Agenda and minutes

General Licensing Panel - Monday, 4 December 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Abbey House, Abbey Close, Abingdon, OX14 3JE

Contact: Darius Zarazel, Democratic Services Officer  07917 08837

No. Item


Election of a chair

To elect a chair for this hearing.


A motion moved and seconded, to elect Councillor Jo Robb as chair of the panel was carried on being put to the vote.


RESOLVED: that Councillor Jo Robb be elected as chair of the panel.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and any conflicts of interest in respect of items on the agenda for this meeting.


There were no declarations of interest.


Procedure for the meeting pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To note the procedure for the meeting (attached).


The chair confirmed that all parties present understood the procedure.


Application for street trading consents for The Greyhound, Whitchurch; The Red Lion, Chinnor; and The Cross Keys, Wallingford pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To consider the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic.

Additional documents:


The chair began by inviting Michelle Hazlewood, representing the applicant Oak Taverns Limited, to present their preliminary submission (presented in a written submissions received by the Council on 28 November and expanded in oral argument). The applicant argued that:


(a)      Paragraph 5.5 of the Council’s licensing policy provides that new applications will be subject to a 28-day consultation. Paragraph 5.20 provides that consent for a consent will automatically be granted where no objections are received. The licensing officer’ report noted that the panel will not permit late evidence unless all parties agree.


(b)      Mr Cockhill’s evidence (objecting to the application on highways grounds) on the application at The Cross Keys, Wallingford, was the only objection and was submitted after the consultation had closed. The Council should, therefore, not take account of Mr Cockhill’s submission and should, in effect, determine the application as if there were no objections.


(c)      Further or in the alternative, Mr Cockhill’s submission was generic and did not relate specifically to the premises. Mr Cockhill’s submission should, therefore, be discounted on that basis.


In oral argument, the applicant accepted that the panel must not fetter its discretion and must be prepared to depart from the policy when material considerations so required. It was argued, however, that Mr Cockhill’s submission was made without evidence and so should not be considered a material consideration.


Mr Cockhill did not appear in person at the hearing.


The panel adjourned to discuss the preliminary point made by the applicants. The panel took these arguments into account. It nevertheless determined to admit Mr Cockhill’s submission at The Cross Keys, Wallingford, for the following reasons:


(a)      The panel was bound not to fetter its discretion. It was, therefore required to consider the issue in the round. The panel was also aware of its duty to ensure a fair hearing.


(b)      Mr Cockhill was a highways expert speaking on behalf of the Local Highways Authority. For this reason, his submission was likely to be material.


(c)      The generic nature of Mr Cockhill’s submission, and the fact that it was not supported by evidence from local objectors was a matter which might reduce the weight placed on the submission, but it did not make it immaterial. The weight placed on Mr Cockhill’s submission was a matter for the panel and was best decided when considering all of the relevant issues in the round.


(d)      The applicant accepted that it was not materially prejudiced by the late provision of Mr Cockhill’s submission. It could, therefore, be admitting without prejudicing the fairness of the hearing.


The panel reconvened and conveyed their decision before moving on to consider the applications for street trading consents at The Greyhound, Whitchurch; The Red Lion, Chinnor; and The Cross Keys, Wallingford, and the chair invited the licensing officer to present their report.






Licensing officer


The licensing officer informed the panel that the street trading applications were for enabling 11 traders to trade at three Oak Taverns sites across the district. The application sought  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.