly trained marshals should be available if the event was to be repeated.


The applicant and her finance director then addressed the sub committee, stating that:

·         They had run the festival for 10 years, starting in The Globe arts venue in the town and then extending to the current site approximately four years ago;

·         The Globe had a premises licence with the same hours and conditions as those applied for in this occasional licence application;

·         For 2019 the event would be consolidated onto a single site, and the accommodation would also be consolidated to a single camp site opposite the event site, this would reduce the movement of event goers during the festival;

·         There would be SIA security staff on duty alongside the stewards and contact details would be provided to neighbours so that they could report any issues immediately they occurred;

·         The finish time of 2am was important for the success of the festival and mirrored the hours at the Globe.



Following questions it was confirmed that:

·         The number of festival goers who also attended the Hay literary festival had not been measured but as those attending generally came early on in the evening;

·         Security staff would be on the site, at the entrance and exit points and would monitor festival goers returning to the camp site, now that the accommodation was in one place it would be easier to manage this;

·         Security staff would not be able to deal with police matters on the public highway but would be a presence to deter nuisance behaviour, guidance was clear that behaviour beyond the immediate area of the licenced premises was the personal responsibility of the individuals concerned;

·         The music type and mix would be the same as previous years and volume levels would also be the same as previous years;

·         The disturbances reported from the previous year could not be attributed with certainty to attendees of the “Let the Light in” festival as there were other licensed premises in the area;

·         The event typically attracted 500 to 600 people each night.





The decision of the licensing sub committee was to grant the licence subject to the following conditions:


·         Noise or vibration shall not emanate from the festival site so as to cause a nuisance.

·         A draft Noise Management Plan will be produced 2 months prior to the first day of the Festival and will be submitted to the Herefordshire Council - Environmental Health (EH) who shall notify the premises licence holder (within one calendar month of receipt) in writing whether it is acceptable or unacceptable. The final plan shall be submitted to EH at least 14 days prior to the event for approval. The event shall not take place until EH has agreed the plan.  Once agreed no change shall be made to the plan without the agreement of EH and the event must comply with the agreed plan.

·         Irrespective of noise levels prescribed in the Noise Management Strategy, The  Premises Licence Holder or DPS or any person who has been nominated as their deputy  must immediately comply with any request to adjust noise levels/ frequency spectra made by an ‘authorised person’ (as defined by Section 13 of the Licensing Act 2003) .


·         All staff engaged in the sale of alcohol to be trained in responsible alcohol retailing to the minimum standard of BIIAB level 1 or any equivalent training course within 1 month of commencing employment at the premises. No person shall be authorised to sell or supply alcohol until this training is completed.  Refresher training will be conducted at 12 monthly intervals.  Training records shall be kept on the premises and produced to the police or an ‘authorised person’ (as defined by Section 13 of the Licensing Act 2003) or an authorised Trading Standards Officer of Herefordshire Council on demand.


·         A written or electronic register of refusals will be kept including a description of the people who have been unable to provide required identification to prove their age. Such records shall be kept for a period of 12 months. It will be collected and reviewed on a daily basis by the Designated Premises Supervisor and produced to the police or an ‘authorised person’ (as defined by Section 13 of the Licensing Act 2003) or an authorised Trading Standards Officer of Herefordshire Council on demand.


·         The premises shall operate a Challenge 25 Policy. Such policy shall be written down and kept at the premises. The policy shall be produced on demand of the Police or an ‘authorised person’ (as defined by Section 13 of the Licensing Act 2003) or an authorised Trading Standards Officer of Herefordshire Council.  Prominent, clear and legible signage (in not less than 32 font bold) shall also be displayed at all entrances to the premises as well as at, at least one location behind any sale area advertising the scheme operated.





The committee had taken into account all the statements from the parties present. The sub committee noted there had been a very small number of objections to the application and that the disturbances reported the previous year could not be directly attributed to the festival site with any certainty. The changes to the layout of the festival and consolidation of the accommodation to a single campsite was recognised. While the behaviour of individuals once they had left the licenced area was their own personal responsibility, the applicant’s intention to provide additional trained security staff was noted. The application related to the 2019 event only so there would be an opportunity to review the effectiveness of the changes for any future application. With regard to the finishing time, the sub committee considered the fact that there were other licensed premises in the area that operated the same hours and that curtailing the operating hours of the festival could lead to more disruption if festival goers then moved on to other premises in the town. In granting the application, the sub committee encouraged the applicant to show respect to neighbouring residents.


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