Agenda item



RECEIVED the application made by Councillor Edward Smith for a review of the Premises Licence (LN/201801062) held by Fancy Fair Markets Limited at the premises situated at Bramley Sports Ground, Chase Side, London N14 4AB.




1.    The introduction by Ellie Green, Principal Licensing Officer, including:


a.    The application was for review of the premises licence at the land known as Bramley Road Sports Ground. The premises licence was held by Fancy Fair Markets Limited.

b.    The new premises licence was applied for in March 2019 this year and had received 151 representations, from local residents against the grant of the application. The application had been granted by the Licensing Sub-Committee, with reduced hours sought and additional conditions, as set out in Annex 2 of the report.

c.    The new premises licence was for a four day family event, including alcohol and regulated entertainment, to take place yearly Friday to Monday on the second bank holiday in May, with opening hours 10:00 to 21:00 and sales of alcohol to end half an hour before closing.

d.    This review application was made by Councillor Edward Smith, Cockfosters Ward Councillor, on behalf of and in consultation with local residents. The review was sought on all four licensing objectives, and the application was set out in Annex 3 of the report.

e.    The licence holder had responded to the review application as set out in Annex 4 of the report.

f.     All the responsible authorities had been consulted and no representations had been made in response to the application.

g.    The Chair of SAG had not submitted a representation, but provided comments as set out in para 3.5 of the report.

h.    There had been no other representation in support or against the application, but it was understood the review was brought in consultation with local residents and sought revocation of the licence in its entirety.

i.      It was for the Licensing Sub-Committee to consider whether the review application supported the four licensing objectives.


2.    The statement of Councillor Edward Smith, Cockfosters Ward Councillor, including:


a.    There were a large number of objections at the time of the premises licence application, and he was representing the objectors as there was a considerable degree of concern still about what happened at the event.

b.    He attended a debriefing meeting with local residents after the event which went through the problems that had arisen and concluded that a submission would be put forward to review and seek revocation of this licence.

c.    There was very thorough evidence from the residents and he agreed with their comments and that there were issues of major concern.

d.    The comments from the premises licence holders were not helpful in their tone, and he took exception having been a councillor for over 20 years.

e.    This event was not similar to the Winchmore Hill Fancy Fair event which was non profit making and frequented by local people as opposed to this commercial festival which attracted people from far and wide, many of them coming by car.

f.     The Bramley Sports Ground was unsuitable as the location for this event and had more people turned up there would have been more problems.

g.    The most important objection was the level of noise created, from the PA system and the music. There had been lack of clarity around the noise levels. One of the residents took measurements himself and the figures were included in the review application. Noise levels were exceeded on all days and all times. The Council had also found levels too high. This showed poor noise management.

h.    The next major concern was traffic management. No car parking provision had been provided in the end. There had been no parking at Oak Hill College: there were not 1000 spaces arranged as had been stated at the Licensing Sub-Committee hearing in April. This meant that attendees had to park in adjacent roads and there was a complex traffic management plan whereby residents had to use a password to access their own road which led to several heated discussions between marshals and residents. The traffic management staff did not perform well, but the ultimate responsibility lay with Fancy Fair Markets Limited.

i.      A further issue was the damage to Saracens’ sports ground. There had been concern regarding lack of liaison and the damage thereafter. The process had not been managed properly.

j.      There had been issues with compliance with conditions, including lack of car parking provision, working outside of agreed hours, music beginning early each day, high levels of noise, and with notices provided in respect of times the fair would be open. As there were so few attendees the operators left earlier than the specified times.

k.    It was considered that this event causes a great deal of disruption, not just during the festival days but it required several days to put in place and to take down afterwards. There was well over a week of disruption when the sports ground was not available for recreation to residents. At the start of the summer local people had found the park they loved to use was not available and when they tried to walk through it they found unexpected obstacles to their access.

l.      He expected the financial returns to the Council from this event in 2019 to have been meagre.

m.  Several residents were also present at the meeting to support the comments made.

n.    Clarification was given to the Chair that the debriefing event was organised by residents, for invitees only, and having collaborated to object to the original application had made one submission for review of the licence on behalf of all the neighbours rather than sending individual representations. Officers’ advice had also been to do this.

o.    People living in Bollingbroke Park had no idea about the event until the gear arrived, and if they had been aware previously there would have been more letters of objection. Also, residents had not connected recent signs displayed at the site to being able to object to the Fancy Fair event. Officers confirmed that there were official notices prepared in accordance with regulations and titled ‘review’.


3.    The statement of Mr Adrian Webb, event organiser, including:


a.    The residents seemed to be acting in opposition against the event organisers, and had not extended an invitation to the debriefing meeting to give them the opportunity to enter into a conversation. At other events it was usual to meet with the residents.

b.    The Cockfosters Fancy Fair event was a larger version of the event at Winchmore Hill in the size of the plot, but it was the same sort of event, and was a community event. Over 3000 attended this year (40% were children) and it was a lovely day out.

c.    There had not been problems on event days. Emergency response had been required for two people attending, but that had been nothing to do with the event itself. There had been no alcohol abuse or fighting. This was a community event and the numbers of children and families were as expected, with lots of people walking to the event.

d.    It was unfair to suggest he was an unsuitable operator: he had a 30 year clean record in licensing and arranging events. He considered the performance to have been good. It was the first time this site was used and the company had learned a lot and had a debriefing with SAG with a proper round table discussion with all services in attendance. The minutes had been provided.

e.    The security company contracted had not been up to Fancy Fair required standards, and they would not be working with that company again. There would be a new contractor going forward at all their events. The St John Ambulance provision had also been disappointing as they were also covering another festival as well and had not given them the support they needed. In future there would be a paramedic team under contract.

f.     In respect of noise levels, over the three days Council officers and their own health and safety advisor trained in taking noise readings took measurements. Noise levels were kept to as set by the Council and the professional employed beforehand to advise on the stage position. None of the stage PA systems were started before 10:00am. There would only have been turning on and off of amplifiers before then.

g.    It was considered the traffic management had worked very well. It had not helped that there were a few difficult residents who did not wish to be stopped, but the traffic orders were properly in place. There was no congestion. If residents used the password or letter they were waved straight in. He would not want to extend to shutting down more roads, and it was also agreed with SAG that nothing more was needed.

h.    In respect of car parking, this was organised with Oak Hill College as previously advised, but was cancelled at the last minute, and he felt that this was following pressure from residents. There had been several site meetings, and an email agreeing terms, and he was sorry it did not happen.

i.      There had been no damage to the rugby ground. People involved with the festival were total professionals. Walking the ground, having handed it back to the Council who manage it for the trustees, it was commented that the ground was in a better state than before. Three tons of rubbish were taken away, with three people clearing each day of the event.

j.      He acknowledged that some residents did not want this event locally, but he considered there had been little disruption to residents. He would ask that the premises licence be allowed to continue in its present form. For the 2020 event he would start work in the New Year with his professional team and the SAG and comply fully with the licence.


4.    Questions were responded to, including:


a.    In response to Councillor Dey’s queries regarding noise levels, Mr Webb advised that he used professional equipment, calibrated correctly and operated by professional people to take readings. The residents had some other device that was not calibrated or operated professionally. A noise survey was done by a professional company who set the levels at the check. SAG members and Council officers were on site during the three days of the event. On three occasions residents made phone calls in respect of noise: the contact system worked and a visit was made to listen and take readings. The set levels were not exceeded.

b.    In response to residents’ queries that paperwork in respect of the car parking agreement had not been mentioned before, Mr Webb advised that he gave an undertaking that the car parking was being arranged. Any contract would not have been disclosed publicly though a copy was sent to Council officers, and he had confirmed this contract had been arranged.

c.    Mr Webb refuted the residents’ assertions that matting had not been put down when trucks drove onto the ground or that Saracens had claimed money in respect of damage to the sports ground.

d.    In response to residents’ queries that all traffic measures should have been taken away immediately after the event, it was clarified that everything was removed the next day and that Mr Webb picked up two signs that were left behind and missed by the company.

e.    Mr Webb did not agree that there had been dismantling and moving of the funfair after 21:00 and up to 00:00.


5.    The summary statement of Ellie Green, Principal Licensing Officer, that having heard all the representations it was for the Licensing Sub Committee to consider whether the review application was appropriate and in support of the licensing objectives. The potential steps the Sub Committee may be minded to take were set out in the officers’ covering report, along with relevant guidance and policies to assist.


6.    The summary statement of Councillor Edward Smith, Cockfosters Ward Councillor, including that irrespective of readings taken by residents, the Council’s noise consultant did take regular measurements of noise levels as set out in Appendix 2 to the SAG minutes and the levels set in the licence were exceeded at regular intervals at every day at every receptor point. He also noted that Mr Webb had a history at this event of falling out with people: getting rid of the traffic management contractors, failing in an agreement with Oak Hill College, and not having proper liaison with Saracens. Residents had severe concerns that the issues would reoccur next year, particularly if a larger number of people were to attend.


7.    The summary statement of Mr Adrian Webb, event organiser, including that the residents had been unduly negative about this family event. The conditions of the licence had been complied with, and the SAG team were involved on the day and did not have concerns. At the post event meeting there had not been a single comment in respect of the event not going forward and no recommendations to change or review anything, and he would like the premises licence to continue in its current form.




1.         In accordance with the principles of Section 100(a) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the press and public from the meeting for this item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.


The Panel retired, with the legal representative and committee administrator, to consider the application further and then the meeting reconvened in public.


2.         The Chairman made the following statement:


“Having read all the papers supplied and listened carefully to all the oral representations made today, the Licensing Sub Committee could not find any evidence that the four licensing objectives are undermined by the licence granted to Fancy Fair.


It is clear that the residents who have appeared today do not want this event to continue in future years. However it is clear from the lack of support by responsible authorities for this application there is no evidence to support it.”


3.            The Licensing Sub-Committee resolved that it considers the steps listed below to be appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives:

(e)  No changes to be made.